After wanting to grow tropical fruits in many cooler climates, I decided to see if the Jackfruit trees would grow and fruit in the United States and particularly California. After extensive research and asking as many experts who have had success in growing and fruiting the Jackfruit trees I present my research below.
The tropical Jackfruit can grow and fruit in California, US, particularly in Orange County where there are a number of fruiting Jackfruit trees. A few can also be seen to be growing in the San Diego region in Southern California. However, the cooler winter months can present some challenges.
We will discuss some of those challenges, what to expect, and how those unique challenges can successfully be overcome to reach a mature fruiting tree that will bear ripened Jackfruit, even in California. We will provide some growing tips along with the length of time it may take to actually get fruit to ripen that can be eaten, so please read on.
Is Jackfruit Hard To Grow?
The Jackfruit tree along with its fruit is easy to grow, however, they are sensitive to frost, making it harder to grow in cooler climates, such as the Southern California winter months.
Mature Jackfruit trees can survive temperatures of 27° F (-2.8 ° C) in Florida, however, young Jackfruit trees are likely to die when temperatures are below 32° F (0 ° C).
They don’t like drought and need to be kept well-watered during the drier months of the year. However, a delicate balance is needed as too much water will cause the roots to die or the tree to stop bearing fruit, so keep the roots nice and damp but not wet.
A mature Jackfruit tree should be able to take some frost, but a young plant will need frost protection. This can be achieved by an overhead cover or by planting them on the south side of a wall.
Tip: Always plant your Jackfruit tree in a location that is warm and sunny, frost-free, and well-drained. Ideally, planting the tree on top of a compost heap provides the nutrition and soil richness that this tree likes. Make sure it gets the full sunlight and is not in the shade, however planting them on the south side of a wall should provide protection from winds and frost.
If you want more information regarding which varieties to grow and which are the best please check our article: Which Jackfruit Is Best: Flavor & Easiest To Grow
How Long Does a Jackfruit Tree Take to Grow?
Jackfruit trees can grow from a seed to a fruit-bearing tree within three to four years of planting. The fruit can take 3 to 8 months to mature from flowering, however, in warmer climates, this can be as quick as 4 to 5 months.
Compared to other trees the Jackfruit tree is a comparatively fast grower.
You will know when your fruit is ready to pick by the change in color from light green to a yellowish-brown and the smell becomes sweet.
Jackfruit trees can live for 100 years and can grow up to 80 feet or 24.5 meters, however in California it is very doubtful they will reach this height.
It is best to prune the dead branches out of the jackfruit tree to allow the sunlight to reach the developing fruit. It is also prudent to prune the tree so that the height is not too great when harvesting the ripe fruit. Having to reach a fully grown jackfruit fruit that is over 20 meters up the tree can be difficult.
Jackfruit Growing Temperature
The Jackfruit tree prefers humid tropical to a near-tropical climate where mean monthly temperatures are consistently high and exceed 64.4° F (18 ° C) throughout the year. However, they can tolerate temperatures of up to 118° F (47.8 ° C) and 32° F (0 ° C) for short periods of time if used to the cooler climate.
You may like to check out our post on how Jackfruit compares to Durian in our article: Durian vs Jackfruit. Take a look at the illustrative guide to differences and similarities to see how each one compares.
What Season Does JackFruit Grow In?
The jackfruit fruit matures during the rainy season from July to August in tropical countries. However, in California the fruit may begin to set as early as March and as late as September.
In cooler climates If the fruit hasn’t ripened before winter sets in then, it will probably die, so you want to ensure that the fruit ripens during the summer months.
Growing Jackfruit In Pots
Jackfruit can easily be grown in large pots that should be at least 24 inches deep and 20 inches in diameter to accommodate its large root development. A good variety to grow in pots is the dwarf variety such as the Black Gold Jackfruit tree.
Because Jackfruit needs good drainage it is better to use a glazed pot rather than the terra cotta pot.
Line the pot with gravel, which will ensure that the large root that comes out of the seed will be able to anchor down.
Also, use well-draining soil such as peat moss as it retains the moisture very well and is light enough for the seed to move around in the soil.
As the Jackfruit tree grows you may need to transfer it to a bigger pot. Just make sure you keep the temperatures above 80° F (27° C).
How To Grow Jackfruit From Seed
Jackfruit trees can successfully be grown from seeds and will begin to sprout within 2 to 4 weeks sending up a thin shoot. Temperatures must be kept above 80° F (27° C) with plenty of sunlight. After 4 months of successful growth, they should be tall and thick-leaved plants.
Here are the steps outlined below.
- Remove fresh seeds from a fresh jackfruit fruit. Wash the seeds to remove any flesh and sugars.
- Soak the seeds in water for a few days to soften the seed and help with germination. Make sure to change the water when it becomes dirty or thick. Rinse them off with water one more time when ready to plant.
- You may plant the seed directly into a prepared pot or sprout them first.
- If planting directly into a prepared pot you may plant seed 1 inch into the soil. You can plant it lengthwise or vertically. Make sure there is plenty of room to allow it to branch out.
- The seeds will expose a green shoot from the soil after about 2 to 4 weeks. The sprout will develop two large sets of leaves atop a thin shoot. After about 1 month the new Jackfruit seedlings may get close to 1 foot tall.
- Continue to keep them warm and in sunlight. After 4 months they should become tall thick-leaved plants by 4 months.
Please take a look at the video below for step by step instructions on how to grow Jackfruit trees from seeds.
How Many Jackfruit Trees Can Be Planted In An Acre?
You can plant 48 Jackfruit trees in an acre, however, In a new area you can plant 69 jackfruit trees in an acre as the planting interval can be reduced to 25 ft. x 25 ft.
Can You Grow JackFruit in The US
Jackfruit can be grown in the US however warmer areas such as Florida tend to be better for growing jackfruit trees as they are sensitive to frost and cold.
If you are growing them, just make sure that young plants are protected from the frost and cold during the winter months.
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