Jackfruit Tree: How To Identify Jackfruit, Growing Zones, Powerful Health Benefits

Man eating fruit from a jackfruit tree (jack fruit tree) after learning how to identify jackfruit leaves, jackfruit benefits, jackfruit growing zones, size, types of jackfruit, and how to grow jackfruit trees.

The Jackfruit Tree grows the largest fruit in the world that grows on trees, a fruit that at first sight just does not seem very appetizing.

It is enormous, not very uniform in shape or coloring, and looks like it’s had a hard life growing up and has wrapped itself in a rough protective exterior to deter hungry onlookers who may be curious as to how good the Jackfruit Tree fruit tastes.

However, if you pry it open to try it, the incredibly sweet-tasting flesh within will have you licking your lips in surprised delight and asking, how long does it take for a tree to grow, so you can have your very own Jackfruit Tree at the back of your house?

In fact, the Jackfruit has some powerful health benefits, making it a very desirable fruit tree.

This complete guide explains how to identify Jackfruit Tree varieties, where are their growing zones, and why the Jackfruit Tree is called black gold in many parts of the tropical world.

Jackfruit Origin: What Is Jackfruit and Where Does Jackfruit Grow?

It is thought that the tree was first grown in Java, in the 1500s, when Spain took over Guam.

It has played a pivotal role in the history of agriculture in that region for centuries and has been used as both food and medicine for the indigenous people who went so far as to fashion the revered statues in their Buddhist temples out of the wood.

As you can see, it has been around for a very long time and has been valued for its use in a wide range of applications to satiate hunger and placate the gods. The fruit itself, Artocarpus heterophyllus, is related to figs,1 mulberry, and breadfruit and has such a unique taste that vegetarians often use it as a substitute for meat at meal times or as the main ingredient in smoothies.

Jackfruit Tree

(Artocarpus heterophyllus)

Jackfruit Tree in an oval frame on a green background.
  • Family: Moraceae
  • Genus: Artocarpus
  • Leaf: The leaves are dark green, glossy, and are up to 15 inches long and 7 inches wide
  • Bark: The bark has a smooth texture with a reddish/brown coloring
  • Seed: Quite large, edible, and very nutritious
  • Blossoms: The green flowers bloom in the fall
  • Fruit: Large, yellow/green fruits weighing on average between 5-25 kgs
  • Native Habitat: Tropical Asian regions such as India, Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Australia
  • Height: Between 30-70 feet tall
  • Canopy: 20-50 Feet wide
  • Type: Evergreen
  • Native Growing Zone: Moist, nutrient-rich, and well-draining soil accompanied by temperatures between 70°-90°F
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 10-12

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Ranking

Least Concern


Image Credit: Azad Azahari25

The tree grows up to heights of 70 feet primarily in tropical countries in Southeast Asia and in the United States only in USDA hardiness Zones 10-12, a reason, no doubt, why it isn’t as well-known nationwide as it should be. The only 2 states capable of growing the Jackfruit Tree are Florida and Hawaii, yet some farmers have attempted to cultivate them in Orange County in California with limited success.

In the summer months, the tropical evergreen Jackfruit Trees are overladen with fruits, but as soon as the temperature drops below 27° keeping them alive becomes a somewhat challenging task, to say the least.

On a worldwide production level, India is the largest producer of Jackfruits, regularly producing in excess of 1.4 million tons a year.

Bangladesh is a close second, followed by Thailand and Indonesia. Countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and South Africa are some of the largest exporters, after India, of course.

The Jackfruit Plant (Picture of Jackfruit Tree Leaves and Jackfruit Tree Flower)

The height of the tree varies between 30-70 feet with a thick canopy packed with 6 to 8-inch-long, thick, dark green shiny evergreen leaves.

The flowers are tiny, light green, and not particularly showy with a layer of fine hairs. They are monoecious, meaning they have both male and female parts, and are self-pollinating plants.2

Jackfruit Tree identification chart showing a full grown Jackfruit Tree, Jackfruit Tree leaves, Jackfruit Tree flowers, Jackfruit Tree fruits and seeds, and Jackfruit Tree trunk in oval frames with green background.

A strange growing feature that the tree has is that the fruits often emerge directly from the branches or the trunks on thick stalks which gives them an almost otherworldly look. Being unisex, they make their own pollen from December to March and as soon as the pollen is dispersed, the flowers change from green to gray and fall off the branches a few days later.

Considering the height that the tree can grow to, the base is quite short with smooth, reddish/brown bark and a chunky diameter of about 12-31 inches.

What makes this tree, which can live for 100 years, by the way, so recognizable are the fruits. They are huge, weighing up to 25kgs, measuring 2 feet long, and 15-50cm in diameter.

No wonder it’s classed as the largest tree-borne fruit on the planet.

The Largest Fruit in the World: Jackfruit Size

The Jackfruit is both Bangladesh’s and Sri Lanka’s national fruit as well as the state fruit of several other tropical Asian countries.

People who work with Jackfruit in these countries have to be wary of the very sticky gum-like substance inside when it is cut. The white sap is hard to get off even after scrubbing with soap and hot water, so harsh chemical products like kerosene have to be rubbed into the skin to dissolve and remove it completely.

Although not harmful when used, most workers who are handling the giant fruits do so with gloves and protective clothing. Because they are so big, bumpy, and heavy, the growers and pickers have no choice but to harvest one immature fruit from each branch one at a time, a painstakingly slow process.

A Jackfruit tree displaying green leaves, a solid trunk, and multiple sizable fruits hanging from its branches.

(Image: vasanthkumar23)

This is because if they picked 2 or 3 very heavy Jackfruits from the same branch, it risks the branch snapping off from the weight of the remaining fruits on the other end, they are that heavy, and this makes the job time-consuming, and labor-intensive. Since a typical tree can yield between 150-200 fruits a year, hundreds if not thousands of locals are employed to collect them when they are ready to be harvested.

Both of these countries dedicate thousands of acres to cultivating this crop and are prolific exporters to developed countries where vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise. In the UK alone, there are over 3.5 million vegetarians while in the United States,3 it has been estimated that about 8 million people are turning away from eating meat.

Because of its ability to imitate the texture of meat, Jackfruits have become a product in high demand. True, the fruit doesn’t look as appealing and tasty as a strawberry or a nice, juicy apple with its lumpy bumpy skin that is somewhat off-putting, especially if it has bounced on the ground and become bruised.

Its sheer size can also make it awkward to transport from the market, and if it’s the first time you’ve spotted it at the stalls, the smell may put you off. It’s difficult to tell when the Jackfruit is ripe as the exterior color remains more or less the same, and for some people, it has an aroma that they find unpleasant when it’s just a tad too ripe.

Choosing which stage of development is important because an unripe Jackfruit tastes very differently from a ripe Jackfruit.

The Jackfruit and a Plant-Based Diet

Some people choose vegetarianism for ethical or environmental reasons in an effort to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by livestock farming, to help in the struggle against the effects of climate change.

Others have adopted this plant-based lifestyle for health or religious reasons, and they couldn’t have chosen a better time to abandon meat.

A Jackfruit-based culinary dish presented in a brown ceramic bowl, accompanied by an array of aromatic herbs and spices, all set on a wooden tabletop.

(Image: KavindaF23)

Where once there were very few options of what to eat and even fewer choices in regards to flavors, there are now an ever-increasing number of vegetarian restaurants and shops providing products and fruits like the Jackfruit that can be cooked to be as tasty and have the same consistency of meat.

Combined with the widespread availability of fresh vegetables throughout the year, and the growing culinary impact of countries that rely heavily on plant-based diets has made vegetarianism and veganism more appealing, accessible, healthy, and a lot tastier.

But not only that, vegetarians may be at a reduced risk of heart attacks because of lowered cholesterol levels thanks to the extra nutrients, vitamins, and phytochemicals from the clean foods they are consuming.

And if you’re wondering, “Is a plant-based diet more healthy than eating meat?”4

Why not try it for yourself and see?

How To Open a Jackfruit Fruit: What Does a Jack Fruit Taste Like?

Even though Jackfruit is fairly new to North America, many people are quickly acquiring a taste for it.

When these pods are ready, they taste sweet, like a cross between a mango and a banana with a hint of pineapple thrown in.5 The pulp is eaten raw, used to make sweet desserts, and is often used to make delicious smoothies.

Vegetarians prefer the unripe version. At this not-quite-ripe stage, the flesh is a little bit more firm, is more appropriate for use in savory recipes, and tends to have a meatier texture.

A sliced Jackfruit showing its seeds and flesh arranged on a spread of newspaper, positioned on the ground.

(Image: Kinglaw24)

Underripe Jackfruit has a very subtle taste and is used as a substitute for pulled pork or chicken because of its mild flavor but, just like tofu, it will not be mistaken for meat by most diners. The flavor can be enhanced as the fruit does absorb flavors when it is diced, shredded, and marinated.

But how do you open a Jackfruit without creating a very sticky mess as the interior sap oozes out?

The trick is to place it on a cutting board, and not only coat it completely with sesame oil, coconut oil, or something similar but to do the same for the knife, and also smear your hands and wrists. This will make life a lot easier when it comes to cleaning up afterward if you make a mess.

  1. Pierce the fruit and slowly slice it all the way around until that part can be fully removed.
  2. Slice that half of the fruit in two and make several cuts across the core to create sort of an accordion effect.
  3. To remove the now exposed white core, first, add some more oil to your knife and to your hands and separate them.
  4. Carefully untangle the edible flesh from the tendrils holding them in place and pry them free.
  5. Take any seeds exposed when cutting the fruit open and place them in a bowl.

The ripe, sweet fleshy pod, which is about the same size as a pear, can be eaten raw immediately, and even if it is still not quite ripe it can still be eaten but just won’t be as sweet. Overripe Jackfruits are more suitable for desserts while underripe ones have more of a meaty texture that vegans and vegetarians love.

Unfortunately, unlike pulled pork which has 28 grams of protein,6 one helping of Jackfruit has only 2 grams and that even lags behind the 7 grams of protein in a plate of tofu, or 12 grams in a bean burger. It does have a lot of vitamins, and fiber, and is a good source of iron, calcium, and potassium which are beneficial for a healthy heart and that help to reduce inflammation in the body.

Jackfruit Tree Seeds: Powerful Jackfruit Benefits on Health

Every edible pod inside the Jackfruit contains a seed that can be eaten. Just not in its raw state.

It’s fine to eat the flesh but the seed needs to go through a process before it can be consumed as there are concerns that it can interact negatively with some medications and possibly counteract their effectiveness. For example, one of the properties of the fruit is that it can inhibit a person’s natural ability to slow down bleeding after being wounded.

A plate full of ripe jack fruit chunks and jack fruit seeds on a table.

(Image: Carlrubino23)

This is especially dangerous for hemophiliacs whose blood does not clot easily. As a result, it is highly recommended that only prepared seeds should be eaten and should never be consumed raw.

Boiling and roasting are the preferred means of cooking them, and won’t take longer than 30 minutes.

When boiling, the seeds of the Jackfruit Tree need to be left in the saucepan for 20 to 30 minutes or until they have softened enough to be pierced with a fork. When the seeds are pliable, you can remove them by draining off the water and spreading them out on a baking tray to dry.

Once they have dried, the texture and taste are similar to potatoes.

If you prefer your Jackfruit seeds to be roasted like nuts, and taste like nuts, you can bake them at 400°F for 20 minutes. To eat, peel away the white outer layer and enjoy.

Among the seeds of tropical fruits, Jackfruit seeds stand out as a food powerhouse or even a superfood due to their high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, and carbohydrates that it brings to a balanced diet.7

Studies have shown that a 28-gram serving of Jackfruit seeds provides:

  • 53 calories
  • 11 g of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 0.5 grams of dietary fiber
  • Vitamin B
  • Beneficial gut bacteria that live in the digestive tract
  • Reduction in blood sugar levels
  • Fight obesity by managing hunger pangs
  • Enhances digestion and aids in the body’s reaction to insulin sensitivity.

Traditional Chinese medicine used the seeds for sexual health and stomach problems such as diarrhea where the compounds of the seeds served as a good antibacterial agent against a common bacteria infection like E. coli.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that the high levels of antioxidants in Jackfruit seeds give them anti-cancer capabilities and have the ability to lower cholesterol levels. As a superfood, it is hard to beat.

Jackfruit Tree Growth Rate: What Does a Jackfruit Look Like?

The fruit, which can range in shape from ellipsoidal to round to somewhere in between, is actually the product of several individual ovaries of flowers fusing together to make one giant fruit.

This fruit develops on a thick stem capable of holding its weight on the main trunk and looks greenish yellow immature and finally turns a brownish yellow hue when ripe, although the difference can be very subtle and hard to spot.

They have a tough, gelatinous exterior covered in tiny bumps and protected by a network of hard, hexagonal tubercles. The huge, irregularly shaped fruit can weigh anywhere from 10-25 kg, with a length of 30-100 cm and a potential diameter of up to 50 cm.

Inside, many separate fruits, each around 10 cm in length, branch out from a white fibrous core that has to be removed before the inner fruits can be extracted and eaten. How many of these inner fruits are contained with the larger Jackfruit is dependent on the size but some of the very large Jackfruits have been known to hold about 500 of them, and each of them contains a light brown seed.

It can take up to 3 or 4 years before a new tree begins to produce viable fruits and, even on mature trees, it’s not always easy to tell when a Jackfruit is ripe, even during the months of July and August when it is at its peak of ripeness. Sometimes the only way to tell that it is ripe apart from biting into it is when it’s opened up and an aroma of pineapple and banana can be detected when you first smell the pulp.

How To Identify Jackfruit: Tree Growing Zone

Even the most renowned botanist cannot point his green finger to the exact first country that started growing the Jackfruit Tree, from where it originated.

Jackfruit tree with lush green leaves and multiple fruits on its branches.

(Image: terimakasih023)

South Asia and Southeast Asia are prime suspects and Jackfruits are an important economical crop in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Kenya
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Jamaica
  • Laos
  • Madagascar
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Myanmar
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam

Millions of people who are familiar with Jackfruit wholeheartedly believe that it is a miracle crop that has the potential to end world hunger and bring food security to millions.8

In Bangladesh, with a population of nearly 173 million people, it is not only the national fruit but also the second most cultivated fruit after mangoes. Because of its size and the variety of ways it may be prepared, a single Jackfruit can provide all the nutritional requirements for an entire family.

Here, the fruit is generally eaten fresh when it is ripe with the unripe fruits used in curries along with the cooked seeds. The 2 most common varieties of Jackfruits are Muttomvarikka and Sindoor.

The ripe sindoor has a soft interior flesh, whereas the ripe Muttomvarikka’s is a little firmer and is frequently made into a jam called chakkavaratti. The seeds, when they are either boiled or roasted, are seasoned with salt and hot chiles and consumed as delicious snacks.

Jackfruit Varieties

Here is a brief list of a few other types of Jackfruits that are the same yet so very different across the countries where they are cultivated.

Jackfruit TypeCountryWeightDescription
Dang RasimiThailand8 kgThe orange flesh is crisp, firm, and with a light sweetness that is not overpowering. Very well known in the region, it has a pleasant scent and a prickly exterior.
Black GoldAustralia6.7 kgCovered with sharp little spikes, the green exterior conceals a deep orange flesh that is both aromatic and very sweet.
J-30Malaysia7.6 kgThe fruit is uniformly dark green and its skin is pricked with sharp points. About 38% of its crisp orange flesh is edible and the flavor is rich and delicious.
J-31Malaysia12 kgOn the large size, the flesh has a vibrant yellow coloring and a sweet, firm consistency. But its main appeal is that it can be harvested year-round.
CheenaAustralia2.4 kgHybridized with a champedak, this variety is smaller and with an even spikier and greener skin. Not as sweet, it is mainly used to make savory foods.
A close-up view of a Jackfruit tree showcasing its green fruits and vibrant leaves.

(Image: najibzamri23)

Jackfruit TypeCountryWeightDescription
CochinAustralia1.5 kgVery small compared to the giant Jackfruit varieties, it is very fleshy and tasty when eaten fresh.
NS1Malaysia4.2 kgBlunt spines dot the dark green skin on this often oddly-shaped fruit. The is deep orange with a meaty firmness.
Golden PillowThailand3.6-5.5 kgWhat makes this type special is the flesh is a deep yellow, thick, very crunchy, and chock full of up to 75 seeds, which is a lot for its size.
Golden NuggetAustralia3.2 kgThe orange flesh has a superb flavor similar to a mango and can be both soft and firm depending on the level of ripeness.22 There is less fibrous material inside so 41% of it is edible which is a high percentage compared to other types.
TaboueyIndonesiaIts misshapen appearance doesn’t make it very desirable yet the taste is subtle and quite nice. It is often preferred by those who do not like the heavily scented types as this one is virtually odorless.

Because of its many beneficial properties, Jackfruit has a wide variety of applications around the world, and its delicious flesh has been made into an extremely wide range of different cultural dishes.

High in healthy fibers, the flesh can be made into a main ‘meaty’ dish when served with rice and is often used in curries. Packed with carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins B6 and C, and other essential vitamins, Jackfruits should be a stable and nutritious food source in countries where a large segment of the population is going hungry or, worst still, constantly on the point of starvation.

Growing a Jackfruit Tree From a Seed (Best Growing Conditions for Jackfruit Tree)

Growing a Jackfruit Tree from a seed is simple as long as you use fresh seed. Although some cultivars have seeds that may last for up to three months, their viability tends to start declining rapidly within a month after harvest, so it’s better to prepare them for planting sooner rather than later to avoid sowing a dud.

If your intention is to start the process in a few days, you can just put the seeds to one side out of the way for a few days. They will keep fine, but any longer than that and they should be kept in a paper towel that’s slightly damp.

Never, however, store in a fridge as this will, in all probability, be as good as an execution for your seeds as they hate the cold and may not survive the experience.

  1. Make sure that your hands are covered in oil before extracting the seeds from the innards of the fruit.
  2. Rinse the pulp under warm water until the seeds are completely clean.
  3. To speed up the germination of the seeds,9 fill a bowl with warm water and leave them fully submerged for 24 hours.
  4. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
  5. Choose a gallon plastic container that has plenty of drainage holes and fill it with a suitable potting mix.
  6. Space 3 seeds across the surface evenly and push them gently about 1 inch beneath the soil’s surface.
  7. Water thoroughly with distilled water every day. Do not overwater so do so only when the soil is dry up to the first knuckle on your index finger.
  8. When indoors, place the container in a position where it can get full sunlight exposure. If the sun or the temperature is not sufficient, a grow lamp can be used to provide enough of both.

Germination of Jackfruit seeds can take anywhere from 3-8 weeks regardless of whether the container is confined to a window ledge, or a greenhouse, or is placed outside during the sunny days and brought back inside on the cooler nights. Once they begin to germinate, you should monitor their progress to determine which seedling is the most successful and remove the two smaller ones to give the remaining one room to grow unencumbered.

Wait until your seedling has developed 4 leaves as this is a clear indication that it is ready for planting but not too long after that as the taproot will be too large to transplant if you wait much longer.

Growing a Jackfruit Tree From a Seedling, a Cutting, or a Graft

Whether the soil is sandy, sandy loam, or rocky, Jackfruit Trees will flourish as long as there is plenty of sunlight and adequate drainage.

The plant can’t stand having its roots continually soaking wet, though, and young ones will die if they get deluged with too much water.

A close-up of sprouting jackfruit tree seeds immersed in water on a plate.

(Image: Judgefloro24)

As a precaution, always choose a location outside that is not too close to your house or any other structure, and that is at least 30 feet away from any other trees.

Because of its potential for massive growth, Jackfruit Trees should also be planted far away from any pipes or other underground water systems which could be damaged by the roots.

  1. Dig a 2-foot by 2-foot hole or a series of them if planting more than 1 tree, spaced 30 feet apart.
  2. Leave a fair amount of the soil from the pot around the roots as you place it in the hole to prevent any stress on the seedling from being transplanted.
  3. Mix organic compost with the topsoil from the landscape before filling in the space around the seedling,10 tamping down the extra soil until a mound is created around the base. By doing this, the water will flow away from the foundation.
  4. Immediately after planting, water the soil well, and cover the surface with mulch to help keep moisture in and weeds out.
  5. Use a recommended fertilizer every 6 months, watering well after each application.

While it is possible to grow Jackfruit Trees from seed, purchasing grafted saplings from a nursery is a much better option. It guarantees that the tree will bear fruit within three years of planting and also guarantees the quality and taste of the fruit to be the same as the donor plant.

The Jackfruit Tree can be grown from seed, from grafts, or from cuttings, but it takes around 60-70 days for cuttings to root properly in a mist bed so this method is not typically used. Using seedlings and grafting are the preferred methods for professional farmers.

Grafting allows the new fruit to be true to type and enables it to be ready for harvesting faster, between 2-3 years.

Florida Farming and the Growing Zones for Jackfruit Tree

In the south of Florida, as long as the freshly planted trees have access to water, planting can be done year-round, the consistently good climate being just that friendly to growing Jackfruit Trees.

If planting outside of the rainy season is unavoidable, do it in late spring or early summer, and make sure to pick out a good tree from a nursery. Look for signs of illness and insect damage, as well as any root restrictions, wounds, or deep marks in the tree’s trunk, to make sure you don’t accidentally buy an inferior specimen with inbred problems.

Jackfruit Trees in nurseries are typically planted in 3-gallon containers, and the height of the trees ranges from 2 to 4 feet.

A Jackfruit tree situated in a field alongside several fruit-bearing trees in the background.

(Image: Daderot24)

Be aware of a problem called Root Bound or Pot Bound that can happen in containers that are too small.11 The taproot will have reached the limit of where it can grow and even to the walls of the pot.

It will start to develop in a circular pattern, continually striving for any available space to keep on growing.

When the soil in the container has been filled by the roots, the health of the plant will begin to degrade. If this goes unnoticed and the seedling is planted in the ground back at your house or orchard, the wrapped-up roots may eventually girdle the roots until the plant dies.

When choosing a location, find the warmest part of the landscape that doesn’t get flooded, and is far from any other trees, buildings, or structures, as well as any overhead electricity lines, and give it plenty of water. It’s important to remember that Jackfruit Trees if left unpruned, can grow rather tall quickly.

If you reside in a part of Miami-Dade County, you may encounter bedrock that is just a few inches below the surface of the ground and very shallow topsoil that is not deep enough to plant anything apart from weeds. The only option to make sure the taproot will be able to tunnel as deep as it needs to go is to break up the bedrock with the appropriate tools and then fill in the hole with soil.

There are other parts of Florida that have a completely different problem that is also easily overcome. These areas are prone to flooding after strong rainstorms as the land lies very close to sea level which would result in water setting around the roots for extended periods of time without draining off.

The solution is to build a mound from dirt and organic compost large and deep enough to accommodate your tree’s roots, and then you can proceed to plant and nurture it as normal.

Fruit Trees in Florida (Tallest Fruit Trees)

To grow a tree or fruit trees in Florida just couldn’t be any easier. Sort of.

There are 3 different agricultural zones in Florida, numbered 8, 9, 10, and 11 in the USDA Hardiness Zone categories,12 spread across a land mass of 65,758 square miles (170,310 km2). For sheer size, the state sits in position number 22 in the country for size, and across that kind of land area, there are bound to be variations in temperatures.

One of the most critical factors to think about when choosing a tree for your garden is its hardiness zone. Will it be able to withstand Florida’s long summers, high humidity levels, and warm nights?

A pathway through lush green grass, leading towards several tall coconut trees in the distance.

(Image: Fapgraphicsandphotography23)

The Jackfruit Tree thrives in tropical zones 10-12 along with some types of Evergreen trees, but the climate in Florida is so diverse that all parts of the state are conducive to cultivating most types of produce. The conundrum is that many fruit trees that have a tendency to prosper in the mild winters and scorching summers seen in the northern cities, don’t do so well a few miles down the road.

Not all species of fruits are suitable for cultivation in every part of Florida.

The major drawback for tropical plants is that the winter lows in some zones can plummet below 20°F, making life difficult for these species. If you already call Florida home and want to begin planting fruit trees, you absolutely need to be aware of which types have the best chance of surviving, never mind flourishing in your region.

North Florida

Fruits and nuts typical of temperate climates do well in the northern part of the state of Florida. But, unfortunately, there is a but, any fruits that have even a hint of the tropical in their skins, find it extremely challenging here because of the cooler winters which can drop into the colder zone of cool.

So, realistically, most tropical fruits need to be grown in a greenhouse in North Florida.

Central Florida

Some tropical fruits grow well in sections of this part of Florida where the microclimate’s temperature is in the higher ranges and stays moderately stable during the winter. It’s true that some tropical plants tend to suffer slightly with the lower temperatures in the not-too-harsh winters, but with proper cold supporting measures, the fruits grown in what is classed as a temperate zone may still do well.

South Florida

The south is where exotic fruits go to bear crops to the fullest.13

In this southern part of the state, winter lows rarely drop below freezing, making it ideal for growing a wide variety of exotic fruits. For Jackfruits, the temperature really couldn’t be much better, and a very large number of tropical plants are perfectly content to grow and bear their fruits in the warmer climate in the south of Florida.

Here is a chart to show where certain fruit trees can grow in which section of the sunshine state.

FruitsNorth FloridaCentral FloridaSouth Florida
1. AtemoyaYesYes
2. AvocadosYes (Cold hardy variety only)YesYes
3. BananasYesYes
4. BlackberryYesYes
5. BlueberryYesYes
6. CarambolaYesYes
7. Che fruitYesYesYes
8. Chocolate pudding fruitYes
9. CoconutYes
10. CocoplumYes
11. Dragon fruitYesYes
12. FeijoaYes
13. JackfruitYes
14. LonganYesYes
15. LoquatYesYes
16. LycheeYesYes
17. MangoYes
18. Mamey sapoteYes
19. PapayaYesYes
20. PassionfruitYesYes
21. PeachesYes
22. Peanut butter fruitYes
23. PearsYesYes
24. PersimmonYesYes
25. PineapplesYesYes
26. PlumsYes
27. SoursopYes
28. Sugar appleYes
29. Tropical guavaYesYes
30. WampeeYesYes

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the fruits that grow throughout the sunshine state. Florida’s southern region is blessed with a tropical and subtropical climate that is ideal for a wider variety of fruit than what can be found in the northern or central regions.

There are microclimates formed along the coastline in the central area where the temperature is boosted by thermal winds from the ocean, and in those tropical pockets, some tropical fruits can be successfully grown, so do your due diligence. If you’re thinking of planting a Soursop Tree or the tallest fruit-bearing tree, which is the Coconut Tree, by the way, have a backup plan to keep it warm on the chillier nights.

Jackfruit Tree Care: The Best Fertilizer for Jackfruit Tree

Once the Jackfruit seedlings have been planted they will require a certain level of maintenance to regularly produce a healthy and plentiful harvest dutifully every year on demand. To ensure that this happens it will need to be properly fertilized.

Knowing when and how to fertilize your Jackfruit Tree is one of the most basic pieces of knowledge to have in your arsenal,14 and will pay dividends towards the yield at harvest time if you master it. The ideal time to start fertilizing is in the spring before new growth appears, but if your tree is not fruiting in the spring but in summer, it’s okay to fertilize it then.

Close up of a Jackfruit tree with its multiple green fruits and green leaves hanging on its branches.

(Image: jayakv23)

It has even been suggested that fertilization in the fall may increase the plant’s resistance to the cold but if so it will only be to a minor degree. When applying the fertilizer, spread it uniformly on the ground beneath the tree’s canopy, creating a ring around the base of the tree.

Avoid getting any on the foliage or the low-hanging fruit as it may cause unwanted damage. Choose one with the correct nitrogen content level based on the age of the tree and, this is very important, double-check that the Jackfruit fertilizer you choose states that it is suitable for fruiting trees before applying it.

Watering Needs for Jackfruit Tree Plants and Planting Tips for Jackfruit Tree

For seedlings as well as young trees, there ought to be an irrigation system or a schedule set up so water can be sprayed regularly to keep the plant hydrated, especially throughout any unusually dry months. To verify if watering is necessary at any point, periodically inspect the soil by inserting your finger to a depth of 1 inch at the base to check if it is bone dry or still has some moisture, and water if it is dry.

To maintain the moisture in the soil, remove any weeds that will take the first opportunity to steal the last drop of water from the tips of the plant’s roots as often as they are able. They provide no benefit whatsoever so should be pulled out before they can settle in thirstily.

Even grass shouldn’t be allowed to grow around the base as they will also try to monopolize the water supply for their own selfish purposes. The only thing that should be scattered around your Jackfruit Tree, apart from fertilizer, is mulch.

An organic layer between 2-6 inches thick will act as an insulator, preventing the moisture from evaporating on hot days and keeping the roots at the comfy temperatures they are accustomed to. Always leave a gap between the mulch and the trunk of about 20 to 30 cm.

Care also needs to be practiced when mowing the lawn around the base of the Jackfruit Tree. Any bumps or accidental scrapes that break the surface of the bark will instigate a process of healing that may be too stressful for the tree and even lead to its eventual demise.15

In order to encourage lateral bud break and make the tree more compact, it is recommended to prune the shoot tips once or twice during the spring and summer. This should not be done, however, in their first year of growth when it should be left to grow, but in the second year the canopies should be thinned out by trimming them back to the first lateral branch.

At the end of each harvest season, thin the inner canopy from mature trees and remove any aggressive upright shoots. Selective pruning on a Jackfruit Tree is often practiced to relieve the burden on the branches by reducing the number of fruits growing on each one.

Excessive fruit loads have been found to cause limbs to bend or even crack under the unbearable load of 3 or 4 of these mega-fruits, and sometimes they actually snap off entirely which can lead to the stunted growth of the tree.

Reducing the total number of ripe fruits on mature trees to just one per major branch will seriously benefit the tree’s health and productive years.

By following a few simple steps to care for your plant, you will be able to continually produce enough Jackfruits to keep you in these large, multi-use fruits for a long time to come.

Common Pests of the Jackfruit Tree: Natural Pest Control for Jackfruit Tree

For millions of years, insects have been assaulting, infesting, and chewing their way through leaves, siphoning off the life-giving tree sap that flows through its leafy veins, and laying eggs into the very core of fruits to consume them from the inside out. The damages wrought have dismayed farmers the world over, either parts of their crops not viable for going to market, or so badly infected that they are not fit for human consumption.

Jackfruit Trees have their fair share of invaders, pests that target virtually every part of the plant, and the havoc they leave behind can be disheartening and ruinous if the pests are not counterattacked effectively. The difficulty in treatment lies in recognizing the type of pests present not by actually seeing them but by the trails of destruction that they leave in their wake.

Focused shot of a Spittlebug showing its distinctive and shiny black body featuring an orange line, resting on a green leaf.

(Image: adarshjoseph0723)

Some of the ones listed below are so tiny that they are barely discernable to the naked eye, while others sneakily hide beneath the leaves while they feed. Larvae in trees are silent assassins.16

There are types that bore themselves deep into fruits or the bark and go about their hungry lives completely out of sight. Then there are others who are so bold and brazen that they just shuffle along and munch away to their heart’s content in broad daylight.

  • Aphid (Greenidea artocarpi)
  • Bark-eating caterpillar (Indarbela tetraonis)
  • Bud weevil (Ochyromera artocarpi)
  • Castor capsule borer (Dichocrocis punctiferalis)
  • Fruit fly (Bactrocera umbrosa)
  • Leaf Webber (Glyphodes bivitralis)
  • Mealybug (Drosicha mangiferae)
  • Pink waxy scale (Ceroplastes rubens)
  • Shoot and fruit borer (Glyphodes caesalis)
  • Spittlebugs (Cosmocarta relata)
  • Stem borer (Batocera rufomaculata)
  • Thrips (Pseudodendrothrips dwivarna)

Even though some pests are relatively harmless, causing merely cosmetic discoloration to the foliage, preventing them from setting up home in the first place is preferable to trying to detect and eradicate them.

If properly employed, prevention and pest management can go hand in hand and be enacted at the same time.

  • Keep the area around your trees free from dead or discarded leaves or decaying organic material.
  • Always use clean water.
  • Don’t overwater as any standing puddles are a lure to some pests.
  • Use companion plants. There are some types of trees and plants such as coriander, fennel, and Queen Anne’s lace that attract other bugs, wasps, and birds that will hunt down and devour the pests damaging your crops.
    This is nature’s own biological form of pest control, and will even help with pollination if you attract bees and butterflies.
  • Interplanting strong-scented plants will offend the olfactory senses of pests and will act as a deterrent so they won’t even approach your crops and go elsewhere.
  • Draping the trees with insect nets will be an insurmountable barrier to some pests and is easy to implement.
  • A strong spray from a hose is a simple method of knocking some of the insects free
  • Insecticidal soap or neem oil are good biological agents to mix with water and spray over the leaves. They will not harm the plant but will suffocate the pests.
  • Bacillus thuringiensis is an effective insecticide that is harmless to pets,17 and humans but is an excellent tool for eliminating eggs that will turn into leaf-munching monsters.
  • If a plant becomes too infected, remove it completely to reduce the risk of the infestation migrating to other trees.

Handpicking beetles or caterpillars before they turn into butterflies, is an often overlooked solution as is setting a few traps that the insects are lured into, such as laying a bowl of beer at the base of the tree that slugs just can’t resist. There are many more methods that can be employed successfully to control unwanted pests that are easy to implement, are natural deterrents, and will leave and keep your trees pest free.

How To Stop Jackfruit Tree Disease: Jackfruit Tree Disease Prevention

Diseases can seem to appear out of nowhere but generally are more prone to infect a tree that has already been weakened. This can occur from either too much water, too little water, too much sun, not enough sun, or a lack of nutrients plus a host of other variables.

A gash or an accidental wound in the bark caused by a machine trimming too close to the trunk can create an open doorway for a whole range of diseases to infiltrate your plant and rot it from the roots upwards.

The diseases below are known for causing black spots to grow on once-healthy leaves, for fruits to discolor and rot, and even for branches and twigs to die back.

  • Anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides)
  • Botrytis (Botrytis cinerea)
  • Dieback (Botryodiplodia theobromae)
  • Leaf spot (Phyllosticta artocarpina Speg)
  • Pink disease (Botryobasidium salmonicolaor)
  • Rhizopus fruit rot (Rhizopus artocarpi)
  • Rust (Uredo artocarpi)
  • Soft rot or fruit rot (Rhizopus artocarpi)

For a plant that doesn’t do well sitting in waterlogged soil,18 overwatering can lead to the roots rotting and the infection seeping into the central core.

To lessen the possibility of this happening, watering a tree at the start of the day is a recommended tactic, and not at the end. During daylight hours, evaporation of any excess water is less likely to occur, whereas there is more of a chance of root rot setting in during colder nights.

Mulching around trees is a simple and effective method of controlling the moisture content in the soil. However, bacterial or fungal infections do not occur in a vacuum, and there is a progression of how the infection will gradually take hold of your Jackfruit Tree.

That progression of events begins with the tree being weakened by an outside force or from an uncontrolled insect invasion and the effects from their bites or their secretions, or from insufficient airflow between the leaves.

  • The spores of the fungal or bacterium will start to grow unnoticed, with no ill effects displayed by the tree.
  • The infection spreads from one leaf to another, from fruit to fruit, or penetrates deeper into the roots.
  • The pathogen or the fungal spores spread, untreated, undiagnosed.
  • Now weakened even further, a secondary unrelated infection infiltrates your tree.
  • In many cases, a disease can be contained if the transmission of the bacteria is detected early by analyzing the symptoms and knowing which pathogen is present.

Because some of these pathogens present symptoms on the trees sometimes slowly, it can be difficult to be aware that the tree is even a hint of any danger until it’s too late.

Vigilance and a routine of checking the leaves, fruits, flowers, and even the trunk for any sign of cankers will stop you from reaching the point where branches have to be excised or a complete plant uprooted and burned to ash.

  • Be very careful when cleaning around the base with grass cutters to not cause any injury to the trunk.
  • Water your trees early so any residual water on the leaves will dry out during the day and not fester and cause mold to build up.
  • Space your trees and plants far enough apart to allow fresh air to circulate.
  • Fertilize at the right time of year with the correct type and correct quantities.
  • Bactericides and fungicides can be sprayed to manage spores and infections.19
  • Prune away old and damaged twigs or branches; this will also allow for better air circulation but make sure the shears are clean to prevent you from actually being the source of the infection.

Sanitation can play a major role in keeping your tree disease free.

Any type of organic matter that can decay at the base of the tree is a potential threat, and this includes leaves, twigs, flowers, fruits, or rotting compost. Clear it all away.

Copper and sulfur are two compounds that can be sprayed to treat some diseases without causing any harm to the tree or the surrounding ecosystem, and are worth applying systematically.

Jackfruit vs Durian: What’s the Difference?

These two extremely large fruits are so similar in outward appearance when vied from a distance that it’s nigh on impossible to tell them apart.

Close up, Jackfruits and durians have strong aromas, both have an unusually spiky yet similar skin texture even though they are from different families.

An up-close view of several Durian fruits, each boasting its spiky green skin.

(Image: karolranis23)

But it’s when you open them up that the difference becomes apparent from the smell, the taste, and the texture of the flesh.

Predominantly found inSouthern IndiaSumatra and Borneo
SizeUp to 2 feet in length and weighing an average of 18 kg.Much small at only a foot long and half the weight at 9 kg.
Skin textureSmall spikes that are often rounded and worn.Pronounced jagged spikes that are much sharper.
SmellA sweet smell similar to a mixture of mangoes and pineapples.It has the odor of rotten eggs, backed-up drains, and even raw sewage as soon as it is opened.
Inside appearanceBright yellow or orange interior with a white surrounding core and a sticky fluid.The interior is all white and just the fruits are yellow or off-white.
TasteVery sweet when ripe with a nice crunch when bitten into.Not as sweet with a savory, almost garlic/strong cheese flavor and the consistency of thick custard.

Both are supremely popular and important food sources in Southeast Asia. Raw Jackfruit, especially in the vegetarian and vegan food sector, can successfully imitate different meats in various recipes and can make desserts, smoothies, and even ice creams.

Durians, on the other hand, are slightly limited to sweet or savory dishes, and, of course, you have to overcome the smell before taking your first bite. The aroma is so bad that Durians have gained a bad image all over the world,20 in many public spaces in Southeast Asia, it is actually prohibited to crack open even one of these fruits.

You can just imagine how bad the smell has to be for that to happen.

Jackfruit Tree Facts (Artocarpus heterophyllus)

There are so many amazing recipes that can be made out of the fruits that in some parts of India it is eaten 3 times a day in 3 different ways.

As a meat substitute, the taste does take a bit of getting used to, but for vegans or vegetarians, it’s a close facsimile and provides a fair amount of protein considering that it’s a fruit.

A bowl with chunks of yellow ripe Jackfruit.

(Image: kieutruongphoto23)

Virtually every part of the Jackfruit Tree can be used for something. Here are some of them, as well as a few interesting facts worth knowing.

  • A plantation in India holds the record for growing the biggest Jackfruit ever which tipped the scales at nearly 45 kg. It measured close to 2 feet (22.5 inches) long with a circumference of over 4 feet (52 inches).
  • In India, because it grows so prolifically, the Jackfruit is known as the poor man’s fruit.
  • The extra sticky and annoying sap within the fruit can be used to make glue.
  • The tree’s wood, which is very resistant to termites and fungus is ideal for making window and door frames as well as musical instruments.
  • Once it is ground up, the bark can be used to make dyes.
  • Jackfruit is a natural laxative and is good for digestion problems.
  • Because of its laxative properties, it is not advisable to drink a lot of water after eating the fruit as it may lead to bouts of diarrhea.
  • Packed with healthy chemicals and vitamins, eating Jackfruits helps to prevent stomach ulcers, controls blood sugar levels, lowers high blood pressure, and can aid in the fight against cancerous cells.
  • If you’re concerned about acne or wrinkles, the pulp can be applied to eliminate both of them.
  • Parts of the roots have been used to treat asthma and fevers.
  • Elephants will travel miles to dine on this delicacy once they have caught wind of its sweet scents, and nothing stands in their way. They will shake the tree until either the fruit falls down or the tree does, doing whatever it takes to get at the delicious Jackfruit.

There are not many fruits that have the potential to end world hunger yet so little is known about it in so many parts of the world that it’s a shame. What’s even more impressive is that the tree does not have a large carbon footprint, just 0.9kg CO2 to produce 1kg, so does not largely contribute towards climate change.21

If you’ve never had the opportunity to taste the Jackfruit Tree fruit yourself, try to find one and take a bite. You’ll be amazed at just how good it is raw or when you try it in a homemade curry.

Get to know the fruit, spread the word, and if you have the space, the time, and the temperature, grow a Jackfruit Tree in your backyard.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Jackfruit Tree

Is Jackfruit a Fruit?

Yes. It is definitely a fruit and not a vegetable and grows on trees in tropical environments.

Where Is Jackfruit Grown and What Is the Jackfruit Growing Zone?

Southeast Asia, South Africa, Florida, Hawaii, and South America are some of the Tropical countries where the Jackfruit Tree is grown.

What Are the Ways on How To Identify Jackfruit Tree?

The large, pendulous yellow/green fruits are the easiest way to identify the tree.

How Much Sunlight Does Jackfruit Tree Need Each Day?

Between 6-8 hours of direct sunshine is required every day.

How Long It Takes To Grow Jackfruit Tree Fruits?

It can take between 3-5 years on average for fruits to be produced and be good for harvesting.

What Are the Steps on How To Keep Jackfruit Tree Small?

To keep a Jackfruit Tree under 7 feet tall, keep it rooted in a 25-50 gallon pot and prune the branches periodically and aggressively while leaving a few leaves on the ends to make sure the tree keeps getting enough water and light.

What Are the Health Benefits of Jackfruit Leaves?

The dried leaves are used to make a tea that is believed to help in the control of diabetes, and in a liquid form to cure insomnia and restore a good night’s sleep.

Why Is Mulching Around Trees Beneficial?

Mulching helps to retain moisture in the soil and to keep the roots warm in the winter.

Do Trees Have Genders?

You might ask, “Do trees have genders?” The answer is no, what a tree may have is a flower that has male or female parts within it, or even both.

What Type of Tree Pollination Does the Jackfruit Tree Undergo?

Because they have both male and female parts in the flowers, Jackfruit Trees can undergo self-pollination, eliminating the requirement for another tree in close proximity for tree pollination.


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23Photos of Jackfruit by Vasanthkumar, KavindaF, kieutruongphoto, Carlrubino, terimakasih0, jayakv, najibzamri, Spittlebug by adarshjoseph07, Durian by karolranis and Coconut trees by Fapgraphicsandphotography. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/>

24Photos of Jackfruit by Judgefloro, Kinglaw and Daderot. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page>

25Green Jackfruits on a Tree Photo by Azad Azahari. (2020, September 8) / Pexels License. Cropped and added text, shape, and background elements. Pexels. Retrieved February 16, 2024, from <https://www.pexels.com/photo/green-jackfruits-on-a-tree-5310413/>