How to Start Persimmon Trees


The persimmon tree, native to China, now grows around the world. Any persimmons not harvested in the fall decorate the tree's leafless winter branches, creating a splash of color in the dreary months. Start persimmon trees from the seeds of a ripe fruit. Persimmons grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7 to 11 and can withstand some mild freezing, but nothing too severe.

Step 1

Cut open a ripe persimmon in the fall and collect the seeds. Wrap the seeds in a paper towel and put them in a plastic bag. Put the wrapped seeds into the refrigerator for 3 to 4 months to imitate the natural cold period required for germination.

Step 2

Fill a 12-inch-deep pot with potting soil, compost and a handful of peat moss. The pot must be deep to accommodate the long taproot the persimmon seed will produce as it grows.

Step 3

Make a hole in the center of your planting pot 2 inches deep. Use a dowel or your index finger.

Step 4

Place a persimmon seed into the hole and cover with soil. Water the pot until it is thoroughly damp. You will see water running out of the drainage hole when the seed is sufficiently watered.

Step 5

Place the pot in an area with 70 to 85 degrees F temperatures. The seed will take six to eight weeks to germinate.

Step 6

Plant your persimmon tree outside the following spring as soon as the nightly frosts have ended. Choose a sunny area that gets at least eight hours of sun a day.

Step 7

Dig a hole slightly larger then the planting pot your persimmon seedling is in. The soil should be a well-draining and loamy. If you have heavy clay soil, work peat moss and coarse sand into the planting area.

Step 8

Turn the pot on its side and gently wiggle the persimmon seedling free, taking care not to damage the trunk of the root ball. Place the root ball in the prepared planting hole so the base of the trunk is level with the ground.

Step 9

Fill in the soil around the root ball, patting it down between each handful. This will prevent air pockets in the soil that can oxidize and cause the roots to mold and rot.

Step 10

Water the newly planted seedling, dampening the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches. Persimmons need between 46 and 50 inches of water a year. Concentrate watering in hot, dry months and ease up in cool, wet weather.

Step 11

Fertilize once a month in the winter using a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. The general rule is 1 pound of fertilizer for each inch of trunk diameter.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towel
  • Plastic bag
  • 12-inch-deep pot
  • Potting soil
  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Coarse sand
  • Fertilizer


  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Persimmon Fruit Facts
  • National Gardening Association: Paean to Persimmons

Who Can Help

  • National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: fruit tree propagation, growing persimmon trees, trees from seed

About this Author

Olivia Parker has been a freelance writer with Demand Studios for the past year, writing for Garden Guides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Parker is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts from Boston University Online.