Shanxi Li Jujube Tree (Ziziphus jujuba ‘Shanxi Li’)

Shanxi Li Jujube Tree

  • Mid to Late Season, Depending on Where Grown
  • Extremely Large Fruit, Over Two Inches
  • Rounded Fruit
  • Great Crisp, Fresh Eating
  • Gets Sweeter When Dehydrated
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Self-Pollinating, but You’ll Get More Fruit With Another Variety Nearby
  • Excellent Disease Resistance
  • Stores for Months
  • Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for Millennia

Grow your own Jujubes for a crunchy, refreshing snack straight from the tree; or long-lasting, chewy, sweet dried fruit. But be warned, once you start, you’ll want to collect all the Nature Hills varieties!

Shanxi Li (Ziziphus jujuba ‘Shanxi Li’) produces some of the biggest fruit, coming in at over two inches long. These rounded fruits are the reason for the nickname Pear Jujube. It has a later harvest than other varieties.

Like many plants that developed in Asia, there is a lyrical quality to the branching and delicate, glossy leaves. Tiny, fragrant flowers bloom abundantly in mid-summer. They love hot, long summertime heat to produce and ripen lots of fruit.

Our expert growers highly recommend this variety for both fresh eating and dehydrating. When fresh, they snap, crunch and taste a bit like an apple. These ‘Chinese Dates’ will grow sweeter once dehydrated.

People around the world appreciate them as ornamental edibles, and prepare the versatile fruit by juicing, smoking or drying. They can be candied, fermented, canned in syrup; or turned into marmalade, pastes and preserves.

The health benefits of these yummy fruits are a nice added bonus. Jujube fruits are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C in addition to calcium, iron, phosphorous, and nutritious fatty acids. In Chinese medicine, they are said to reduce stress and inflammation.

Backyard growers in the United States are discovering these marvelous fruits, and busy studying and sharing notes with each other online. They love the Shanxi Li, noting that it was originally developed from the Shanxi province, near Beijing.

Come join the fun. Jujube trees are beautiful, productive and easy-care.

How to Use Shanxi Li Jujube Tree in the Landscape

Shanxi Li produces loads of green, rounded fruits that ripen to reddish-brown. Pick them while green to ripen on your kitchen counter, or let them hang until fully brown. Try them at various stages to see what your favorite is!

They’ll keep for several months in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Dried fruit can keep for a year in an airtight container.

These ornamental fruiting trees can be kept smaller with summer pruning. Follow good backyard orchard practice and hold them to 8 feet tall or less. You’ll have an easier harvest!

Jujubes will produce fruit as a single tree, but you’ll get a bigger harvest with partner trees. Why not try several varieties that ripen at different times? You’ll have fresh Jujubes longer.

Plant 15 feet apart on center, if you will allow them to grow into full-size trees. Measure from trunk to trunk.

Shanxi Li Jujube and other varieties would make an incredibly useful barrier planting. The small thorns deter trespassers.

Plant them along your fence line in a row. Be sure to give them plenty of room for air circulation and to allow access to your fence for repairs.

If you’ll keep the trees smaller with summer pruning, use a hedgerow approach. Plant them 7 feet apart on center.

The fruits can be picked yellow-green about 2 inches, and they will finish ripening to a reddish-brown after picking. Or, let them hang on the tree until fully brown.

Tips for Care

Plant in full sun and well-drained soil. Use a raised bed for planting if you have poorly drained soil.

Pay careful attention to watering to establish young trees. After the first season, Shanxi Li Jujube is quite drought tolerant. However, you’ll get the best flavor if you provide consistent water during fruit production.

Fertilize the trees in early spring with a good, slow-release formula. Apply according to label directions.

Prune in late winter to establish the structure of the tree. Remove crossing branches and open the canopy to sunlight and air circulation at that time. For size control, prune again in summer to remove length from branches.

These durable trees are very rarely bothered by pests or diseases. They are widely adaptable to a range of temperatures and do not require many chill hours to set fruit.

With healthy fruit that can be used in so many ways, the low-maintenance Shanxi Li Jujube is a winner!

Shanxi Li Jujube Tree (Ziziphus jujuba ‘Shanxi Li’) Details

Common name Shanxi Li Jujube Tree
Botanical name Ziziphus jujuba 'Shanxi Li'
Hardiness zone 5-9
Growth rate Medium
Harvest time Fall
Height 15 - 20 ft.
Width 15 - 20 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Well Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color White
Leaf color Deciduous