Looking after your brand new Jujube

(Photograph by Bulleen Art & Garden)

Congratulations on finally getting your Jujube.

They were potted up in August this year from a washed bare root plant. The new roots are very young, very fine and easily damaged. I recommend you keep the plant/s in the pot until January to allow the roots to develop before you plant it. Each pot has had enough slow release fertiliser added to it to feed the plant for the next three months in the pot.

(Photograph by Bulleen Art & Garden)

Keep the potting mix just damp, not sodden and not dry. Jujubes like a sunny location.
Plant your jujube into a soil mixed with compost and manure. Half soil, half compost/manure mix. BEWARE: Rabbits love to eat every bit of this plant. If you have rabbits you will need to fence/protect it until it is too tall for the rabbits to reach the leaves.

The jujubes are grafted onto very vigorous root stock, remove any growth that may arise from below the graft. You may see it emerging from the soil – remove that also. You want only the grafted material to grow and do not want the plant putting energy into the rootstock material.

(Photograph by Bulleen Art & Garden)

Jujubes are what we call precocious fruiters. This means it fruits very early in life. It will try to fruit this year. I recommend you allow a couple of fruit to grow, just for fun, but remove the rest and allow the tree to focus all its energy into root and stem growth. It can fruit all it wants the following season. Fruit comes on slender twiggy branchlets which arise from nodes (cones) on the main branches. Every winter both leaves and branchlets fall off and you are left with the main structural branches, dotted with nodes.

This is a deciduous plant – it loses its leaves in autumn and is bare all winter. It is NOT dead, this is normal. It will leaf up again each spring – be patient – it is one of the later leafing plants – leaves come in October.