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Ziziphus, unabi, breast berry, Chinese date, jujuba - there are many names, but we are talking about the same plant - from the genus Ziziphus. Zizyphus is the oldest fruit plant that has spread throughout the world in areas with a warm climate, cultivated probably seven to eight thousand years ago. Unabi has long been recognized as one of the leading fruit crops in China. A collection of large-fruited Chinese varieties of ziziphus has been created in the Nikitsky Botanical Garden in Crimea.
- Description of Ziziphus
- Growing Ziziphus
- Ziziphus care
- Harvesting Ziziphus
Description of Ziziphus
Plants are distinguished by their early maturity and drought resistance. The fruits are very nutritious, rich in sugars, vitamins, and have medicinal properties. Roots and bark are also used for medicinal purposes. More important than other types of ziziphus - jujuba, or real ziziphus.
Shrub or jujube tree 3-5 (10) m high. Shoots are geniculate, glabrous, red-brown, on bends with thorns up to 3 cm long and thin, straight, greenish fruit-bearing shoots resembling a compound leaf. Zizyphus fruits are spherical, oblong or pear-shaped, 1.5 cm long, from light brown to dark brown, shiny, weighing 1-20 (50) g.
The plant is heat-resistant, unpretentious to soil. Despite its southern origin, it is quite winter hardy even in the regions of northern China, where the winter air temperature drops to minus 25 ° C. In case of frostbite, the ziziphus quickly recovers. Early varieties of Ziziphus require the sum of effective temperatures (more than 10 ° C) over a growing season of 1600-1800 ° C.
Ziziphus has a late beginning of the growing season - in April-May, and, accordingly, late flowering, which begins in June-July and lasts one to three months. Zizyphus is pollinated by insects. Self-pollination of ziziphus is possible, but it is not significant.
Growing jujube from seeds
The seeds of large-fruited jujube varieties have low germination, therefore small-fruited forms are used for growing seedlings. The fruits are removed well-ripe. Ziziphus seeds, peeled from the pulp, are warmed up in the sun or, for several days, periodically flooded with water heated to 60 ° C. Warm stratification is also used at a temperature of 20-35 ° C for a month. Sow seeds into warm soil. The germination rate increases if the crops are covered with foil. Two to three-year-old seedlings of ziziphus enter fruiting.
Ziziphus seedlings with a root collar thickness of 6-10 mm are suitable for budding. It is carried out with a dormant bud in July-August or, if the rootstocks are not suitable, a sprouting bud in May. In the latter case, buds are used from lignified Ziziphus cuttings, harvested before the beginning of the growing season. In May, you can graft with an oblique wedge in the side cut and behind the bark.
In addition to the seed method, rootstocks of ziziphus can be grown from root cuttings 8-12 cm long. They are planted vertically flush with the soil surface.
If there is root growth, it is separated in the spring and grown.
Zizyphus also reproduces by vertical and horizontal layers.
For spring planting of ziziphus, the upper and lower parts of the southern and southwestern slopes or even protected areas are chosen. The distance of one plant from another is 2-3 m. The seedlings are buried 10 cm.
In areas where winter freezing is frequent, it is better to grow jujube plants in bushy form.
Ziziphus is resistant to pests and diseases.
Zizyphus fruits ripen in late September-October. For processing, they are removed when a brown cover color appears on a third of the surface, for fresh consumption - at full maturity. The fruits of ziziphus can be left on for a long time, leaving them to wither directly on the tree, and then shake them off. For removal, use "combs" with teeth every 1 cm. Comb the fruits of the ziziphus on a film, and then separate them from the fruitful shoots and leaves. Harvest up to 30 kg per tree. Dried fruits are stored for two years or longer.
Author: V. Mezhensky, candidate of agricultural sciences.