You’ve waited through the winter, and now that spring is here, your persimmon tree is budding and beginning to grow for the season.
However, as the months go by, you begin to realize you aren’t going to have any homegrown persimmon this year — but why? There are a few different causes that may be to blame, but don’t worry because all of them can be fixed easily!
Why is my persimmon tree not bearing fruit? A persimmon tree may not bear fruit due to a lack of sun, overwatering, overfertilizing, or lack of another pollinating tree. It could also be experiencing an alternate bearing cycle. These issues can be fixed by changing unfavorable conditions or adding a second tree of the opposite gender.
While you may feel like a gardening failure because your persimmon tree isn’t growing fruit, don’t! They can be finicky trees and are affected easily by a few different factors.
Read on to find out what adjustments you can make to help your persimmon tree produce fruit for the first time or produce more than it ever has!
Possible Reasons for a Non-Fruiting Persimmon Tree
Persimmon trees don’t like variable growing conditions and can be affected easily by sudden changes in the environment.
While they will grow tall and strong as they mature, too much shade, water, and fertilizer will stop them from producing fruit.
They may also be affected by the lack of a second tree if it is not a self-pollinating variety, or they could be experiencing an alternate bearing cycle.
#1. Too Much Shade
All trees require the sun to photosynthesize and produce energy. Your tree may be in a location that doesn’t receive enough sun or is being blocked by another plant or structure.
If the tree receives too much shade and not enough sun, it won’t have enough energy to grow and produce fruit.
Plant your persimmon tree in a location that allows it to receive ample sunlight. A persimmon tree will grow best with 6-8 hours of direct sun per day. Any less than 4 hours will cause it to struggle.
A persimmon tree should never be in sitting water or overly saturated soil. Overwatering can lead to root rot, bacterial and fungal infections, and even tree death. Your persimmon tree may also begin to drop its fruit if it is overwatered.
Allow the soil and roots of the tree to dry out fully before watering it again. Always check the soil moisture before watering to gauge the moisture level.
Trees prefer to be watered deeply and infrequently rather than frequent shallow watering on a schedule.
Fertilizing your tree is a great way to ensure it receives all of the nutrients it needs for growth and fruit production, but more fertilizer isn’t always a good thing!
Too much nitrogen will cause the tree only to grow leaves while a lack of potassium and phosphorus will prevent the tree from producing fruit.
Fertilize your persimmon tree seasonally right before the leaves begin to grow. Be careful not to fertilize after this time because it may prevent flowering and cause it to always stay in a vegetative growth pattern.
#4. Your Variety Requires a Pollinating Partner
As in the case of all trees, only the female tree will bear fruit. If you haven’t gotten any fruit from your tree, you may need a second tree of the opposite gender to produce fruit.
If you have a male tree, you also need a female tree and vice versa. To identify the gender of your persimmon tree, see below how their flowers are different for each.
Male Persimmon Tree Flowers
Look closely when flowers first open in the early spring. If you notice three pinkish-colored blossoms in a tight group, your tree is male.
Female Persimmon Tree Flowers
When examining the flower blossoms, they will appear singularly, not in groups, and be white or cream colored.
A persimmon tree may have both types of flowers present at the same time or change genders from year to year. When identifying its gender, make the decision on its gender based on which type of flowers it has more of.
#5. Persimmons Experience an Alternate Bearing Cycle
Many fruit tree varieties will experience something called alternate bearing cycles. This is when your persimmon tree will produce a full or overly abundant crop one year while the following year it produces little to no fruits.
This is common and should not be worried about because there are ways to help correct it in future seasons.
If it produces a heavy crop of fruit one year, the following year it may not have enough stored carbohydrates, sugar, and overall energy to produce another abundant crop or any crop at all.
Through its second year, it will absorb more nutrients and store more energy so that when the third year comes around, it will produce heavily again.
You can help to reduce the chances of your tree alternately bearing fruit by ensuring you aren’t overfertilizing the tree and giving it an overabundance of nutrients.
Thinning the fruits to allow an average amount to fully form and ripen can help to make the tree conserve some of its resources for flowering the next year. By reducing the energy it uses, it will return to a yearly fruiting cycle.
Self-Pollinating Persimmon Tree Varieties
Since many people don’t have the space to grow two persimmon trees, plant breeders have been able to produce self-pollinating varieties. They are the Ichi Ki Jei Jiro, Fuyugaki, Saijo, Giombo, and Imoto Fuyu varieties.
Will a Self-Fruitful Persimmon Tree Benefit From Pollination?
The more pollen, the better when it comes to fruit-producing trees! While self-pollinating varieties will set fruit, the addition of a second tree will help to maximize the possibility of an abundant fruit set.
Diversity in pollen is helpful in pollination, and the amount of pollen is also pertinent to the tree’s ability to produce fruit.
Why Is My Persimmon Tree Dropping Fruit?
Your persimmon tree may be dropping fruit because it can not grow all of the fertilized flowers to maturity and needs to thin its crop. It may also be because it is being overwatered, was overfertilized, or doesn’t have enough nutrients to grow any fruit to maturity.
How Long Do Persimmon Trees Live?
Persimmon trees will live to be 50 to 75 years old if grown in the right conditions. Climate, nutrients, water, and other factors all play into how long it will continue to thrive.
It can be defeating to grow a persimmon tree if you are not getting any fruit! But don’t worry — it’s likely an easy fix that just needs some simple diagnosing.
Take a look at your persimmon tree, and compare it to the 5 main causes above. If one of the factors seems to be the culprit, adjust its growing conditions for your best chance at a bountiful persimmon harvest year after year!