Fertilizing Persimmon Trees: Learn About Feeding A Persimmon Fruit Tree

Persimmon Tree Full Of Fruits
(Image credit: tmprtmpr)

Both oriental persimmon (Diospyros kaki) and American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) are small, easy-care fruit trees that fit well into a small garden. The fruits are either astringent, fruit that must soften before they are eaten, or non-astringent, eaten hard.

How much fertilizer does a persimmon tree need? The rules for fertilizing persimmon trees are a little different than those for other fruit trees and experts differ on the need for persimmon fertilizer. Read on for more information on persimmon tree feeding.

Fertilizing Persimmon Trees

Many cultivars of persimmon trees are grown on rootstocks that are native plants, so they don’t need a lot of assistance to thrive. That native is the common American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) that grows in the wild in abandoned pastures in the South.

Feeding a persimmon tree is not always necessary or appropriate. The trees can be very sensitive to fertilizer. Indeed, excess persimmon fertilizer is the primary cause of leaf drop.

When is the Best Time for Persimmon Tree Feeding?

With many fruit trees, gardeners are advised to add fertilizer to the soil when the tree is being planted. However, the advice is different for persimmon fertilizer. Experts suggest that persimmon tree feeding is not necessary at planting time. Fertilizing persimmon trees at the time they are put into the soil is not advised because of the tree’s sensitivity.

Feeding a persimmon should start a few years down the road. Some experts recommend feeding a persimmon tree only if the mature leaves are pale or shoot growth is low. Others recommend fertilizing persimmon trees from the start.

How much fertilizer does a persimmon need? It is suggested that using 1 to 2 cups (240 to 480 mL.) of a balanced fertilizer (like 10-10-10) per year of age is adequate. This should be applied in March, June, and September in the first two years. After that, limit persimmon tree feeding to March and June.

However, this much persimmon fertilizer can cause leaf drop. If it does, adjust the fertilizer accordingly, basing the need for feeding on the tree’s vigor and performance.

Some gardeners assert that persimmon feeding should only be done once a year, either in late winter or else in early spring. Others assert that persimmon tree feeding should occur during the spring growth flush and also during summer. Because of this, you may need to experiment until you find what works for your trees.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.