Origin, dissemination and specification

The pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) is a deciduous tree belonging to the Anacardiaceae family.

It seems to have originated in the regions of the Middle East. From there, it spread to the Mediterranean basin and therefore also to Italy.

Pistachio cultivation in the Italian peninsula (particularly in Sicily) was stimulated during the Arab invasion between the end of 800 AD and the turn of 1000 AD.

For many years, pistachio cultivation was not used. Many pistachio groves were abandoned or cultivated sporadically in the Bronte area, until, thanks to the nutritional enhancement of the fruit, cultivation made a comeback in the early 20th century.

The pistachio tree has an extremely long lifespan: it can live for many years (centuries) and has an incredibly slow growth rate which, after a long development period, means it can reach a height of about 10 metres.

It is a dioecious plant, with only female inflorescences or only male inflorescences. Trees of different varieties are therefore needed for cultivation in order to synchronise flowering times and promote pollination, which is done with the help of the wind (anemophilous).

The male and female flowers differ greatly and are therefore easy to recognise. Flowering takes place between the first ten days of March and mid-April for early varieties, extending into late April for late varieties.

The fruit is an oval drupe with a shell, contained in a husk that turns from yellow to pink-red when ripe; the edible part of the pistachio is none other than the seed, contained in the shell.

This in turn is contained in the husk that easily detaches when ripe, a bit like the almond.

Climatic requirements

Mild temperatures are optimal for the plant, with a range of between 18 and 30°C during the spring-summer season. In winter, the plant is able to tolerate temperature drops of several degrees below zero and in fact, as it also requires a certain amount of cold to bear fruit, it often takes advantage of cold winters.

Towards the end of winter sudden drops in temperature can have a negative effect, while in summer vegetative growth stops at temperatures exceeding 30 °C.

The plant is extremely sensitive to moisture, a condition which, especially in the summer months, can lead to the development of fungal diseases.

In the spring, during flowering, too much rain can make it difficult for the pollen to spread and therefore reduce production. This is why in areas prone to rain, it is better to choose very long flowering varieties.

Fortunately, the pistachio is a hardy plant that adapts easily to a wide range of soil and climate conditions: it can be cultivated in a wide range of soils, even those rich in skeleton or limestone, where, in fact, it is often found grown.

It is important, however, to ensure minimum drainage and also ensure that the soil is sufficiently permeable to water, since less fruit is produced on clay soils or soils that are too compact.

Irrigation system for pistachio

Even today, most pistachio groves are cultivated in dry conditions due to the extraordinary capacity for arid conditions that allows pistachios to withstand long periods of drought.

However, irrigation improves production performance enormously (higher quantity and quality, reduction of the unproductive period) and also has a positive impact on alternating crop production.

Significant water stress can lead to pistachios that are shrunken, excess water, on the other hand, can cause the plant to produce pistachios that are larger in size but of a poorer quality.

The most appropriate irrigation technique is drip irrigation especially in the first years after planting. The average seasonal water requirement of pistachios in the Mediterranean environment ranges between 1000 and 1500 m3/ha for young plants, reaching 3000-6000 m3/ha for adult plants.

As it is an arid-resistant plant, it is, however, possible to moderate irrigation interventions and, especially in conditions of limited water availability, only provide water at times of greatest demand (fruit set and seed growth).

We recommend pressure-compensating drip lines of the Multibar type suitable for soils with considerable differences in elevation, suitably sized to ensure a uniform supply of water and fertiliser.

Pistachio tree cultivation - Drip irrigation

A practical example of how to drip irrigate pistachio trees:


Here are the Irritec products you need to drip irrigate pistachio trees:



The characteristics of the pressure compensating dripper make Multibar™ an ideal product for installations in areas with large differences in ground level, where extremely long line lengths and constant flow rates are required in every portion of the system and high delivery precision typical of high-quality crops.

multibar pistacchio dripline



The Connecto™ line of compression fittings for the conveying pressurised fluids, particularly suitable for irrigation and gardening systems, is characterised by its great speed and ease of assembly.

pipes anche connecto for pistachio trees irrigation



Irritec® metal filters are robust and durable. They can manage a wide range of flow rates. Manual or automatic models are available for canal and well water applications.



Irritec® injection systems are reliable and easy to use. They allow the injection of fertilisers (liquid or diluted in water) at rates of between 150 l/h and 1700 l/h (depending on the model).

Fertigation System for Pistachio Trees Irritec



Complete range for connecting tape, light and classic dripline, available in sizes 16, 20, 22, 23, 25 and 29 mm.


Discover how to irrigate others crops

Irritec wants to make life easier for those who take care of the plants, for work and for passion. We aim to ensure that every drop is spent as well as possible, minimizing the ecological footprint.

Agronomic Irritec Team support the farmer also on after-sale and installation, with continuous assistance and efficiency control. Continuous attention to the customer needs to provide succesful and sustainable solution with an efficience service.