- Super Nutritious
- Super Food
- Easy Care
- Very Productive
- Pest Free and Drought Tolerant
- Widely Adapted
- Ornamental Edible Tree
You’re probably hearing more about how easy it is to grow Jujube at home. The precocious Sugar Cane Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba ‘Sugar Cane’) makes a ton of small fruit, even on a young tree. Delicious for fresh eating, this is a very productive – and sweet – variety of Jujube.
Very popular in Asia when allowed to dry, when the sugars and flavors become concentrated. This is also known as the Chinese Date and it’s a “must-have” to include this in your edible landscape.
Sugar Cane is a great selection for fresh eating, or to ripen and dry. Also known in Asia for its many medical usages, Jujube is said to have anti-inflammatory properties.
It acts as both an antifungal and anti-bacterial in the body, as well as alleviating stress. Imagine all that from a yummy, versatile fruit!
The Sugar Cane Jujube is widely adapted to many different climate zones and soil types. It’s also easy to grow in hot, dry areas and the plants are insect and disease free.
A single Sugar Cane Jujube is self-fruitful, but will set a bigger crop when planted with one of the other popular Jujube varieties such as Li’, GA-866′ or the wonderful Honey Jar’. These are all outstanding selections.
The Jujube is one of the easiest of the fruit trees to grow. The plant takes well to pruning and can be trained to any height and spread.
Both low chill and cold hardy, the Sugar Cane Jujube starts the year in late spring. You’ll love the small, fragrant yellow flowers that open and smell just like grape soda pop! The leaves are dark green and shiny.
How to Use Sugar Cane Jujube Fruit
People around the world love Jujubes. For thousands of years they have been pickled, eaten fresh or dried, used to flavor tea, juiced, distilled into a fruit brandy, and cooked into marmalade. They are better than candy, and certainly much healthier.
Smaller than Li Jujube, but very sweet, Sugar Cane sets fruit that is packed with Vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants that are being studied right now for important cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, the small to medium-size fruit of the Sugar Cane Jujube tree reduces anxiety and helps you sleep better.
Small, pitted fruit starts out green, then deepens into mellow brown. Fruit can begin to be harvested when shades of brown begin to appear on the light green skin of the fruit.
At this stage, they have a somewhat dry texture but just enough moisture to carry the flavor. They are very crunchy and super-sweet – with a texture similar to an apple or water chestnut.
As the fruits continue to ripen to totally brown, they become very sweet and still have a tremendous crunch. At this point, you can harvest and dry them in a dehydrator or slowly in the oven on low heat.
Dried, they are a healthy mid-winter snack, great for holiday stuffing or candied and turned into dessert. The dried fruit is chewy and sweet and has a fluffy texture. It won’t take many to fill you up, so they are also good for your waistline!
There is a staggered ripening cycle on this Jujube variety. Because the fruit doesn’t all ripen at the same time, you have a chance to use them all. Home fruit growers know what a nice feature that is!
Once Sugar Cane Jujube is established in well-drained soil, they are very drought tolerant. Use them as a privacy hedge that is impenetrable due to the dense nature of the canopy and the thorns.
Tips for Care
This pest and disease resistant plant can be grown with the foliage to the ground, or as a single or multi-trunk tree. Keep them 30 feet from water lines, as the roots will seek that water.
You can grow these trees in a wide range of settings. In fact, they make ideal potted plants. Try one in a big container in a full sun location. The Jujube, with its smaller leaves and wispy canopy, is quite attractive in a pot or in the ground.
They will produce fruit when planted alone as a specimen, or they are extra productive in groups.