Jujubes (Ziziphus jujuba), are small oval-shaped fruits that when dried are also known as Chinese dates. They have a unique flavor and lots of health benefits making them increasingly popular in recent years. If you want to grow Jujube, there are many different varieties available. To help you decide which jujube variety is best for you, we will explore the flavor profile, ease of growth, and ideal growing conditions to help you make an informed decision.
What You'll Learn Today
- What Is The Best Tasting Jujube?
- Considerations When Growing Jujube
- What Jujube Variety Is The Sweetest?
- Which Jujube Variety Is The Juiciest?
- Which Jujube Variety Is The Easiest To Grow?
- Other Dwarf & Semi-Dwarf Varieties Of Jujube
- What Is The Difference Between Li and Li2 Jujube Varieties?
- What Is The Difference Between Chinese Jujube And Indian Jujube?
- What Is Royal Jujube?
What Is The Best Tasting Jujube?
When it comes to flavor, the best-tasting fruit varies from person to person as we all have different preferences when it comes to taste.
One of the most popular varieties is the Li Jujube. Known for its sweet and juicy flavor. It is often described as being similar to an apple or pear, and with its high sugar content it’s perfect for eating fresh or dried.
In terms of growing conditions, the Li Jujube tree thrives in warm, dry climates with full sun exposure. It can be grown in USDA Zones 6-10.
It’s adaptable to different soil types, but it must be well-draining to avoid root rot. The Li Jujube tree is drought tolerant and can withstand temperatures as low as -10° Fahrenheit.
Li is a self-fertile variety, meaning it doesn’t require another tree for pollination, making it an ideal choice for home gardeners with limited space.
Shanxi Li Jujube
Similar in flavor to the Li Jujube, but with a slightly larger size and firmer texture.
This variety likes very similar growing conditions to the Li type and can be grown in USDA Zones 6-10.
A sweet and flavorful variety known for its large size and crispy texture. It is popular for fresh eating or drying.
It requires full sun exposure, well-draining soil, and can tolerate temperatures as low as 0°F. Preferable USDA Zones are 7-10.
This variety has a unique flavor with a mix of sweet and tangy notes. It is also known for being one of the largest jujube varieties, making it a popular choice for fresh eating.
The soil must be well-draining and the tree planted in full sun. It can tolerate temperatures down to 0°F. It grows best in USDA Zones 6-10.
Considerations When Growing Jujube
Jujube flavor can vary depending on the growing conditions, so if possible, try to taste some different varieties that are able to grow in your area to choose your favorite.
The Jujube is a hardy fruit tree able to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. They prefer warm, dry climates and don’t like getting their feet too wet, so well-draining soil is crucial.
You can also grow smaller cultivars of the Jujube tree in containers if you live somewhere with weather conditions that are colder. Just remember to bring the tree indoors during the winter months.
When it comes to tree care, pruning is essential to maintain the shape and health of the jujube. This ensures proper airflow and light penetration, which promotes good fruit development and helps prevent disease.
Watering should be consistent but not excessive to avoid water accumulation at the root. The application of a well-balanced fertilizer will provide the tree with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and fruit development.
What Jujube Variety Is The Sweetest?
There are a few choices when it comes to the sweetest kinds of jujube fruit. A lot depends on the growing conditions of individual trees as the same variety grown in two separate spots can change the flavor profile.
Sugar Cane Jujube
This variety has one of the highest sugar contents among jujube varieties and is known for its sweet, juicy flavor.
It has a long fruiting season, ripening from August to October. The Sugar Cane jujube tree requires full sun exposure and well-draining soil. It withstands temperatures as low as 0°F and grows best in USDA Zones 6-10.
So Contorted Jujube
Another variety with very high sugar content and a unique, twisted shape. The fruits are small but packed with flavor, often described as being similar to a date.
The So Contorted jujube tree also requires full sun exposure and well-draining soil. It can tolerate temperatures as low as -10°F and will grow in USDA Zones 6-10.
Honey Jar Jujube
This small but sweet variety has a honey-like flavor and a chewy texture. It’s a popular choice for fresh eating and is often used in desserts.
The Honey Jar jujube tree must have full sun exposure and well-draining soil. It can cope with temperatures as low as 0°F and is best to grow in USDA Zones 6-10.
Which Jujube Variety Is The Juiciest?
Here are some of the best jujube varieties known for having high juice content:
Shanxi Li Jujube
With its plentiful juice content, this is a popular choice for juicing and preserving. It has a sweet and slightly tangy flavor and can be eaten fresh or dried.
Has a high juice content and a sweet, fruity flavor.
This variety is similar to the Shanxi Li Jujube in terms of flavor and juice content. It is sweet and slightly tangy and is often used for juicing and preserving.
Which Jujube Variety Is The Easiest To Grow?
Jujube trees are generally easy to grow when provided with the right conditions and care. There are some which are hardier than others, which is especially useful for beginners. Here are a few varieties that are known for being easy to grow:
This variety is a popular choice for beginners as it is easy to grow and produces reliable crops of sweet and juicy fruit. It has a compact growth habit and can be pruned to maintain a smaller size, making it a good choice for smaller gardens.
The height of the Li Jujube tree can vary depending on various factors, such as growing conditions, pruning, and soil quality. In general, Li Jujube trees reach a height of around 20-30 feet (6-9 meters) at maturity. But can be pruned to maintain a smaller size.
These are also easy to grow and produce abundant crops of sweet fruit. It has a vigorous growth habit and can grow up to 30 feet tall if left unpruned. Similar to the Li Jujube tree, the height of the Lang Jujube varies depending on growing conditions.
In general, Lang Jujube trees grow to be 15-30 feet (4.5-9 meters) tall at maturity. However, like any tree, the height of the Lang Jujube can be influenced by its environment, soil, water, nutrients, pruning, and other factors.
Sugar Cane Jujube
With its long fruiting season this variety is easy to grow, making it a popular choice for home gardeners. It produces large, elongated fruit with a sweet, juicy flavor.
The Sugar Cane Jujube is a relatively new cultivar and its growth habits are still being studied. However, like other Jujube trees, the height of the Sugar Cane Jujube varies.
In general, Sugar Cane Jujube trees are considered to be semi-dwarf, meaning that they reach a height of around 10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters) at maturity. This makes them a good choice for home orchards or smaller gardens where space is limited.
In this video, see how to grow jujube trees in pots:
Other Dwarf & Semi-Dwarf Varieties Of Jujube
It is not recommended to grow jujube trees indoors all year around, as they require full sun exposure and a period of winter dormancy to produce fruit.
However, if you don’t live in a suitable USDA zone, you can consider growing jujube trees in containers and moving them indoors during the coldest parts of the winter months. Placing them somewhere that remains cold but will prevent them from conditions below 0°F.
Make sure to choose a variety that is suitable for container growing and provide it with adequate light and humidity levels.
Yes, here are a few jujube varieties that are suitable for growing in containers:
- Sugar Cane Jujube: As mentioned earlier, the Sugar Cane Jujube is a semi-dwarf variety that grows to around 10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters) tall.
- Li Jujube: Although the standard Li Jujube tree can grow up to 30 feet (9 meters) tall, there is also a dwarf variety called the “Li Lite” that only grows to around 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 meters) tall.
- Shanxi Li Jujube: This is another dwarf variety of the Li Jujube that grows to around 8-10 feet (2.4-3 meters) tall.
- GA 866 Jujube: A dwarf variety of Jujube that only grows to 6 to 8 feet (1.8-2.4 meters) tall.
- So Contorted Jujube: This is a dwarf variety of Jujube that grows to around 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 meters) tall and has a unique twisted, contorted growth habit.
When growing jujube trees in containers, ensure the container is at least 15-20 gallons in size to allow for root growth and to provide adequate soil for holding nutrients and water.
Use a well-draining potting mix and fertilize regularly during the growing season.
Jujube trees grown in containers may require more frequent watering than those grown in the ground, so be sure to monitor soil moisture levels closely.
What Is The Difference Between Li and Li2 Jujube Varieties?
There are some differences between the two varieties, which include:
- Origin: The Li jujube cultivar was developed in China, while the Li2 cultivar was developed in the United States.
- Tree size: The Li2 is generally smaller than the Li, with a more compact growth habit.
- Fruit size: The fruit of the Li jujube are typically larger than the fruit of the Li2.
- Fruit flavor: Both the Li and Li2 jujube cultivars are known for their sweet and juicy fruit, but some sources suggest that the Li2 fruit may have a slightly higher sugar content and a more concentrated flavor.
- Fruit ripening: The Li jujube tree tends to have a longer fruiting season than the Li2, with fruit ripening over an extended period of time.
- Disease resistance: The Li2 jujube cultivar is known for its resistance to diseases such as bacterial blight and rust, while the Li jujube may be more susceptible to these.
What Is The Difference Between Chinese Jujube And Indian Jujube?
Chinese Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) and Indian Jujube (Ziziphus mauritiana Lam.) are two different species of jujube trees that are commonly grown and consumed in different parts of the world. Here are some differences between the two species:
- Origin and distribution: Chinese Jujube is native to China and widely cultivated in East Asia, while the Indian Jujube is native to South Asia and mostly cultivated in India, Pakistan, and other parts of that region. The Indian jujube is now considered to be a weed plant in parts of Australia.
- Tree size and growth habit: Chinese Jujube trees are typically larger and have a more upright growth habit than Indian varieties, which are generally smaller and more spreading.
- Fruit size and shape: Chinese Jujube fruit is usually round or oval and ranges in size from small to large, while Indian Jujube fruit is typically smaller and more round in shape.
- Fruit flavor and texture: Chinese Jujube fruit is mostly sweet and crisp, with a texture similar to an apple or pear, while Indian Jujube fruit is sweeter and juicier, with a texture similar to a plum.
- Fruit uses: Both species of jujube fruit are used for a variety of culinary purposes, including fresh eating, drying, and processing into various products.
However, Indian Jujube fruit is also used in traditional medicine for its potential health benefits, while Chinese Jujube fruit is used in traditional Chinese medicine for similar purposes.
Popular named varieties of Chinese Jujube include:
- Shanxi Li
Popular named varieties of Indian Jujube include:
What Is Royal Jujube?
Royal Jujube (Ziziphus mauritiana) is the Indian jujube we have referred to earlier. It is a tropical fruit tree that’s native to India and other parts of Southeast Asia.
A member of the Rhamnaceae family, which also includes other Jujube types such as the common jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) and the sour jujube (Ziziphus spina-christi).
The fruit of the Royal Jujube tree is small to medium in size, round to oval in shape, and has a thin, smooth skin that turns from green to yellow as it ripens.
The flesh of the fruit is sweet and juicy, with a flavor that has been described as a combination of apple, grape, and pear. It contains a single, hard stone or seed at its center.
Royal Jujube is called “royal” because it was historically favored by Indian royalty and upper classes and was often given as a gift to visiting dignitaries.
It has been cultivated for thousands of years in India and Southeast Asia and is now also grown in other parts of the world with similar tropical climates, including Australia, Florida, Hawaii, and areas of the Caribbean.
In addition to being prized for its sweet and juicy fruit, the Royal jujube has a long history of use in traditional medicine.
Its leaves, bark, and seeds are used to treat a variety of ailments, including fever, digestive problems, and skin conditions.
Royal Jujube trees are typically grown in warm, tropical climates with temperatures above 50°F (10°C) year-round.
They prefer well-drained soil and full sun and are tolerant of drought and heat. The trees can grow up to 50 feet (15 meters) tall but are often pruned to a more manageable size for fruit production.
Choosing the best jujube variety for your needs depends on a variety of factors, including flavor preferences, growing conditions, and intended use.
Some of the sweetest and most flavorful varieties include Li, Shanxi Li, Sherwood, and Honey Jar. For those looking to grow jujubes in containers, the Sugar Cane, Li Lite, Shanxi Li, GA 866, and So Contorted varieties are excellent choices.
When it comes to the differences between Chinese and Indian jujube trees, both have unique qualities and are well-suited to different growing conditions.
Ultimately, the best jujube variety for you depends on your individual preferences and location.
Regardless of which variety you choose, jujube trees are a rewarding and low-maintenance addition to a fruit orchard, offering sweet and juicy fruit, a long history, and even medicinal properties.
Read more about Jujube trees and fruits and many other varieties of fruit trees in our wide range of articles.