Nikita's Gift Hybrid Persimmon

Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)April 18, 2009

Does anyone own a fruited nikita's gift? How long it is take for it to fruit? Any special care? Any protection from hard winter in zone 5, like mulching the base of the tree. What kind of fertilizer use?


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gene_washdc(zone 5a)

I'm in zone 7, and mine has done well so far. I'm not sure if it is hardy for zone 5. You might want to try one of the native persimmon varieties as they are hardier. I think mine fruited for the first time in its third year. But both it, and last year's crops fell off without maturing. I've read that this is common the first couple of years. I haven't used fertilizer as it has had good growth, and I don't want to over stimulate growth.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:07AM
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The only person I know who has grown Nikita's Gift in zone 5 is a persimmon afficionado in Terre Haute, IN. In-ground, it consistently sustains pretty significant twig/branch dieback there every year. Not sure if it has successfully fruited outside of the greenhouse or not.

Mulching won't provide winter protection - it's the smaller branches/limbs that are damaged when temperatures drop into the critical zone for this plant.
Fertilizer? None; unless soil test indicates that you need it. Most fruit trees, and persimmons in particular, don't need or require much, if anything, in the way of fertilization. The Miracle-Gro & Scott's folks won't want you to hear that.
In fact, nitrogen fertilization is largely discouraged for persimmons, as it contributes to excessive vegetative growth, and seems, in some cases to actually cause immature fruit drop/abortion of the fruit crop.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 10:36PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Thanks Gene & Lucky for the infos. Does anyone knows the different in taste between Keener, Prok, Yates, and Rosseyanka? And how long it takes for them to fruit? I think these four will do better in my zone 5.



    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 7:55AM
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I don't know that I've ever really noticed a significant flavor difference between good American persimmons - a good one is GOOD, but I've has some real 'spitters' in my day, too(random natives; those that 'hang on the tree' far into winter tend (in my experience) not to be especially good.
I've eaten Yates, Prok hasn't fruited yet for me. Both get good reviews, and fruit size is large.

Keener is reputed to be a hybrid, and may be, but is very much like a good American, but it seems to have more 'fiber' in its pulp than the typical American persimmon.

Rosseyanka is most like an astringent Kaki persimmon - has a fairly tough 'skin' that contains its pulp well, even when they're fully ripe - I have to pull or snip them loose from the tree in late Nov/early Dec. Nice flavor, but I actually prefer the astringent Kakis I've had an opportunity to sample. Rosseyanka fruits dry well, too.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 10:25PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Thanks Lucky! Can you tell me which reliable nursery that sale Prok, Yates, and the hybrid kinds.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 3:20PM
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I have a Nikita's Gift (in ground since spring 2009, currently about 6 feet tall) as well as a Fuyu (just planted spring 2012) and Saijo (planted spring 2009, now approx. 9 ft). I'm in Long Island, NY, zone 7. I have full sun, and use a bit of shavings or pine bark as mulch, no winter protection, some well rotted horse manure to fertilize and small amounts of organic fertilizer.

Over the last few years I've gotten a decent amount of Saijo fruit, and I found I can pick it while still hard, and it will readily ripen and lose astringency nicely off the tree. I put them in a bowl in the kitchen near a window.

I have to say the Nikita has fruited pretty vigorously every year, but the first 2 seasons all the fruits dropped while young. Last year, some of the fruits stayed on and ripened (less than 20 of them), but then I lost them to hornets who made holes in the soft flesh.

This year, the Nikita set more fruit than ever, and this time I pruned off about one third of the baby fruit after they set, and as the remaining ones started to mature, I covered each one with a nylon stocking and a rubber band(desperate measures!) This was successful in thwarting the hornets and the raccoons too, and I got about 15 nice fruit this year. The thing is, it was late October, and while the fruits were nicely colored up, they would not soften & we were getting a big storm (now known as Hurricane Sandy) so I picked them all.

I found they ripen differently than Saijo - instead of getting soft and liquidy, they start shriveling & don't soften as readily. But now it's late November and finally they seemed soft enough and I tried a couple of them, and the texture is totally different than Saijo. I like it! I know how alot of folks say Saijo is the best, but I found the Nikita has a firmer, less watery texture and rich flesh, very sweet. If you're a persimmon aficionado, you will enjoy the different taste experience.

Not sure if perhaps this is a result of the strange ripening experience I've had this year though... I suspect it's best to let Nikita ripen on the tree. But then you'll have to be diligent about protecting them from hornets, etc.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 1:18PM
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bennylafleur(6 E. Tn.)

I picked all my Nakita's Gifts about 2 weeks ago, while still firm, slice them horizontally, and dried them. They turn out like candy. One reason I dry them is because they taste so good dried, but also because they don't ripen well off the tree.
Maybe it is a disease, they get black spots on the bottom while on the tree, then after being picked the skin on the bottom will wrinkle, get tough as leather, and the pulp next to these affected areas is not as good as the unaffected parts, which is excellent in my opinion.
To me, Saijo is sweet, without a lot of flavor, while Nakita has a much richer flavor.
Does anyone know what the black crud is that forms on a Nakita's Gift? I read about sunscald on this forum, but I don't think that is what I have.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Benny - perhaps it could be this? saw this on a website ( "Pollination-variant astringent cultivars have dark flesh around the seeds when pollinated."

My Nikitas have darkened flesh in some areas, and a seed or two.

I tried the alcohol method to help ripen them and after just 1 day (too impatient to wait longer..) it seemed to help. Have to say the astringency isn't too bad even when not fully ripe. And now I'm a fan of these persimmons much more so than Saijo. Nikitas are def. richer and more complex. Saijo is kind of just sugar water in comparison!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 9:47PM
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Benny -

Could it be a nutritional deficiency? (Kind of like blossom end rot on tomatoes?)

I have never seen any other discussion of this problem with Nikita's Gift. Has it always had this problem? Where did you purchase it?

Hope you get it figured out soon - sounds like a great persimmon otherwise.

Mary Kay

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:26AM
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Hi I have a Nikita's Gift Persimmon tree. I have had it for 8 years. The tallest branch is about 7 ft tall and it is a very wide and bushy tree. I have only removed suckers from the base so far. I have a thick bed of peppermint planted beneath her because we have many Deer families here. She is one incredible producer and right now (Dec, 2013) the tree dropped her leaves but is still loaded with Persimmons and they are tolerating some extremely cold night high 20's - 30's temps. We are on the MD E Shore. The fruit is super sweet and so soft and lovely when ripe. I also have a Diospyros Kaki FUYU Persimmon.. larger tree, baseball sized fruit but not as good on production and Fuyu is 7 years old. Happy Gardening Friends!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 9:11PM
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That is a beautiful tree. I'm looking for some Nikita's Gift scioins. Any chance you will be pruning it soon? I'm happy to cover any shipping or other costs.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 3:20PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Forest & F,

If you want GW members to contact you for a trade. You need to go to your My Page and on the top right under your profile and allow members to email you for a trade.. You can drop me an email if you want to trade.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 4:19PM
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Thanks! I had tried to do that but for some reason it didn't take. I think I got it updated today. I sent you an email as well.



    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 6:06PM
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