Also known as Chinese date, the jujube tree (Ziziphus jujube) is a deciduous variety native to China. Today, it is grown in many parts of the world including Russia, Australia, North Africa, Europe, and the United States. On an average, this tree can grow up to a height of about 40 feet. With almost 800 varieties, this tree has been cultivated by the Chinese as a fruit crop for over 4000 years. Its fruits are not just tasty, but also have several medicinal values.
The trunk has a rough bark. Branches of most varieties are thorny, growing in a zig-zag manner. Leaves are attractive with bright green color and a waxy texture. They are oval-shaped and grow up to a length of 1 or 2 inches. There are two small sharp pines found at the base of each leaf. The blooming season is from March to May. Flowers are small, fragrant, and appear in clusters. They are either white or slightly yellowish in color, and develop into a green fruit which turns red on ripening. All fruits of a tree do not ripe at the same time. They can also be dried and canned. It has a long harvest time from July to November.
Even though this tree prefers sandy soil, it can grow well in almost all other types provided they are well-drained. It can also tolerate a wide range of soil pH.
Hot and dry climatic conditions are required for its growth. It can tolerate high temperatures in summer and low temperature in winters. In winter, as it becomes dormant, it can withstand subzero temperatures as well.
The perfect time for planting is summer. A young plant should be used for this purpose. Select a sunny location for the tree. Dig a hole which is not very deep but is wide. Plant the tree in such a way so that only the soil line of the trunk goes under the soil. In other words, it should not be planted at a great depth. Water the hole before you place the plant. Fill up the hole with soil, and water it once again.
The essential part is that it should get adequate amount of sunlight. It is quite tolerant to drought-like conditions. However, it has to be watered regularly to get good-quality fruits. Nitrogen fertilizer should be used in the first two years of planting to improve the plant's growth. It should be added once during the growing season of April, May, and June. Pruning of dead leaves and branches should be done during winter to keep the plant healthy.
If you are looking for plants that can enhance the beauty of the landscape and is easy to take care, then you should opt for this variety.