The Jackfruit Tree (Artocarpus heterophyllus) has its origins in India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. Jackfruit is in the Moraceae family which includes fig and mulberry trees. It is now grown in many tropical areas and some varieties of Jackfruit grow the largest fruit of any tree in the world (up to 120 poubds each). The Orange Crush Jackfruit Tree grows smaller, yet very high quality eating fruits that reach mature sizes of about 20 pounds. The unique growth of this tropical fruit tree produces its large fruit pods on new stems that often result in Jackfruits hanging directly on the tree’s main trunk or large central branches.
Orange Crush Jackfruits have deep green studded outer rinds and dark orange flesh that is sweet and crunchy. Orange Crush Jackfruit Trees can be grown in the ground in USDA Zones 9 to 11, or in large pots in Zones 4 to 11 and brought indoors for the coldest months. The fruit’s interior pulp surrounds glossy seeds and has a flavor that is a mixture of pineapple, mango, and banana. The trees like partial shade to full sun and will usually begin to produce fruit within 3 to 5 years in the ground. Plant the exotic Orange Crush Jackfruit Tree in your edible landscape and enjoy delicious fruit from a tree that must be seen to be believed.
Jackfruit Trees can reach heights of 80 feet in tropical locations such as Brazil, Hawaii, and Malaysia. Many Jackfruit Trees growing in spots with a somewhat cooler climate, such as Florida, Coastal Texas, or California will often remain smaller, but can still produce many large fruits. Jackfruit Trees have deep taproots and should be planted in the ground for best results. They thrive in rich soil that drains well and has ample amounts of organic matter for nutrition. Jackfruit Trees can not survive freezing or saturated soil, and either condition can cause trees to lose leaves, fruit, and even die.
When planting new Jackfruit Trees, pick a spot that gets at least 5 hours of direct sun each day, and that is sheltered from strong winds. In early spring prepare the ground by adding compost, manure, and coarse sand to an area that is about six feet in diameter and about two feet deep. Dig a planting hole twice the size and depth of the tree’s rootball in the center of this prepared area. Plant the tree so the rootball surface is level with the ground surface, backfill with compost, and water in well. Water when the soil is dry down to two inches for the first six months. Reduce watering after this time to once per week or when rain is scarce.
Jackfruit Harvesting and Uses
Orange Crush Jackfruits can reach up to 20 pounds each. The fruits follow blooms and are held by short stems appearing on the tree’s trunks or large limbs. Orange Crush Jackfruits are ready to pick when the green rinds begin to show several yellow or slightly tan spots. If the fruit is picked too soon, the interior will have astringent pulp and persistant rubbery latex throughout. Perfectly ripe Orange Crush Jackfruits will have succulent pulp capsules surrounding the large shiny black or brown seeds. The pulp will be crisp, much like a slightly dry apple, and have tropical flavors of pineapple, banana, and mango.
Orange Crush Jackfruit Trees usually begin producing fruit after 3 or 4 years in the ground. Once the trees begin to make and hold their large fruits, it may take some experimantation to learn to pick the perfectly ripe giants. Once picked, use a sturdy cutting board and a large knife to carefully split the pods, and remove the edible interior sections. Ripe Jackfruits are eaten raw, cooked in savory dishes, and blended into smoothies and tropical drinks.
After the season’s fruit has been harvested each year, cut out any dead branches. The tree can also be cut back to a height of between 15 and 20 feet, in order to encourage strong growth in spring. Cut trees back in late winter, before new vegetative growth begins. Be sure to remove branches and fallen fruit from the tree’s immediate area to discourage fungus and pests that could damage the Jackfruit tree trunk or roots.
Orange Crush Jackfruit Trees can benefit from mulch around the tree base and growing area out to the dripline, or furthest reaching branch tips out from the trunk. Add 3 to 4 inches of mulch such as tree bark, wood chips, or leaves, to the ground and water the mulch down well. More mulch can be added at any time to help stop weeds and keep the soil moist. Increase mulch depth to 6-inches in colder months, to help insulate the Orange Crush Jackfruit Tree’s surface roots.
How Many Fruits will a Jackfruit Tree grow?
A mature Jackfruit Tree in ideal conditions can produce as many as 200 Jackfruits each year.
Is Jackfruit a nutritious food?
Yes Jackfruit is considered nutritionally dense. One-half cup of ripe Jackfruit contains 40 calories, no fat, 2 grams of protein, as well as fiber, iron, potassium, and calcium.
Do Jackfruit Trees need to be pruned to grow fruit?
Jackfruit Trees do not have to be pruned to bloom and make fruit. It is a good idea to trim the trees once per year to make harvesting easier.
Can Jackfruit Trees be grown in pots?
You can grow Jackfruit Trees in large pots, but the trees have naturally deep taproots. Trees grown in the ground will produce blooms and fruit more reliably than container grown Jackfruits.
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