Diospyros kaki

Japanese persimmon

Outstanding Qualities

Lustrous and glossy large dark green foliage clothes this interesting small deciduous tree. In autumn tones of yellow, orange, purple and red add a festive atmosphere to the garden. Once the leaves have fallen brilliant edible plum-sized fruit that varies from light yellow-orange to dark orange-red cling to the branches until ripe in late fall or early winter. There are both male and female plants, only the female produces the lovely ornamental fruit with some cultivars doing so even without a male present. In the cool Pacific Northwest fruit is slow to ripen if it ripens at all, but the colorful fruit adds interest to the landscape well into the winter months.

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: variegated, burgundy, chartreuse

Great Color Partners: red, gold, dark green

Culture Notes

For good growth, plant Japanese persimmon in full sun and rich well-drained soil in a protected location. Provide regularly summer watering. Young trees should be pruned to create a strong branch structure which will support the future weight of the fruit. Some cultivars develop thin, willowy branches that should be pruned to shorter lengths during the first four to five years to establish strong main branching. Immature fruit is astringent and bitter so they must ripen thoroughly- careful cultivar selection is necessary for any hope of tasty fruit in the cooler Northwest. For the best cultivars for your area contact your local Cooperative Extension Service office. Japanese persimmons are slow to leaf out in spring, especially new plants. Young new trees in their containers can be placed in a warm sunny location and kept well watered until new foliage forms. They can then be carefully planted in the garden with extra attention given to not damaging the delicate new roots.

© Douglas Justice

Quick Facts

Plant Type: tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 20 ft. 0 in. (6.10 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 10

Flower Color: cream

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: regular watering