If you have space in your garden, you can easily grow a jackfruit tree and enjoy its delicious fruit! Here’re all the details on How to Grow Jackfruit!
Native to tropical Asia, the Jackfruit is a giant melon size oblong fruit that is grown in the tropical parts of South-East Asia. Its fruits are used in cooking as well as eaten raw and fresh. Continue reading this article to learn How to Grow Jackfruit!
Botanical Name: Artocarpus heterophyllus
USDA Zones: 9-11
Check out our article on growing sugar apple here.
Jackfruit tree can’t tolerate frost and drought, even so, it is a tough tree that can withstand severe temperatures. A mature tree can bear up to 118 F heat and if acclimated, about 32 F cold temperature for a short time.
Some jackfruit varieties can reach up to 100 feet, and there are some dwarf varieties like black gold that restrict up to only 10-20 feet height.
Jackfruit tree has a long life of more than 100 years. It bears the biggest fruits in the world, which weight anywhere between 10-110 lb.
Want to know about drought-tolerant fruit trees? Click here.
Why Should You Grow a Jackfruit Tree?
Well, it’s a lifetime investment; all parts of the jack-fruit tree are useful. It is quite a handsome rustic tree that resembles oak.
It provides shade, shelter and natural habitat to birds and pollinators. A single tree provides enough homegrown jack-fruits that not only you but your neighbors will get bored eating it!
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It can also be propagated from stems, but it is rather a difficult method, that is why seed germination is preferred. For this, take large seeds from fully ripe fruit and rinse them in warm water to remove sticky pulp. Sow the seeds immediately after that in a small pot so that you can transplant it later on the ground.
Tip: Getting a plant from a nursery is the best way to grow this tree!
Planting Jackfruit Tree
Choose a big open space of your garden that receives full sun, clear it from weeds, and dig a hole. To ensure good drainage, mix 1/3 part of compost, sand, perlite, and organic matter in the garden soil to prepare a rich, porous potting soil for planting.
Transplant your healthiest plant in the dug space, water it, and mulch all around.
*If you’re planting a grafted plant then don’t cover its bud patch from the soil. Otherwise, it’ll rot down and die.
Want to know how to prepare compost? Read our helpful tips here.
Watering and Fertilizing
Jack-fruit tree grows in hot and humid regions of Asia, where high rainfall is common. It means you need to water it often as it prefers moist, well-drained soil but avoid over-watering especially when the plant is growing in the first two years.
Once in a year, when growing season starts (In India, it happens at the beginning of the rainy season in July or August), spread compost or farm manure adequately around the plant to boost it up. Feed it with slow-release, balanced fertilizer twice in a year.
When the plant starts to bloom, feed it with 8-3-9 fertilizer by following the manufacturer’s instruction for amount and rate.
Pests and Diseases
The most common pests that attack it are jack-fruit borer, fruit flies, and birds.
Jack-fruit borer affects all parts of the plant, but the use of organic insecticide is enough to deter it. On the other hand, covering the fruits is a handy option to save them from fruit flies and birds.
Jackfruit Tree Care & Tips
- If growing in a cool climate, mulch heavily around the tree when the temperature goes down below 35 F in winter to insulate roots from cold.
- Do regular pruning to retain the tree’s height below 20 feet. When it grows above 12 feet tall, reduce its main trunk to 8 feet to encourage the growth of dense branches.
- Jackfruit tree establishes after 3-4 years. During this period if it produces flowers pinch them off to promote growth.
- Once a month remove weeds around it to clear out the growing area as weeds drain the essential nutrients from the healthy soil.
- Mulch it in summer to save moisture and prevent weeds from growing.
- Do you know that jackfruit is also used as a vegetable? It is a meat substitute for vegetarians. It is also called vegetarian meat in Asia because of its texture, which is like pork or chicken.
- Its unripe fruit is used to prepare mouthwatering curry recipes, soups, puree, and pickles.
- Ripe fruits are sweet, aromatic, and fibrous, which can be eaten alone or used in making syrups, pastries, cakes, and ice creams.
Within three to six years after planting, the jack tree starts to flower, and in two-three months after blossoming, young and unripe green skinned fruits are ready to be picked as a vegetable.
Mature fruits are ready to harvest after four-five months of flowering when they exude sweet aroma, and their skin turns from green to yellowish tinge. In native conditions, it bears fruits year-round but peak harvest season is summer.
Benefits of Jackfruit
Packed with nutrients, Jackfruit is rich in anti-oxidants and offers many health benefits including:
- It controls and improves blood sugar levels.
- It contains Vitamin A and C, which increases the immunity of the body to fight viral infections.
- Its powerful anti-oxidants help in treating common skin problems.
- Rich in fiber jackfruit is helpful in improving the digestion.