(Johannesburg, South Africa)
I recently planted 2 Jackfruit tress = I brought the seeds back from the USA. I have them in pots and they are doing well - now about 40cm tall. The question is, what do I do with them. I live in Johannesburg, in a complex with a very small garden - definitely nowhere to plant them here. I also don't know whether they would even grow here and whether they would bear fruit and when?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Hi, Miriam --
I have never grown jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), but it sounds like a very interesting plant.
It would indeed grow in Johannesburg, given the space -- its mature height is over 20 meters! -- but it is easily damaged by frost and so would need some protection in its first several winters if the temperature should go below freezing, at least until it became established.
I've found conflicting information on whether it could be successfully grown in pots. It seems that you COULD grow it in a pot that was at least 2' (60 cm) tall, but I couldn't find any information on whether it would fruit in that case. One article said, "If you're very lucky, your tree might even make it to setting fruit."
Since even jackfruit trees that are grown in the ground can take up to 14 years to bear fruit, I think your potted plant will be more of a interesting house or porch plant rather than a reliable means of getting fruit.
I don't mean to be discouraging, but these are very tall trees with very deep taproots in nature, and not really made to be kept in a pot.
If you would really like to see it fruit -- since you have the plant growing well already -- try asking a friend or neighbor who has room to grow it if they would like to plant it in their yard. Or you might contact your local arboretum or botanical gardens to see if they might like to give it a good home.
Please let us know what you decide to do and how it does!
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