Horticulture Guruji


Fruit Science

Poor man’s fruit / King of Arid fruits / Chinese fig / Chinese Date

B.N. – Zizyphus mauritiana

Family – Rhamnaceae

Origin India to South Western Asia up to Malaysia (China)

Ch. No 2n = 48 (4x)

Fruit type Drupe (stone)

Edible part Pericarp

Inflorescence type Fasicle (cymose)

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Important Point

  • Ber is non-climacteric fruit
  • Highly salt tolerant
  • Ber is extremely drought resistant.
  • Ber is entomophilous (insect-pollinated).
  • Gametophytic self-incompatibility is present in Ber.
  • Maximum area and production Madhya Pradesh.
  • One spray of 3% thiourea or KNO3 2 days before pruning results in bud germination from a maximum number of nodes.
  • Irrigation in October leads to flower drop and during March-April the fruits are spoilage and ripening is delayed.
  • Ber ripens 150-175 days after flowering.
  • The most common method of Ber propagation is I or T budding.
  • The ideal time for training is March.
  • Harvesting in South India – October-November

                            North India – February-April.

  • Spraying of 750 ppm ethephon at early stage of color change for early ripening.
  • Flowering occurs in the axils of the leaves on young shoots of the current season.



Extremely dry area- early maturing

  • Gola – Auto Octa-ploid.
  • Seb

Dry Area- late maturing

  • Umran – Auto tetraploid, originating from Rajasthan Processed and used as ‘Chhuhara’

Humid area


Mid maturing

  • Rashmi
  • Mundia
  • Banarasi


  • Sanaur -2- resistant to powdery mildew
  • Dodhia – resistant to fruit fly
  • Illaichi – 90% pollen sterility
  • Goma Kirti (Gonesh kirti)- early variety, Selection from unran.
  • Sanaur-5,
  • Kaithali
  • Surti Katha,
  • Katha phal,
  • Jogia,
  • Seo



  • Cultivated up to an altitude of 1500 meters
  • Arid and semi-arid climate is required for better quality fruits.
  • Tolerant to drought and waterlogging.



  • Successfully grown in marginal lands.
  • Being salt-tolerant, can be grown easily in saline and alkaline soils
  • Sandy loamy soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH.



  • In India, ber is commercially propagated by budding.
  • Budding time – June or monsoon.
  • RootstockZiziphus rotundifolia



  • For monsoon planting, pits of 60 cm3 size are dug from April to May.
  • In December or January for spring planting.
  • The best time for planting is the onset of the monsoon (June-July).
  • 4X4m or 6X3m, or 6X6m or 6X5m planting distance is maintained.


Manure and fertilizers

  • FYM -20-30 kg/plant
  • N-400-500gm/tree, P2O5– 200gm/tree K2O- 200gm/tree.
  • Half of the amount of Nitrogen and the full amount of Phosphorous and Potash should be applied in the month of June-July.
  • The remaining amount of nitrogen should be used during September-October.



  • Light irrigation should be given to newly planted ber plants.
  • Drip irrigation is also an economical method.
  • Irrigation at the time of fruiting increases the fruit size.
  • Adopt a limited irrigation pitcher system of irrigation.



Mulching of 75% tree canopy around the trunk with dry leaves, grasses, saw dust etc. conserves soil moisture to a great extent.


Training and pruning in Ber

  • For a strong frame of the ber tree, training becomes necessary from the first year of planting.
  • The total number of main branches can be 4-6.
  • Pruning in ber is highly desirable to maintain the strength and productivity of the tree as well as to improve the size and quality of fruits.
  • All branches which are weak, thin, diseased, broken branches, criss-cross should be removed with sharp secateurs.
  • The best time to prune is hot, dry weather when the plants shed their leaves and go to rest or go dormant.



Treatment of GA3, 2,4,5 – T, 2,4-D, NAA with 10-15 ppm increases the fruit set.


Interculture and intercropping

  • Keep the ber plant free from weeds, regular weeding is recommended.
  • Seasonal crops like moong, guar, cowpea, spinach, etc. can be grown in ber.
  • Take intercrop in ber orchard for 2 to 3 years.



  • In North India, harvesting is done from February to April.
  • Western Port – December – January.
  • South India – Nov.
  • When the color changes from green to yellow and golden yellow to brown.
  • Due to increasing in sugar, fruits become sweet and acidity decreases.



80 to 150 Kg / Tree


Pest control

  1. Fruitfiy (Carpomyia vesuviona)

The flies puncture young developing fruits and lay single eggs. After hatching the larvae (maggots) feed inside the pulp of the fruit and pierce the rind.


  • Collect and destroy affected fruits
  • Spray Monocrotophos (0.04%) or Rogor 30 EC (0.06%)
  • Grow tolerant varieties like Sanaur-1, Safeda, Elaichi etc.


  1. Bark eating caterpillar (Inderbela quadinotota)

The caterpillar makes holes in the stem while eating the bark.


  • Remove frassy galleries and point bark with 0.05% Monocrotophos 40EC.
  • Grow insect tolerant varieties like, Rohtaki Gola, Laddu Glory etc.


  1. Hairy caterpillar (Euproctis fraterna)

During the rainy season, the caterpillars cause damage by eating the leaves.


  • Spray Seven (Carbaryl) @ 0.15%.


Disease Control

1.Powdery Mildew (Oidium erysiphoides)

  • This disease was first observed in 1946 in Kanpur (UP).
  • White powdery spots appear in affected fruits which later cover the entire fruit area.
  • White powdery mass is also spread on flowers and leaves.


  • Spray Karathane (Dinocap) 0.1% or Sulfox 0.2%
  • Grow tolerant varieties like Sanour-5, Chuhara etc.


  1. Sooty mould or Black Leaf Spot (Isariopsis sp.)

  • In the month of September-October, black spots develop on the affected leaves on their inner surface.
  • Leaves turn yellow to brown and eventually fall down.


  • Adopt phytosanitary measures.
  • Spray Dithane Z- 78@ 0.2%.


  1. Fruit Root (Phoma sp., Colletotrichum sp., Alternaria sp.)

Brown to black spots are formed on the fruits, later these spots surround the whole fruit.


  • Spray Dithane Z-78@0.2%.

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