Let’s look at how to grow a loquat tree from seed, so you have a surplus of fruits in your next summer season to enjoy with your loved ones.
Are you a lover of growing fruits in your backyard and love to spend family time picking some fresh ones to enjoy with friends and family? The loquat tree is a popular choice among many gardeners who desire an attractive, fruit-bearing tree in their garden.
It is distant from the rose, producing small yellow fruits that taste like a blend of peach, citrus, and mango. Overall, these fruits are utterly delicious. Some gardeners describe the fruit’s taste as honey and are an excellent choice for fruit shakes or preserves.
However, the loquat remains relatively unknown in many regions, and not many gardeners even consider growing it. The tree thrives in the right climate conditions with low maintenance, producing fruits every year. Its perennial nature makes it ideal for planting in an all-year-round garden.
How To Grow A Loquat Tree From A Seed
It is possible to grow loquat from seed since it is all over, especially after the fruiting season. However, it is unlikely that you will be able to harvest any fruit from this tree within the same short time that a shrub will give you. It could take you a long time to harvest a good crop.
Your best bet is to purchase a grafted seedling, and you will harvest the first fruits in about 3 years. Let’s say that growing loquat from seed could be a tricky affair, and not many gardeners are willing to take that route.
Growing A Loquat Tree From Shrub Instead Of Seed
The shrub is what many gardeners prefer. Let’s look at how to grow this fruit tree from a grafted shrub.
- Location and Soil Preparation. Choose a sunny spot that has rich, well-draining soils. You can add compost manure or organic fertilizers to the soil before planting. If your soil is clay-based, add gypsum and fork in well to mix it.
- Planting Hole. Make a planting hole that is twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball.
- Planting. Take the shrub and gently tease the roots, cutting away any circles or tangled ones to ensure proper growth after planting. Position your shrub in the hole and backfill the soil, gently firming it down. Form a raised ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant’s root zone to keep the water from flowing away on the sides.
- Watering. Water the plant well after planting to settle the soil around the roots. Always keep the soil moist for several weeks as the new plant establishes itself. Depending on the weather conditions, water once or twice a week to keep the tree nourished.
- Mulching. Mulch around the tree’s base using organic mulch like pea or sugarcane straw, bark chips, keeping them away from the tree trunk.
- Fertilization. Apply more compost manure or fertilizer yearly – once in summer and autumn. When the tree flowers, feed it weekly with a fruiting fertilizer to help promote more flowering and fruiting.
Best Climate To Grow Loquats
Loquats thrive in subtropical and mild winter regions of USDA zones 8 to 10. These trees do well where citrus grows. However, the orange flesh varieties require more warmth to produce sweet fruit.
If your area has a too cool or hot and humid climate, loquats will not bear fruits. Mature loquat trees can withstand a low temperature of 12 degrees F, but their flowers are killed by 26 degrees F. The white-fleshed loquats thrive in the cool coastal areas. However, hot and dry summer weather causes leaf scotch for all the varieties.
Loquats thrive under the full sun; although they still can grow in partial shade, the fruit may not fully ripen.
Use well-drained, compost-rich – loamy soil to grow your loquats. You can also grow them in loam and heavy clay soil, but they will not do well in alkaline soil.
Don’t plant loquats near a walkway or patio because they can be messy.
Spacing Loquat Trees In A Garden
Loquats grow up to 15 to 30 feet high. Within the first decade, the loquat tree will be about 12 to 15 feet tall and wide. Therefore, proper spacing is essential when you are planting your trees in a garden. Space your trees at least 15 feet apart or more if your garden allows.
Dwarf trees grow at least half the size of a standard tree or less. Space these trees at least 8 to 10 feet apart.
How To Grow A Loquat Tree In A Pot
Choose the right pot. Your pot should be at least 600mm wide to properly fit the shrub and planting mix. It should also give room to the growth of roots.
Planting. Remove the shrub from the container it arrives in and gently teases the roots, cutting away the tangled or circled roots to help new growth develop. Position the shrub in the pot and fill with potting mix, gently firming it down.
Watering. Water it immediately after planting to help it establish its roots. Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather conditions.
Fertilization. Use compost or organic manure, or other fertilizers mixed with the potting mix when planting. Also, apply any of them at least yearly – in spring and autumn. When your tree flowers, feed your tree every week with a flowering fertilizer to promote more flowering and fruiting.
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How Long Does A Loquat Tree Take Before Fruiting?
Loquat trees start producing flowers as early as 6 months after planting towards the end of summer. Bees and other insects help with pollination, and soon enough, individual flowers form the fruits. However, a good harvest of loquat fruits will happen after 2 to 3 years of growing your trees.
Loquat fruit takes about 90 days to mature after the flower opens fully. This tree is hardy and withstands cold temperatures up to 10 degrees F. A frost at the start or end of the fall season causes the young fruit to fall off.
If you expect temperatures to drop lower than 27 degrees F, cover your trees to keep them warm and avoid frost burning.
Sometimes even after 3 years, a loquat tree may not have fruits, but that is due to improper planting or lack of fertilization.
Now that you know growing a loquat tree from a seed is tough, it’s best to grow yours from a grafted shrub. The loquat tree does not disappoint; it requires low maintenance provided you give it the right growing conditions.
Now that you have your fruits grown, ensure you allow them to ripen fully before harvesting them. Fully ripe fruits are yellow-orange, and they feel soft but not too soft. They are also easy to pull off the stem and enjoyable to eat.