Jackfruit trees are evergreen tropical trees that have a dense canopy and a short trunk about 12 to 31 centimeters in diameter. The Nangka tree grows 33-66 meters high and has red bark. The roots of the trees are shallow and supportive. The dark green jackfruit leaves are thick, shiny and 6 to 8 inches long. Male flowers and female flowers grow on the same tree. They are light green in color with fleshy petals and protrude directly from the branches. It pollinates from December to March. Within 5 to 6 months after successful pollination, large green, bumpy fruits develop in the rainy season. Nangkas live up to 100 years.
Unripe fruits are white, have a fibrous texture and a neutral taste. The ripe fruit looks the same, but has a delicious sweet taste, which is described as a cross between a banana, mango and pineapple. Unripe fruits are most commonly used as a pulled pork substitute because of their texture. Ripe fruits are most commonly used in fruit salads or are eaten as a sweet tropical snack. The wood of the tree is useful in the manufacture of doors and frames.
In warm climates-like South Florida, for example-planting Nangkas can be done year-round. Otherwise, plant young trees in after spring to early summer. If you live in a colder climate, do not plant this tree outdoors. Jackfruit trees are native to Asian countries, where tropical weather is consistent throughout the year. Choose a site in your garden that is in full sun, with clay soil, well drained, ideally at least 10 meters from other trees. Make sure there is no strong wind. In more windy places, the stake can be useful. Dig a hole 2 meters wide and deep and place the root system of young trees in it. Store soil near the tree trunk around newly planted trees. Then water them and mulch the soil around the tree, leaving a centimeter or two between the mulch and the trunk.
Sun and temperature
Jackfruit trees need at least 6 hours of sunlight to thrive. They do best in USDA zones 10 to 12 and are suitable for warm tropical and subtropical climates. Therefore, heat (up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit) is not a problem for jackfruit. The established trees of some Nangka varieties withstand short freezing temperatures to 32 degrees. Most of them do not do well in the cold and will stop flowering, fruiting and even pass away in prolonged Frost. If you live in a cooler climate, keep your trees in a warm place, such as a greenhouse or grow tent.
Water and humidity
Nangkas need a lot of water, especially during fruit production. Water your trees daily, making sure the first 2 to 3 inches of soil are constantly moist.
Jackfruit is particularly prone to drought, so if you live somewhere with dry periods, water twice a day, morning and evening. Do this also during fruit production. Do not water the tree, as the roots do not enjoy overmoistening. Soaking hoses or drip irrigation provide an ideal flow. In heavy rainy seasons, water only as the first few centimeters of the soil dries up.
Apply slow-release granular fertilizers twice a year, in June-July and September-October. Use fertilizers that have an 8:4:2: 1 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Spread the fertilizer around the base of the tree, 20 centimeters from the trunk. Then water it.