Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Jujube, Chinese Red Date, Chinese Date, Korean Date, Common Jujube
Ziziphus jujuba

Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Ziziphus (ZIZ-ih-fuss) (Info)
Species: jujuba (JOO-joo-buh) (Info)

Synonym:Rhamnus zizyphus
Synonym:Ziziphus zizyphus

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

21 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 30 photos.
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5 positives
10 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral greenman62 On Mar 22, 2015, greenman62 from Kenner, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

someone gave me 3 of them about 8 inches tall.
i had put one in the ground, and the other 2 in 5 gallon containers
the one in-ground is now 6ft tall
and the others are about 12 to 16 inches tall
all 3 have produced fruit, but, only a couple per plant
i have only had them 18 months or so though.

The one in-ground hasnt produced any suckers yet,
perhaps because the ground is fairly moist there
i hear they prefer well draining soil.

they do have thorns, but , i took a pair of scissors
and cut them off of the bigger plant
because i walk by it all the time
and they were getting stuck on my shirt
and scratched my arm a couple of times.
looking for a thornless type to plant next to it.

Neutral malakai On Feb 23, 2014, malakai from Hampton, FL wrote:

I acquired a seedling jujube plant after failing to get seeds propagated, mainly to help pollinate a grafted semi self-fertile jujube variety. For the first three years, the plant died down to the ground every winter, coming back up, to about 8' or so before dying back down again. About a year or two back, the freezes stopped killing it down to the ground, and even though it flowers every year and produces fruit, obviously self fertile, it flowers in a totally different season than my grafted one. The fruit gets to somewhere around 70% ripe and then gets wiped out by a freeze. I was hoping we'd have an extremely mild winter just one season, just to see how the ripe fruit tastes. Now, it's currently between 15' and 18' tall, and I'm mainly keeping it alive for novelty's sake, since it's no good as a pollinator. Being that tall has its advantages, because you can keep the lower limbs pruned completely off, as they have tons of nasty thorns that likes to grab ahold of shirts or pants or anything and wrap around you as you walk by the tree. If that wasn't bad enough, the trunk has hook-shaped thorns, both facing UP and DOWN. So, don't grab the trunk bare-handed. I have not experienced a single sucker or invasiveness from this plant so far, but even in the best of circumstances, many people would consider this a trash plant.

Negative skdunn On May 20, 2013, skdunn from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

These trees although they get tall are very invasive. They put out shoots from the root system. We bought a house with three of them in the back yard . I have them coming up all over the yard . Can't get rid of them without killing the big trees. They also have thorns especially when they are small .

Neutral sukai On May 20, 2013, sukai from San Antonio Guadalupe
Mexico wrote:

Here in Tucson, this tree does indeed grow like a weed, spreading from roots, shoots and fruits. Its big plus, though, is its extreme drought tolerance and the bright bright shiny color of the leaves, especially when they are new. It is just a color and a vibrance that few desert plants have. After trying to get rid of the volunteers in my yard, I am now pruning off the side shoots and trying to turn it into a tree. At least here, it has many many spines--should be pruned up to overhead if possible.

Positive stonetta On May 20, 2013, stonetta from Ceglie Messapica (BR)
Italy (Zone 10a) wrote:

I am now living in southern Italy and have recently planted a specimen of this tree. It grows very well in this part of the world, and is considered a rustic tree that is a lot less common than it once was and, therefore, worth trying to bring back.
Here the fruit is used mostly to make jam.

Neutral sgosnell On Aug 12, 2011, sgosnell from La Porte, TX wrote:

My wife loves the fruit, but I'm not so much a fan. The roots spread widely and quickly, with shoots coming up all over, up to a hundred feet or so away. We had a tree that someone gave us, then I misunderstood her and cut it down. After being severely chastised, I cut the limbs into 3-4 ft pieces and stuck them into the ground with water and a little root stimulator. Almost all of them survived, and now we have many growing in the back yard. The fruit is important in Korean cuisine, and essential to stuffed boiled chicken. She loves the trees, and I hate them. I don't think there is a lot of middle ground. They are among the easiest plants I know of to grow from cuttings, and they spread like weeds.

Positive gustywind On Jun 4, 2011, gustywind from Pahrump, NV wrote:

I planted this tree early spring a year ago. I had fruit the first year. They were small and delicious. I like the fruit picked before it wrinkles, otherwise it seemed mushy to me. Maybe this is just a matter of taste? This year it is loaded with small pale green to yellow/white blossoms that seem to withstand winds up to 40 mph. The flies seem to be pollinating it, could this be? It was the last tree in the yard to produce blossoms and now has small dark green fruit appearing. It seems to thrive in the dry heat of southern Nevada. We live only about an hour from Death Valley so the tree does love heat.

Positive lysis On May 13, 2011, lysis from Scottsdale, AZ wrote:

Grows vigorously in the clay, alkaline soil of Arizona and takes the 115 degree summers easily. The rootstock for most cultivars is the Indian Jujube, which produces lousy fruit. In Arizona, try to avoid planting this near flower or vegetable beds as the roots will find their way there. Best spots are isolated areas with lots and lots of gravel separating the tree from other growing things.

Neutral jblayne On Dec 25, 2010, jblayne from Russell, KY wrote:

I haven't had fruit yet, but my seed-grown jujube has survived -20F, and is about ten years old. The next time it flowers I'm going to try hand-pollination.

Negative slinger53 On Jul 22, 2010, slinger53 from Alamogordo, NM wrote:

I came to this site to find out how to kill it. The discription says it's invasive, an UNDERSTATEMENT it grows from the root like St. Augustine grass. When I moved into this house my next door neighbor had a small grove in the corner of his yard. Well we bought that property about 8 years ago and have off and on been trying to get rid of them. The roots invaded my yard and ran about thirty feet. I've been digging them up and like grass if you leave the smallest bit of root here it comes again. And the thorns are rediculous. Long thin and tend to break off after penetration so you can get a nasty infection. And oh yea it grows real well here in New Mexico Alamogordo Area. Just lay a root in the ground and water it a couple of times and its off.

Neutral istcallst On Oct 6, 2009, istcallst from Istanbul
Turkey wrote:

- It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Propagation - seed best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Seeds are moderately dormant and require treatment for prompt germination. Stratification recommendations for common jujube are 60 to 90 days in moist sand at 5C or 3 months warm incubation, followed by 3 months cold stratification. Germination should take place in the first spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant out in early summer.
Climate for jujubes should be hot and dry.

Neutral slyperso1 On Oct 28, 2008, slyperso1 from Richland, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Small thorny tree, the fruit is about half and inch, is best when the skin start to wrinkle.
Has a large pit, the flesh is acidic, sweet, with a unique flavor. Eaten as a snack in many part of the world. Not a great ornamental tree.

Positive dankearth On Oct 31, 2005, dankearth from Mineral, VA wrote:

I planted three 3-foot specimens (two Li's and one Lang) in spring 2005 (it is now November 2005). Although the plants leafed out nicely, they made no visible growth this first season. Indeed, now that their leaves have fallen, they look exactly the same as they did when I planted them. I've heard jujubes are slow growers, but this is ridiculous! Still, the trees are healthy and I'm very hopeful. Just be prepared for slow growth.

Be sure to get two varieties. Some catalogs say the jujube is self-fruitful but don't bother to inform you that you'll get better and larger crops with two different varieties.

Neutral mae_hyun On Aug 1, 2005, mae_hyun from O Fallon, MO wrote:

Ordered one from Ty Ty nursery in Ga. ( will NOT be ordering from them again ) & planted it just over a year ago. Survived the winter & is alive ( that is about all that I can say for it ) recieved one as a gift from one of my church members ( he bought his in Calif. ) & it is doing great. The other one I ordered came as a bare root. It was about as big around as a pencil & had NO leaves/branches or any other signs of life. Planted it & it did survive the winter. The gift came in a 5 gal. bucket with plenty of dirt, leaves & branches. Also much larger diameter. Planted it & it's taking off & doing great. Used to live in New Mexico & know they grow great there. The Las Cruces University has a large example growing on their campus & there are several growing in Alamogordo as well.

Positive Quyen On Jun 15, 2005, Quyen from Orange, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

This tree is hardy and requires pruning to keep it managable. The fruits are profuse and range in size from a quarter to about 2 1/2 inch. My family likes to eat them when they just start to turn brown. That's when they have the best combination of sweetness and moisture. They have the texture similar to that of a quince. The usual time to harvest them is when they have turned uniformly reddish-brown and a bit wrinkled. They can then be dried in the sun, in a food dehydrator, or in an oven with the pilot light on. They are very sweet and chewy when dried. That's why they are called Chinese dates.

Neutral daisyavenue On Aug 24, 2004, daisyavenue from Long Beach, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

In addition to the invasive roots, suckers and thorns, the fruit is extremely messy and difficult to pick up in grassy areas as they get so soft.

Birds do love the fruit however.

Negative txwolfs On Jul 6, 2003, txwolfs from Kerrville, TX wrote:

Long,curved thorns are very bad. Getting stuck by their large thorns is inevitable. New growth is spread through the root system. Mowing with puncture-proof tires on your mower keeps them in check, but new growth produces new,soft-leaved plants and sharp short thorns. Trying to eradicate the new growth is next to impossible without totally removing the roots.

Neutral Wingnut On Aug 1, 2002, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

CAN BE INVASIVE if you plant it in or near flowerbeds, but is easy to keep from taking over if you set out apart from anything else where you can keep the sucker sprouts mowed. Have done mine this way and it's not been a problem for the past 25 years. But don't turn your back on it for longer than a year or two or the suckers will grow into shrub sized trees and will be a problem. Also, this tree has a few thorns ~ not many, but a few long ones.

These trees are TOUGH. Mine's a small tree for it's age as my father planted it 25 years ago and my mother kept telling my brother and stepDad to mow it down until about six years ago. It's now about 20 feet tall and 6-8 inch trunk diameter. These will grow most anywhere except boggy areas. If planted in part shade, it won't thrive or fruit, but will survive.

The edible fruit are ovoid, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long and green ripening to rusty red. Taste is reminiscent of an apple, but nowhere near as juicy. In zone 8b, fruit ripens by end of July or beginning of August.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Atmore, Alabama
Congress, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Hemet, California
Lake Isabella, California
Long Beach, California
Oildale, California
Orange, California
Sacramento, California
Grand Junction, Colorado
Hampton, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Kenner, Louisiana
O Fallon, Missouri
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina
Waverly, Ohio
Sevierville, Tennessee
Abilene, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Hereford, Texas
Kerrville, Texas
La Porte, Texas
Mount Enterprise, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spicewood, Texas
Mineral, Virginia

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