starting Persimmon trees from seed

sooey(7MA)June 18, 2006

Hi Kids,

Last November while on a trip to IN I came upon an old favorite Persimmon tree, heavy with fruit. I gathered up several of the fallen Persimmons from the ground in hopes that I could harvest the seeds and try my hand at growing Persimmons in my New England garden. I ate the fruit, spit out the seeds, cleaned them up and placed them in the frig to over winter. I planted them about three weeks ago and nothing has happened. I'm wondering if the frig was not the correct way to go...should I have put them in the freezer? If the answere is it too late? Could I put them in the freezer now for a week or two to see if they will germinate? I know there is a Persimmon tree in Sandwich on the Cape that grows well and has fruit every year so, I know it can be done.

Any thoughts? Thanks, Gang.


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Check out the book by Lee Reich - unusual fruits for the garden...or whatever it's called. I just returned it to the library...duh. He has persimmons in there as well as other very interesting fruit...medlar, hardy kiwi, pawpaw-etc.
He has cultural information and sources.
Good Luck and let us know if you are successful....I'd be interested in a hardy persimmon too...also pawpaw, etc. :-)
Good luck!
Maryanne in WMass

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 3:07PM
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Hi Maryanne,

Thanks for that info. I'll do some research. It seems to me that they should have shown some sign of life by now. It's been cold and wet on the Cape for most of the three weeks since I planted them but I took them inside for all of that heavy rain we had. If I have any success with them I 'll be sure to offer any extras I may have.

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 8:24PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Hi Sooey!

I went looking and found a reference that says you've been doing everything right so far. It just takes 6 to 8 weeks at 70 to 85 degrees for germination.

  1. Diospyros virginiana

Common name(s): Common Persimmon, Eastern Persimmon, Possumwood, Possum Apple

Plant type: deciduous medium tree
Primary method of propagation: seed

Propagation by Seed

Time of year to collect seed: autumn
Time of year to sow seed: spring
Seed treatment : stratify 40F 2-3mo.
Preferred temperature for germination : 70-85 degrees F
Time required for germination : 6-8 weeks
Comment: Seeds should be planted at a depth of 2 inches, and seedbeds should be mulched. Seedling have a strong taproot and should be field planted at the end of the first season.

Sounds like the end of July or beginning of August for them to make their appearance. We sure haven't had those temperatures until this week. (The reference is from the University of Florida, where it's a lot easier to get 70 to 85 degrees).


Here is a link that might be useful: Persimmon propagation by seed

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 8:57PM
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rockman50(6b SEMASS)

Also, the persimmon tree native to the southeastern US has a natural range that does extend all the way up to the extreme southwestern tip of Connecticut. But I don't think our native tree is the same variety that produces those very large and incredibly tasty persimmon sold in the grocery stores for a short time each year.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2006 at 8:26AM
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Ohooooo...thank you Claire! I guess I just need to watch and wait! I think I should have sarted them several weeks ago, early, EARLY spring. I keep moving them inside when heavy rain is expected which, as you know, has been every other day...or so it seems.

You are correct, rockman50, these trees produce a much smaller, plum sized fruit with thinner skin. Not at all like the large orange fruit we can get in the grocery stores in the fall. I've never taisted one of those so I can not tell you how they compare.

Thanks, Gang. You have all been a great help to me! I'll let you know how they do.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 1:17PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

I grow paw paw seeds successfully by refrigerating the seed collected in the fall until April in a plastic bag to prevent drying out. I sow the seed in germination mix inside covered with plastic to keep the soil evenly moist for many weeks. I obtain 100% germination after about a month. Perhaps persimmon seed germination requires similiar requirements. Growing the seed in a warm place inside seems like a better location compared to outside where temperatures still dip into the 40s at night.

I have a productive Meader persimmon that I purchased about 10 years ago. I love this tree and the fruit tastes okay. There are many varieties of hardy persimmons and I am anxiously waiting for a younger persimmon tree to bear in my yard named 'Early Golden' purchased from Tripple Brook Farm in Southampton, MA.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 8:39PM
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Hey, Chervil2,

I have tried to keep them at a temp that I thought might be what they would be exposed to in found in their native IN. I thought of covering them with plastic but decided to just keep them moist and reasonably warm. I hope it works. If these fail, I still have about 5 seeds left...I can try again.

Thanks for your input.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 9:07PM
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I had some persimmons sent to me from my cuz in cal. my wife kept 2 of the seeds and put them in a cup of water for at lest 2 mo.then they started sprouting then she put them in potting soil,now we have 2 little trees.Iguess now they need to be put in their own pot.hope this was some help,good luck to all jimmy

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 7:09PM
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Hi jimmy,

My Persimmons sprouted and did very well last year. I kept them in their own little pots and this spring I will plant them directly into the ground. I hope that I have not killed them over the winter. I have given them water every so often, but other that that I have left them alone. I still have some seeds left over, so if these do not survive I'll start over again.

Thanks and good luck with your Persimmons. I LOVE Persimmon pudding.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 7:20PM
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hey folks,,I picked up some persimmon seed from trip to california last month..there in the frig,,I'd like to germinate the seeds, I have a warm utility room about 70 degrees,,do you think I can put them in a cup with vermiculite/perlite to get them to sprout? any idea,,

I do live in a cold part of upstate ny.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 8:01AM
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Hi gman,

Another Persimmon lover???

I think the best guide for you would be the info Claire gave a few posts up. But to answer your question, yes, I think you could get your Persimmon seeds to sprout. Mine did. Mine are still in their pots and back in the garage to over winter. We had way too much moving, pruning, cutting down, re-planting of existing plants, shrubs and trees last season to even consider adding anything new to the mix. I hope that this season will be a little better. Three survived last winter in the garage. I hope at least one of the three survives this winter. I still have a few seeds left over so I can always start again.

If I did start over, I would start them much earlier in the growing season. For me, that would be the end of March. I would also have my final location pick out in my yard so as soon as the sprout was tall enough, I could transplant it to it's permanent home.

You can tell that for me, my Persimmon experiment is still a work in progress...


    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 12:34PM
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I used to live in Indiana, and my girlfriend who still resides there has Paw-paws and persimmons. When we go up North to visit I always ask for fruit or seeds. Depending on the time of year it is.

This year I decided to try and grow some persimmons of my own. I did the fridge thing myself. They have sprouted, but they have some mold on them.

Has anyone read anything about this? I took them out of the baggie and put them in a small glass of bottled water. I am not sure whether or not they will survive for planting. Any tips?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 11:17AM
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jeannejeanie(7 long island)

hi everyone... i tried growing my own persimmon from seed last year after the 2 very expensive treelings i bought died :( i wrapped seed in a paper towel & put them in the kitchen near the stove. i wetted them everyday, change the paper towel every so often & after 4 months (late oct 2007-late feb 2008). they sprouted a little leaf). i was told they took a long time to germinate. the stems all looked moldy (black & slimey) i washed off as much of the moldy stuff as i could & planted the 3 that sprouted (i had greater than 15 in that paper towel) so far 2 look great the third is a goner. they are 3 inches now. i will read that article after i finish my post :). i do have question -- do i need to pinch these babies so they don't get leggy? this is the 1st time i grew anything from seed. thank you .... jeannie

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 11:47PM
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Hi Kids,

I just checked on my Persimmon seedlings I had
over-wintering in the garage. It seems that I have at least one that has survived...I can see a green tip starting to show itself! Whew...I tought for sure that I had killed all of them. I would hope that at least one more of the three shows signs of life over the next few days. I have given them water but will leave them alone for now., I would not pinch them. Just leave them as they are. They seem to be doing well in the pot and that is exactly what you would hope for.

o-e-mom...plant them up and see what you get. The mold happens, it should not hurt.

Lets make a date...Persimmon pudding, November of 2015. OK..2020?


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 12:22PM
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jeannejeanie(7 long island)

thank you sooey !!!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 1:02PM
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You are welcome, jeannejeanie. I hope it helps. Good luck!


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 1:37PM
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yama(7b Ga)

Hi Clair
I am moving to Northshore some time early June from Georgia finaly.Some day Cady and I can meet with you.
after I settle I offer Japanese gardenclass near future. I wish you can visit us.

I don't know very well about geminating persimon seed. The seed has thin coat so that can not store dry condion. some seed have to be stored dry condition, some seed kept dry condition will not germinate. When we store seeds, use moist sand and pantyhose and keep out it door.maitain moist, not wet, as long as garage is not heated and keep sand moist, New England weather is cold enough to store seed out door or in garage.
Chinese Drawf persiomon tree are very attractive in container. some of persimon fruits you buy from grocery store also can grow in New England and you can make bonsai or container plant. seed to produce persiomon fruite take about 8 years unless grafted. There are some other way to speed up fruits production.

Sooey: enjoy gardening.all gardeners are like, east or west, north or west ^^

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 8:20PM
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Hi, yama! Wow...a move north, from GA to MA. Very different, very exciting. Welcome, we hope you enjoy your new home and garden. I have often thought of trying my hand at bonsai. I have admired the art of it for many years.

I hope your move goes well.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 12:04PM
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I just collected some parsimmon seeds that were sitting on the tree all winter and seemed to dry up. Does that mean that they won't sprout?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 1:32AM
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