Updated 3/25/23 – Zone 9B FL: This is my on-going documentary of how I am growing my Thai mulberry and Pakistani mulberry trees. Let’s first get to know the common varieties of mulberries grown in Florida. I have tasted the four fruits and had once own all four mulberry varieties, although not for long. I now narrow down to only the Thai mulberry and Pakistani mulberry tree. I’ll go back and add the pictures when I have a chance.
- Dwarf Everbearing mulberry – common in Florida, dwarf tree size, fast growing, fruits in March and April, small size fruit, tart flavor (not sweet to me), recommended for small gardens, easily propagated by stem cuttings
- Thai Mulberry – fast growing, dwarf tree size, fruits in March and April, fruit size is bigger than the Dwarf Everbearing, about one to two-inches long, tart when not fully ripen, and medium sweet when ripen black, recommended for small gardens, easily propagated by stem cuttings
- White Mulberry – fast growing, mature tree size, fruits in March and April, low fruit production rate, size fruit about 1 inch long, very sweet – I got rid of this White Mulberry because it wouldn’t fruit for me within two years and it was an aggressive grower that requires constant pruning to maintain it in a 15-gallon pot, hard to propagate by stem cuttings
- Pakistani Mulberry – fast growing, mature tree size, fruits in March and April (to be checked), long fruit size that reaches to about 4 inches or maybe longer, extremely sweet, hard to propagate by stem cuttings (but I’ll try again soon)
Why I Chose to Grow the Thai Mulberry
Before the Thai Mulberry, I was growing the Dwarf Everbearing Mulberry because majority of the edible gardeners were talking about how it’s an easy to grow fruiting tree that’s dwarf and tasty. My kids and I did not like the taste of Dwarf Everbearing. I had an opportunity to visit The Reid’s Farm in Deland, Florida in April 2022 when Lonny’s mulberry trees are fruiting. My little man had the chance to sample all four mulberry varieties. As soon my son and I tasted the Thai mulberry, I bought a young rooted plant and got rid of the Dwarf Everbearing Mulberry. The Thai mulberry tree Lonny had in the ground was so beautiful with hundreds of big size mulberries dangling on the branches like ornaments.
Thai mulberry fruits are much bigger than the Dwarf Everbearing. Thai mulberry tree also has higher fruit production rate. The fruits are somewhat sweet when fully ripen black. I have a small yard and Thai Mulberry is also a dwarf mulberry variety that I am able to grow easily in a container or in the ground. These are the reasons why I chose to grow the Thai mulberry tree over the Dwarf Everbearing mulberry. Mom is test growing the Thai mulberry for me in Richardson, Texas and mother-in-law will test grow it in Tulsa, Oklahoma for me to see how frost hardy it can be.
Why I Chose to Grow the Pakistani Mulberry:
I had an opportunity to taste the Pakistani mulberry for the first time during a visit to Leaph’s food forest in West Palm Beach in 2021. His Pakistani mulberry was planted in a 15-gallon pot and the fruiting mulberry plant was pruned to a bushy 3-feet tall bushy mulberry plant with lightly green long dangling mulberries hanging on the branches. The mulberries weren’t anywhere near ripening yet at the time, but Leaph told me to give it a try. To my surprise, it was so so sweet! I can’t imagine how sweeter it can be once this mulberry fully ripens. Pakistani became my favorite mulberry variety of the four listed above. The only thing is that it’s a natural aggressive and fast growing mulberry variety. The Pakistani Mulberry tree can grow very big and tall fast. I do not have that space in my less than 1/10th of an acre garden. So I bought a Pakistani mulberry from Leaph and am trying to keep it in a pot and hoping it will fruit like it did for him in the pot for as long as I can. You can reach out to Leaph via Facebook Messenger app or on Facebook. He is the admin for the Florida Food Forest group and the Florida Tropical Fruit Tree Growers group. He does not give out his personal phone number or private address to strangers nor do I have the permission to do so.
Sunlight requirement: Full sun
Planting: I planted the Thai mulberry tree in my backyard about 10 feet away from my patio. I am currently potting the Pakistani mulberry tree.
Spacing: I was told that since the Thai mulberry is considered a dwarf mulberry variety, I can plant it close to the house, which is at least ten feet away from the house. As for as the Pakistani mulberry tree, it’s in a pot because I don’t have space for it to grow. If you have an acre of land, plant it far far away from any building structure. One lady posted her 23-years-old Pakistani mulberry tree with a height of 40-feet tall and 40-feet wide and provided her with at least 700 pounds of mulberries each year on Facebook. Her post with pictures was enough to persuade me to not ever think of planting the Pakistani mulberry on my tiny yard.
Potting Mix: Mulberry trees in general strive in poor soil condition when planted in the ground. So any regular potting mix would make it happy, no need to add the fancy peat moss, extra perlite, crab shells, etc. Make sure the ground or planter has good drainage.
insert images of the two mulberry trees
Watering: Both the Thai and Pakistani mulberry trees in my garden gets watered by the sprinkler system two to three times a week and with the rainfalls. I may sometimes give it a deep watering once a week for the potted Pakistani mulberry in the summer time.
Pruning: Leaph from West Palm Beach told me that the mulberries only grow on new growth. So it’s important to trim off the old branches at the end of the fruiting cycle to allow new growth to form for the next fruiting season. (Months of year for trimming and pruning my mulberry trees: to be updated.)
insert images of the before and after pruning for both trees
Propagation: It’s easy to propagate from stem cuttings for the Thai mulberry. It has been difficult to propagate the Pakistani mulberry from my failed attempts. Perhaps that is also why the Pakistani mulberry tree is twice the cost of the Thai mulberry.
For any other information about the Thai Mulberry and Pakistani Mulberry trees that I have not covered, please do your own further research. I just document enough information for me to remember and for my kids to learn how to grow their own mulberry trees.