Are you looking for an exciting and rewarding activity to get into? Why not try growing a jojoba plant? Jojoba plants are an excellent choice for any keen gardener, providing various benefits from beautiful blooms to a valuable crop. This article will take you through everything from types of jojoba plants, care, and growing requirements, harvesting, and more. So, let’s get started and learn how to grow a jojoba plant!
When you think of the jojoba plant, you may think of an attractive, drought-tolerant shrub that is often grown to provide a hedgerow or border of bushes. However, there is much more to this plant than meets the eye. The jojoba plant is a desert shrub that has been domesticated for centuries and is now used for various purposes, including the production of its much-prized oil. This article will look at why you should consider growing a jojoba plant and provide some helpful tips and advice.
A jojoba plant is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 12 feet in height and live for many years. It has gray, leathery leaves and yellow-green flowers that bloom in spring, making it an attractive addition to any garden or yard. It is also very drought-tolerant, which makes it an ideal choice for growing in arid or semi-arid environments. The jojoba shrub is native to the southwest United States and northern Mexico but can be grown in many other places with the right conditions.
Jojoba plants are most prized for their oil extracted from the plant’s seeds. This oil is very similar to human sebum and is used in various cosmetic and health products, such as shampoos, facial cleansers, and moisturizers. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, making it a popular choice for treating skin conditions like acne and eczema.
Jojoba plants need plenty of sunlight and warm temperatures, so it’s best to plant them in a location that receives full sun for at least 6 hours a day. The soil should be well-draining and relatively loose and should also be kept moist but not wet. Additionally, jojoba plants are susceptible to frost and should be protected from cold temperatures. You can enjoy a healthy and thriving jojoba plant for years with the proper care and conditions.
Types of Jojoba Plants
If you’re planning to grow a jojoba plant, you must know the available types of jojoba plants. Jojoba plants are native to southwest North America, with the most common species being Simmondsia chinensis, otherwise known as the common jojoba. Other varieties include Simmondsia californica (California jojoba) and Simmondsia macrocarpa (Grapefruit jojoba).
Common jojoba is a resilient desert shrub that’s heat- and drought-tolerant and can survive in nearly any soil conditions. It’s short, rarely reaching more than two feet in height, and its evergreen leaves are grey-green. The common jojoba’s flowers are yellow, and its fruit is a small nut.
California jojoba is a lot like its common relative in appearance, but it can grow to nine or even twelve feet in height. It can survive temperatures down to 30°F but prefers well-drained sandy soils and full sun.
Grapefruit jojoba is the most difficult to grow of all jojoba plants. It grows much taller than ordinary or California jojoba and can reach heights up to 18 feet. It needs additional water and needs to be planted in a location that receives full sun. Its leaves are even darker in color than the common jojoba, and it can take up to eight years for a grapefruit jojoba to reach maturity.
Firstly, jojoba plants require plenty of sunlight for optimal growth. Placing the plants in a sunny spot in your garden is essential for their development. Secondly, jojoba plants require well-draining soil for optimal growth. The soil should be aerated and should contain a mixture of organic material to ensure that the plant can absorb the necessary nutrients from the soil. Additionally, it is essential to ensure that the soil is moist but not overly wet, as too much moisture can cause root rot in the plant.
Once the soil and light conditions have been established, it is time to plant the jojoba plant. The best way to do this is to dig a hole slightly more significant than the width of the jojoba plant’s root ball and approximately two times deeper than the root ball’s height. Once the plant has been planted, the soil should be tightly packed around the root ball to ensure that the plant is adequately supported.
Finally, the jojoba plant will require regular watering during the summer but should be allowed to dry out a bit between watering sessions. Furthermore, be sure to fertilize the jojoba plant at least once a year to provide extra nutrients to the plant, as this will help promote healthy growth.
Jojoba plants need well-drained and loose soil, preferably a sandy loam, to ensure good root development.
Before you plant, you should conduct a soil test to determine the soil’s pH level, calcium content, nitrogen content, and other minerals. The ideal pH level for jojoba plants is between 6.3 and 7.3. Also, ensure the soil is well-aerated and contains a good amount of organic matter.
Adding compost to the soil is the best way to improve its quality and add natural nutrients. This is especially important if your soil is too sandy or clayey. It will not only improve water drainage but will also help the jojoba plant to absorb the necessary minerals from the soil.
You also need to ensure the soil is free from weeds or other unwanted plant life. If weeds are present, you can use weed killers to get rid of them.
After preparing the soil, you must dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root ball of the jojoba plant. The hole should be at least two times bigger than the root ball.
Once the hole has been dug, spread the soil around the jojoba plant and sprinkle a little soil on top. This will help ensure that the soil is distributed evenly and help the jojoba plant establish itself.
Finally, water your jojoba plant thoroughly and keep the soil moist. Make sure you keep the jojoba plant in the current spot for about two weeks so that the roots can adjust and become established. After this period, you can gradually move it to a more permanent location.
Watering and Fertilizing
Watering Jojoba Plant
The key to proper watering a jojoba plant is to provide just enough water to help it grow but not too much water that it drowns. The amount of water needed depends on the size and age of the jojoba plant.
Water it deeply once every week or two for a mature, established jojoba plant. When the soil is dry, water it until the top inch of the soil is moist. However, avoid waterlogging the plant, as this can cause root rot and other issues. If you are still determining if the soil is dry, use your finger to check the soil before watering.
For a young jojoba plant, water more often. Water the plant until the top inch of the soil is moist when the soil starts to dry out. Young jojoba plants don’t need to be watered as deeply as mature plants, so be sure to adjust the frequency and amount of water you provide.
Fertilizing Jojoba Plant
Once your jojoba plant is established, you can begin to fertilize it. Fertilizing helps provide jojoba plants with essential nutrients to support growth.
It’s best to fertilize jojoba plants with a slow-release balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Before applying the fertilizer, make sure the soil is moist. Then, spread the fertilizer evenly over the soil.
For mature jojoba plants, use a fertilizer with a 5-10-10 ratio. Apply the fertilizer every two to four weeks during the growing season (from spring to summer). For young jojoba plants, start fertilizing when the plant is about a foot tall and continue fertilizing until the end of the growing season.
Once the growing season is over, you can stop fertilizing. However, if you notice your jojoba is not growing or looking healthy, you may need to fertilize it more often.
Pruning and Training
When pruning your Jojoba plant, you should remove any dead branches that no longer produce flowers or leaves. Remove any branches that are not growing in proportion to the other branches. This may also reduce the amount of foliage on the plant. As a general rule of thumb, you should only remove one-third of the branches simultaneously.
You can also prune the Jojoba to make it bushier. To do this, select a central stem and prune the branches that are growing from it. Then, prune the surrounding branches back to about two-thirds of their length. This will help the plant fill in and create a healthier look.
Training the plant is also essential for achieving an ideal form. An easy training technique is called the ‘L’ pruning. This involves pruning the main stems at a 45-degree angle to form an ‘L’ shape. This helps to form a bush-like shape that is neat and symmetrical. You can also use stakes and ties to train the plant into a trellis or espalier form.
It is important to note that pruning and training should only be done when the plant is dormant. If done at any other time, it can cause damage and weaken the plant. It is also essential to wear protective gloves when pruning the plant, as the spines can cause skin irritation.
Jojoba plants have a long lifespan and can reach up to 8 feet tall. Harvesting jojoba should occur when the plant is at least 2 to 3 years old.
When harvesting jojoba, the key is to be gentle with the plant and ensure not to pull on the branches or stems, as you want to avoid damaging the plant. The best way to harvest jojoba is to use scissors or pruning shears. Start by cutting off the tips of each branch, as these are the most mature jojoba fruits.
The next step is to pluck each jojoba fruit from the branch – use a pair of tweezers for this, or use your fingertips. Now it is time to crack open the jojoba nuts and remove the shells – again, use a pair of tweezers or your fingertips.
Once the jojoba nuts have been shelled, it is essential to dry them before storing them. Place the jojoba nuts on a clean paper towel and let them air dry thoroughly in a dry, warm, and well-ventilated area. Store the jojoba nuts in an airtight container away from light and moisture.
In conclusion, growing a jojoba plant is no small feat. It requires great patience and dedication, but the rewards are worth it. With the right knowledge, proper growing conditions, and the right care, you can be sure that your jojoba will thrive and bear fruit. It is important to remember to attend to your plants regularly and to prune and train them as needed to ensure optimal growth. With the proper care, you will soon be able to enjoy the delicious fruits that your jojoba plants will provide!