Jujube is also known as Chinese date. The plant produces sweet, oval fruits that have a crunchy texture. The tree is small at only 25 feet high, but it produces a thickly leaved tree with spines. Jujube grows very slowly and rarely needs pruning. It is suitable only for United States Department of Agriculture zones 8 to 11. The plants can be propagated easily with seed but are difficult to transplant due to a large taproot. Propagation is more easily accomplished with a whip graft or by air layering. Planting a cutting or twig for rooting will require a rooting hormone to stimulate the tissue. Cuttings will not result in a "true" jujube plant with the characteristics of the parent. Does this Spark an idea?
- Spray bottle
- Rooting hormone
- Peat moss
- Plastic bag
Sanitize pruners before you remove the twig from the jujube tree. This will help prevent pathogens and disease from spreading. Use a 10 percent bleach and water solution and spray the blades prior to cutting.
Harvest a piece of a terminal twig that is 4 to 6 inches long. Cut a semi-hardwood stem from the mature plant. Use pruners to sever a terminal twig that is from that season and is partially mature. Pull off the bottom leaves from the twig up to 2 inches at the end.
Mix together half perlite and half sphagnum moss. Fill a container and moisten the medium evenly but lightly. Situate the leaf-less cut end of the twig cutting into the soil until it just stands up.
Place the container where temperatures are at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit and light is moderate to low. Place a plastic bag over the entire container to create a mini greenhouse and conserve moisture.
Remove the plastic once per day for an hour to allow air to circulate in the potting medium and prevent mold. Keep the medium lightly moist for two to three weeks. Give the twig a gently tug to see if it has rooted. Remove the plastic permanently when it is established.
Gradually introduce the cutting to brighter lighting until it is growing full time in a sunny location. Harden it off by exposing it to outdoor temperatures for longer periods over a week's time. Plant the new tree in a sunny location with well-drained soil at the same level it was growing in the container.
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