What causes Persimmon leaf curl?

I ordered this Hachiya persimmon in the fall of 2019 to replace one that the nursery had sent me that spring that did not survive. It arrived and appeared to be healthy, but in the spring on 2020 it failed to bud out. So I notified the nursery which replaced it in fall of 2020. When the replacement arrived, I repotted this one to see what would happen as the rootball still looked healthy.
This spring the plant acted like it had a new life and all buds which had not opened last year sprang into life. So I repotted it again into a larger pot to assure the roots had plenty room to grow. The rootball was only about the size of two fists. After it was fully leafed out, I noticed some leaves beginning to turn brown on the tips and curl up. Eventually they fall off. So after about one month of really healthy look, I now have most leaves curling.
I have searched for what may be causing the leaves to curl. There are no aphids or other insects that I can detect.
Please advise if you think you know what may be infecting this plant?
Kent, wa

1 Like

Watching. Same question

How is your potting medium? Do you suspect overwatering?
A heavy organic soil medium has killed numerous persimmons for me.


Actually it’s about 90% compost. Perhaps I should repot using more natural soil. Think i will try that tomorrow
Thanks for tip

if it doesnt do well let me know in january i will have scions of hachiya from my tree. i havent seen this with any of my persimmons so i have no recommendations.

See if you can let the soil dry out in shade. This time may be dangerous to repot the tree.
In the future, it may be best to use a fast draining mix with lots of perlite, bark and just a small amount of compost. I recently lost a couple of trees this way. One tree however recovered when I had tossed it in a pile (along with the pot) and it was protected from rain in this location. That was all it took for the tree roots to survive and allow some top growth.


I have some potted persimmons in mostly well composted wood chips. That look similar.
Info on line that best fits symptoms is calcium deficiency.
I had the compost tested , shows optimum calcium levels , so I don’t really know what is going on .?
They are in quarantine for now , going to try some fertilizer treatments , if I cannot get them looking normal, I will destroy.?
Page 63

1 Like

Hi Dennis, I know your problem perfectly.
There are numerous fungal diseases that attack persimmon:
Among them these are the most important:

  • Leaf spot, caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella nawae (it is one of the most harmful)
  • Gray rot, caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea
  • Persimmon wilt, caused by the fungus Cephalosporium diospyri

And some others.

In your case, it is not a disease, it is a physiopathy (looking at the leaves, I know the symptoms perfectly).
It is a problem of poor adaptation of the rootstock to the ground, surely the rootstock of your Hachiya persimmon is Diospyros Lotus, which usually causes this type of problems in its most youthful state and in transplantation.

Never use cupric compounds in persimmon, as they cause phytotoxicity.


It is very likely that your persimmon has root suffocation problems from overwatering.

When I have had problems like the one you show, I always use a biostimulant with amino acids in irrigation for their recovery with very good results.

This is the product that I use in Spain.

  • Vegetamin Eco


In the United States there must be very similar products



Dennis, I’ve had the same problem with plants of persimmon bought from nurseries.
Look at the leaves of this Rojo Brillante .

I have asked my friend Cristina, she is an agronomic engineer specialized in persimmons from the IVIA (Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research), I showed her your photo, and she confirms that it is a physiopathy due to two possible causes:

  • Excess or deficit of irrigation
  • Boron and Calcium deficiency

Applying amino acids and a microelement corrector, your persimmon should improve immediately.
On the other hand, a persimmon is not a suitable tree for growing in a pot, and you must transplant it to the soil of the orchard.



Maybe, you could diagnose this persimmon leave issue for me.

It is a Rojo Brillante in a pot. Last month, the leaves looked like it suffered iron deficiency (I am pretty sure it was iron deficiency). I watered in chelated iron twice. The yellowing of the leaves went away the green color retuns. However, starting a bout a week ago, the tips of the leaves turned crispy brown.


This is caused by too much iron in the soil?


Hi Jose,
Thanks for your comments. The main reason I had it in a pot was to do early grafting and let it callous in my greenhouse,then I plan to plant it for a friend on his property this fall once the scions are growing.
The sales receipt only tells variety but not the rootstock name. Soihave inquired of the nursery to tell. Me if it’s Lotus, Kaki, or Diospyros virginiana. They seem to have different rootstocksfor various varieties, and their online catalog no longer shows Hachiya, so I am in hopes they can tell me. Gave them my order # so as soon as I hear. I will let you know. I repotted it 2 days ago I clean native soil, no compost, with gravel in the bottom to assure good drainage. I have fire ashes I could add for calcium, or I have dolomite lime, and I can add borax powder or give it a foliar spray with all the above. What of these would you recommend?
Kent, wa

1 Like

Hi Jose,
This morning I was able to contact the nursery to verify that my Hachiya was grafted onto the Diospyros virginiana rootstock. I noticed in your comment you suspected it was on Lotus. Does the rootstock change your opinion, or do you still think it is most likely calcium or magnesium deficiency? Perhaps your friend would know.
Kent, wa

1 Like

Hi guys.
As Jack the ripper said “we go for parts” hahahahaha.

We will start with the description of the three most used rootstocks:

Are these three

  • Diospyros Lotus
  • Diospyros Virginiana
  • Diospyros caqui (rootstock obtained from the seed of a variety of persimmon whose fruit has been pollinated, in Spain seeds of the Rojo Brillante variety are used)

Diospyros Lotus, emits a very shallow root system, has medium vigor, and is used in plantations where the soil is fertile, and has a low or neutral pH, has excellent compatibility with astringent varieties, and little graft compatibility with many non-astringent varieties

Diospyros Virginiana, has a very deep root system and usually emits an important taproot, tolerates high pH soils well, is of vigorous growth, and has very good affinity with both astringent and non-astringent varieties.

Diospyros caqui (seed of a variety of persimmon normally Rojo Brillante), is the most vigorous rootstock of the three, emits a very deep root system, tolerates soils with high pH without problems, and has total affinity with all kinds of varieties, the only drawback is that it develops trees that are too large in size

Dennis your variety is a Hachiya, which belongs to the PCA group (pollination constant astringent).

Hachiya persimmon


Nurseries for convenience usually use the Diospyros Lotus rootstock for astringent varieties, so the most normal thing is that the rootstock of your Hachiya persimmon is a Diospyros Lotus.
And we keep talking about nurseries because even though they are specialists in fruit trees, they make tremendous mistakes.
The grafting of persimmon in the nursery is carried out using the Chip Budding system, and for convenience they do not have the rootstocks in the ground but in pots, so they normally use substrates that are not very suitable for persimmon, and when you receive the tree at home, It arrives with nutritional deficiencies of some macro or micro element, this is a very common problem with persimmon plants bought in a nursery.

mamuang, the iron deficiency in a fruit tree, apart from causing iron chlorosis, which causes is that it prevents the plant from absorbing a large number of microelements (this is the real problem), and an excess of ferric chelates does not usually cause no phytotoxicity.

To prevent and solve the problems you have ( Dennis and you ) , which are not fungal problems, they are physiopathic problems, the solution is quite easy, having the basic fundamentals clear.

Persimmon is not a geranium hahahahahahaha, and does not tolerate universal composted substrates at all, persimmon like all fruit trees in general, as a substrate they need a good fertile soil from the orchard, with a small proportion of sand, and nothing else (if you add worm humus to the mixture is fantastic)
If they will be in a pot for a while, it is interesting to add some stones to the bottom of the pot so that there is good drainage, to avoid root suffocation.
The pots must be of an adequate size, since the rootstock of the persimmon, especially Diospyros Lotus, emits a shallow but very extensive root system.

Now, your persimmons are in a situation of stress, so we have to help them recover, and the most suitable products are two:

  • Biostimulants with amino acids, these types of products are used to help the plant to get out of situations of highly varied stress (root asphyxia due to excessive irrigation, stress due to lack of irrigation, damage caused by frost, phytotoxicity caused by phytosanitary or herbicides, etc …), if you have never used this type of product, it is a true wonder, since the result is “immediate”, and in a few days the plant becomes vigorous emitting new, totally healthy vegetation, leaving the stress situation.

  • Corrector of nutritional deficiency, there are many times that the substrate lacks some microelement necessary for the plant, and no matter how much iron chelate we apply, if the substrate is poor in Zinc, Boron, Manganese, etc …, the The problem will not be solved, so it is necessary to use a good nutritional corrector rich in microelements (IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE MICROELEMENTS OF THE NUTRITIONAL CORRECTOR BE CHELATED FOR RAPID ABSORPTION).

Having said all this, I am going to show you the products that I use in Spain, and that in the United States will be for sale under other trademarks

Biostimulant with amino acids:

  • Vegetamin Eco


Nutritional deficiency corrector

  • Tarssan Mix


I have called the Jisa-Jiloca Spanish company by phone, but unfortunately they do not have distribution in the United States.
So you will have to look for similar products in the United States.



Caveats upfront: I’ve only been growing persimmons for about a year, so take my experience with a grain of salt.

I had 19 persimmon grafts growing in small volume, high depth containers for the last year without any sign of deficiency or the symptoms described here. I use a straight commercial peat-based mix with a little extra perlite mixed in. So I don’t think the fact that it is potted is in and of itself the source of the issue. That being said, native soil or a high-compost mix could make moisture management very challenging. IMO, compost is only suitable potting medium for short term items like vegetable transplants, and native soil is a big no-no (with some rare exceptions).

Adding a “drainage layer” to the bottom of a pot is counterproductive. The extra moisture won’t drain into the gravel for the same reason it won’t drain out of the bottom of the pot: capillary action. Water won’t drain from a layer of high capillarity (small particle size) to one of low capillarity (large particle size) unless the upper layer is beyond saturated. Once it gets back down to saturation point, the remaining water is stuck there. So what happens is you get that soggy layer at the bottom of the pot, where the water’s gone down as far as it can go. If you add an inch of gravel to “improve drainage,” then you’ve just moved that soggy layer an inch higher in the pot. Effectively, it just makes the pot smaller.

Mixing gravel or perlite in throughout the soil is more effective. However, it doesn’t improve drainage so much as lower moisture capacity in the soil, allowing it to dry more quickly via transpiration. If you have a very high percentage of coarse substrate, you do hit a point where drainage is better because the capillarity is lower. However, you then need to water more frequently and/or incorporate materials that are coarse AND hold moisture (diatomaceous earth, calcined clay, pine bark).

As for long-term viability in pots, @tonyOmahaz5 has some persimmons that have been in pots long-term. Perhaps he’ll chime in with whether he’s experienced these symptoms. I intend to do the same with my Chinebuli, as that’s the only practical way to grow kakis here. I also know that D virginiana and D rhombifolia are popular bonsai subjects. That’s kind of a whole different care ballgame, but clearly it works out OK for them in pots.

I take no issue with the larger points and your excellent diagnoses of the symptoms being presented. I just wanted to clear up the potted plant misconceptions.

1 Like

I apologize for resurrecting this thread, but I appreciate the information here and wanted to add something.

Very briefly, I have a Hachiya which I bought about six years ago as a bareroot tree in a big box store. I didn’t really know how to care for it well, so I made all kinds of mistakes and the tree struggled. It has been planted in our clay soil for almost the whole time I have had it, but it is still fairly small. Last year a squirrel climbed it and broke off the top, but I have not given up on it yet.

Over the past couple of years I have been intentional in trying to revive the tree. I was on the fence for a while thinking to uproot it/cut it down and start over. But then I changed a couple of things, and I’ve decided to keep it growing. I came to this thread because I was seeing the same kind of curled and damaged leaves as shown in the photos upthread. I had no idea what the cause was; I thought maybe the tree was diseased and would never improve.

The first thing I changed was I stopped watering the tree at night. I used to run an oscillating fan sprinkler to water the tree and its surroundings at night, mistakenly thinking this was smart because the water wouldn’t evaporate as quickly (tree is located in zone 10a, summers can be warm here). What I didn’t realize-- a guy who runs a local nursery clued me in-- is that when water is on the leaves for more than 4 hours, harmful pathogens (fungus, bacteria) on the leaf surfaces can multiply, and get into the leaves and get into the tree. So I switched to watering in the day time, and this year, I have a lot of healthy leaves. Not all of them look good, but this seems to have been a change for the better. I am also giving it smaller doses of water more frequently. In the future I am thinking to stop watering it with the oscillating fan sprinkler and instead, install a soaker hose under the mulch around the base of this tree (and the others around it).

The second thing I started doing is foliar feeding, about every two or three weeks. I heard about this from the same nursery owner, who has been in the business maybe 50 years. Basically I take a few tablespoons of organic unsulphered blackstrap molasses, and dissolve it in some warm water. I add to it some seaweed extract-- allegedly this contains a growth hormone of some kind-- and I put this concoction into a hose-end sprayer, which I then use to spray the leaves of my persimmon tree. I started this last summer, and have continued doing so this year, and I find it seems to make a big difference. I am definitely seeing some healthy growth.

The nursery owner has a YouTube channel (“Gary’s Best Gardening”) where he streams an online class about every week (recordings can be viewed at your convenience). One of his popular classes is growing persimmons and jujubes. I have a long way to go, a lot to learn, and I’m happy to learn here, there, and everywhere else.

1 Like

Dont forget the dirt !!!

This Prok is growing in plain ole dirt out in my field… it is pretty good dirt for 4-6 inches but then a red sticky clay full of rocks.

It has had no fertilizer… nothing but partially composted wood chips for mulch.

It has not been watered one time. It has huge leaves many a foot long and very healthy.

The rootstock was a wild dv… and they just grow like weeds here in plain old field dirt.


Glad to hear you’re making some progress. The switch to daytime watering sounds like a good move. Your description makes think something bigger is going on. What’s your soil like (pH, depth, compaction)? Do you have organic matter in the soil? How are your other plants doing? And what kinds of plants are doing well for you?

In my experience, if a plant is doing that poorly, you want to look at the soil and roots. Evidence on foliar feeding is sketchy at best*, so anything that it is doing isn’t going to make up for problems at the soil. You did also check that it’s not root bound in its planting hole. I’d also recommend larger, less frequent waterings (1-2 times a week) to make sure that it’s getting deep in there and the soil has time to dry out. Both are important.

*Foliar feeding probably doesn’t hurt anything, but it also probably doesn’t do anything that a healthy plant isn’t doing for itself.


Appreciate the responses. I do have an outfit nearby where I can pay to have a proper soil test done. Any tips with regard to taking samples? How deep should I go, how many samples would be wise? Our area was orange and other citrus groves for several decades, and then starting about 60-70 years ago, give or take, they cut down the groves and started building tracts of homes. My tree is surrounded by lawn, so I expect I would want dig a few inches into the dirt below the lawn, somewhere within the drip-line for the tree? Should I combine the soil from two or three different samples?

When I got this Hachiya as a bareroot, I expect I did just about everything wrong. Planted it in a pot with some kind of commercial potting soil, probably with a significant compost component, then replanted in the soil, probably rootbound to some extent, probably with more compost as fill (I can’t recall precisely), then the lawn crept back in around it and the gardener damaged the bark with a weed trimmer, and so on. I was completely ignorant, and still, largely so. All I did was water it occasionally.

It did produce for a time, but for the past two years I have been cutting off the young fruit soon after it sets, so the tree would spend energy growing itself instead of growing fruit.

The tree was actually sold as a Fuyu, but obviously someone at the nursery had instead grafted Hachiya on the rootstock. In any case, I have since planted a Chocolate persimmon next to it, and I have three others in growbags which will be joining these two trees in the ground some time within the next couple of years: a Coffeecake, another Hachiya, and an Imoto.

I want to more clearly understand what I should have done with this unfortunate Hachiya so I can learn from my mistakes instead of repeating them. One remedy that was suggested was drilling some 2-inch (5 cm) diameter holes into the soil around the drip-line and filling them with sand and gravel, to allow more oxygen into the root zone. I have not tried that yet, but I might. I have a cultivator tool which I can use to break up the top 3" to 4" of soil as well. Last year I covered the ground under the tree with a thick layer of mulch, but the lawn is again creeping back in, and this winter I plan to strip the old mulch away, re-cover the ground with a new mulch layer, and push back the lawn. So I could use that tool to break up the soil under the mulch before next spring.

Shortly after posting my inquiry I planted this one in the ground on a sunny slope that drains very well. Now after two growing seasons it seems to have overcome whatever was causing the leaf curls. Perhaps drainage was the cure? During this summer drought I gave it about 4 gal of water weekly. So far so good! I think maybe Jays comments gave me the best advice to get it out of that pot!
Kent, wa


There are a lot of resources on line. FWIW I scraped away the top inch and use a drill/auger to take cores down to 4" from several locations and mix them together.

I have been happy with the clarity of the results from Waypoint Analytical and had micronutrients analyzed in addition tp PH + NPK. If asked they can express the results in lb/A and provide a chart with the ideal ranges. I geeked out and put it in a spreadsheet and the concentration of each element in the intended fertilizer. Helps to see what is needed. If you specify a fruit tree they will make recommendations on foliar sprays.

1 Like