DIOSPYROS RHOMBIFOLIA - PRINCESS PERSIMMON
Persimmon,DIAMOND-LEAF PERSIMMON Diospyros Rhombifolia ,Popular for Bonsai ,Freeze hardy to zone 6.
A relatively unknown but cold hardy persimmon bearing small orange fruits to 1" across. Unripe fruits yield a type of lacquer and the tree is popularly planted as an ornamental or for rootstock for other persimmon species. Deciduous tree to 15-20 feet. Dioecious, so both male and female trees are needed to produce fruits. Great for bonsai. Freeze hardy to zone 6.
Soil requirements: Persimmons are adapted to a wide variety of soil types. They are tolerant of wet soils and also do well on light sandy soils. Once established, they can withstand considerable drought.
Cultural requirements: Persimmons are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow. They have almost no pest or disease problems. The tree can be kept small with judicious pruning. After the form of the tree is established, usually a modified central leader, pruning should be confined to light thinning and heading back excessively vigorous growth. Persimmons flower and bear fruit on the current seasons growth.
Stratification and Seed Storage
persimmon seeds require a two- to three-month period of chilling at between 35 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit before planting. This process, called stratification, softens the seed coat and allows germination to occur. The seeds need to be kept moist during the stratification process. A good way to keep persimmon seeds moist is to place them between layers of damp peat moss in a sealable plastic bag. Just remember to put a few holes in the bag to allow air circulation. You can also mix the seeds with damp sand for stratification.
Planting Persimmon Seeds
To get persimmon seeds started, you need a soilless planting mix and some 8-inch pots. A good way to determine how deep to plant a seed is to bury it the same depth in the soil as the diameter of the seed. It's important to keep the soil around the seeds damp during germination and the initial growth stage. A temperature of around 70 to 75 F works well for starting seeds.
Shoots and Leaves
You can expect a shoot to emerge one to six weeks after planting the seeds. It's important to keep the soil damp during seedling and sapling development. Keep the Asian persimmon seeds in a warm, sunny spot for the first growing season. The spring following germination, you can plant the new sapling out into the garden. A spot in full sun with well-draining, slightly acidic sandy or loamy soil is best.
How to Use
In the landscape: The tree is a beautiful ornamental. The large glossy leaves turn bright red each autumn. After the leaves fall, the orange fruit hangs like many lanterns on the tree.
In the kitchen: Persimmons are nutritious; being high in both vitamins A and C. Their bright orange color and delicious, very sweet flavor compliment many other foods.
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