Persimmon is a delicious and nutritious fruit that is grown in both the United States and Japan. When it comes to the most popular varieties, there are two main types of persimmons: Japanese and American varieties, each with their own unique flavor profiles.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the differences and similarities between the two varieties so you can decide which one to grow.
Let’s have a quick glance between the two varieties:
A Quick Glance – Japanese Vs American Persimmon
|Feature||Japanese Persimmon||American Persimmon|
|Common name||Asian/Japanese persimmon||Common/American persimmon|
|Scientific name||Diospyros kaki||Diospyros virginiana|
|Growing requirements||These are not tolerant of cold temperatures below 10°F and do best with well-drained, loamy soil that has a pH between 6.0 to 6.5 and full sun exposure, making them relatively easy to care for with few issues from diseases or insects.||These grow best in soil that is sandy, well-draining, and moist. They are very tolerant to most harsh conditions but can be affected by leaf spot.|
|Flower details||Flowers bloom after two weeks of leaves emerging from the buds||Bloom in early spring|
|Fruit details||This variety grows seedless fruits without the help of pollinators. The fruits of this variety remain on the tree until late fall.||The fruits of this variety are developed in the fall and they are extremely sweet. They have a beak-like shape at their base, making them easily recognizable.|
|Size||15 – 60 feet||30 – 80 feet|
Japanese Persimmon – An Overview
The Japanese variety of persimmon, aka Fuyu persimmon, is smaller and sweeter than the American type. It has a bright orange-yellow skin, and the flesh is soft and juicy with a mild flavor. The best way to enjoy these types is fresh or dried for a snack. Japanese persimmons are also great for baking, jams, and jellies. This persimmon tree can grow between 15 – 60 feet high.
How to grow a fuyu persimmon from seed
Growing a Fuyu persimmon tree from seed can be done, but it is not the most common method for propagating them. Here are the general steps for growing a Fuyu persimmon tree from seed:
- Collect the seeds from a ripe Fuyu persimmon fruit. Rinse off any pulp and let the seeds dry for a few days. If you’ve no clue about how to tell if a persimmon is ripe then give this article a read.
- Plant the seeds in a small container filled with a well-draining potting soil. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
- Place the container in a warm location with good lighting. Persimmon seeds require a temperature of around 70°F to germinate.
- Germination can take several weeks to several months. Once germinated, transplant the seedling to a larger container or in the ground in a sunny location with well-drained soil.
- Fuyu persimmon trees can take several years to bear fruit, so be patient and keep the tree well-watered and fertilized.
Tip: Growing a tree from seed is not always reliable, and it can take a long time for the tree to bear fruit, and the fruit may not be identical to the parent tree. Grafting is a more reliable method for propagating persimmon trees.
American Persimmon – An Overview
The American variety of persimmon is larger than the Japanese type and has a bright orange-red skin that covers dark yellow flesh. It has a sweet, tangy flavor. This tree can grow as tall as 80 feet.
How to grow an American persimmon from seed
The American persimmon tree (Diospyros virginiana) is grown in a similar way as the Fuyu persimmon tree (Diospyros kaki). Both species prefer well-drained soil and full sun, and they are hardy in similar zones (USDA Hardiness zone 5 to 9). However, there are some differences in how they are grown.
- American persimmon trees are more cold-hardy than Fuyu persimmon trees and can tolerate temperatures as low as -25°F.
- They are also more drought-tolerant and can grow well in dry conditions.
- This variety is not propagated as easily by seed as Fuyu persimmon trees and may take longer or not germinate.
- The American persimmon tree has astringency in the flesh, like hachiya persimmon, which are usually eaten when they are fully ripe.
- They can be propagated by rooting hardwood cuttings, grafting, or budding.
Overall, American persimmon trees have similar growing requirements to Fuyu but are better adapted to colder climates and drier soils.
Differences Between Japanese And American Persimmon Varieties
There are some notable differences between the Japanese and American varieties of persimmons. They vary in size, shape, color, and flavor.
The Japanese variety is generally smaller, rounder, and darker in color than the American variety. The skin is thin and delicate with a glossy finish. The flesh is smooth, firm, and sweet when ripe. It has a complex flavor with notes of honey, cinnamon, and ginger.
The American persimmon is larger, flatter in shape, and lighter in color than the Japanese variety. It has a thick skin that can be peeled off easily when ripe. The flesh is soft, juicy, and sweet with a mild flavor.
Japanese persimmons prefer well-draining, loamy soil and a pH level of 6.0 to 6.5. In contrast, American persimmons will tolerate anything from sandy to poor-quality soils with a wide range of pH levels.
Japanese persimmons prefer warm, humid climates in USDA Zones 7-11, whereas American persimmons can tolerate cooler temperatures and grow in Zones 4-9.
Japanese persimmon fruits should be harvested when they are slightly soft and will continue to ripen off the tree. The American variety should be harvested when the fruits start to color and reach full size.
Japanese persimmon trees may bear fruit within 4-6 years after planting, whereas American persimmons may take 4-9 years.
When it comes to appearance, the Japanese persimmon tree is smaller and can be pruned back into hedges. The American persimmon will grow just about anywhere but will be shorter and stouter in stature when grown under less ideal conditions, reaching up to 15 feet high.
Similarities Between Japanese And American Varieties
Despite the differences, there are still some similarities between the two varieties.
Both types of persimmons will require a pollinator to produce fruit, and both need full sun and ample water. Fertilizing should be done in early spring before flowering starts. Pruning is also important for both varieties to ensure they have well-formed branches and an open canopy.
The choice between Japanese or American persimmons comes down to personal preference and the growing conditions in your area. Whichever variety you choose, they will both make delicious additions to any garden!
So, which variety of persimmon is the best? Each type of persimmon has its unique qualities and benefits. Japanese persimmons are known for their sweet taste, colorful skin, and long-lasting freshness. American varieties are large, juicy fruits that offer a pleasant flavor and easy-to-peel skins.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Whether you are looking for a sweet snack or a dessert, one of these two varieties should fit the bill. You can also experiment with growing both types to see which variety is best suited to your climate and soil conditions. You can find more information regarding when is the best time to plant Persimmon trees and plant the trees accordingly.