Last Updated on December 30, 2022 by Griselda M.
If you’re thinking of planting loquats in your garden for their delicious fruit, get prepared for the extended loquat tree growth rate. While some trees can produce fruits within a year of planting, loquats can take longer. How long is this process, and can you help speed it up? We explore the loquat tree growth rate below.
Loquat Tree Size: Is It Suitable For Your Garden?
Loquat trees or Eriobotrya japonica are fruit-bearing trees with short trunks and dark green, leathery leaves. They’re cultivated for their small, pear-shaped sweet fruit but also as decorative shrubs. A fully grown loquat can reach up to 33 feet, but they’re usually around 13 feet tall.
Loquat trees have a prominent crown with soft twigs that can reach 15 feet in diameter. Due to their shape, they’re often used in landscapes to create an impeccable backdrop.
Where To Plant A Loquat Tree?
Loquat trees require sunlight and warm temperatures. They also need plenty of space around them. Choose a clear spot in your garden away from other trees and any hanging power cords or lines. The loquat tree requires well-draining soil as well as full sun exposure. They can tolerate partial shade, but it will affect the amount of bloom and fruit production.
Keep in mind that loquat trees yield soft fruit that can easily fall off when ripe. It’s best to plant trees away from concrete patios, porches, and terraces. Ripe fallen fruit makes a mess and attracts bugs.
How Fast Does A Loquat Tree Grow?
The growth rate is the progress in height a tree achieves in a year. Depending on the number, the growth rate can be slow, medium, or fast.
How to determine the growth rate of your loquat? It starts with the planting. Loquat trees planted from seeds usually have a slow growth rate – of 12 inches or less. The medium growth rate is 13 to 24 inches, and the fast growth is 25 inches and above.
Buying a planted and advanced loquat tree from a garden center is one option for a fast growth rate. Seeds are more unpredictable – you can end up with a tree with a slow or medium growth rate.
Improve The Loquat Tree Growth Rate
When the loquat tree growth rate fails your expectations, it’s time for some boost. Here’s what you can try to maximize its growth potential:
Pick The Perfect Spot
You can plant loquat trees in pots or directly in your garden. In both cases, you need to provide plenty of sunlight, nutrients, and water. Choose a clean area of your garden without any other trees and plants. If your loquat has to fight for nutrients, the growth rate and quality will suffer.
Remove all other plants in 3 feet span from your loquat. To keep the zone clear, apply 4 inches of mulch. Don’t bring the mulch too close to the loquat so it doesn’t soak up any moisture.
If you want to plant more trees, leave at least 15 feet of distance between them.
Help The Roots
Loquat trees have shallow roots. As a result, they often struggle to make their way through the soil. The problem increases when you purchase a tree from a garden center. They grow their trees in a soilless medium, which forms a border with the soil. This stops the roots from receiving nutrients from the ground. The result is a tree with slow and stagnant growth.
It’s essential to remove as much medium as you can from the root ball before planting.
Loquat trees require fertilizer 3 times a year. You can use a 0-10-10 organic fish emulsion or a 6-6-6. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers. They promote wood production at the expense of lower flower and fruit yields.
A granulated, slow-release fertilizer will work great. Apply it in winter, spring, and the beginning of summer. The tree doesn’t need fertilizer during the growing season.
Loquat Growing Zones
Loquat trees thrive in a warm climate. They tolerate drought and like to be sheltered from the wind. Loquat trees perform best in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 8 to 10. However, you can try your luck even if you live outside these zones. As long as your winter temperatures don’t fall below 27°F, the loquat tree will grow and bear fruit each year.
High temperatures are also a problem. If your summer temperatures go over 95°F the loquat will have a slow growth rate.
How To Slow Down Loquat Tree Growth Rate?
To slow down the growth rate of your loquat tree, fertilize less frequently. Apply fertilizer only once in midwinter. You also prune the tree to keep it shorter. However, this will result in a wider crown.
How Long Does It Take A Loquat Tree To Produce Fruit
A loquat tree grown from seed will need up to 10 years before it produces any fruit. A young tree purchased from a nursery takes approximately 3 years before yielding the first fruits.
Many of the loquat trees on the market are grafted, which means they’re self-pollinating. But if you have a variety that’s not self-fertile, you must plant a second tree nearby. If you keep to one tree only, you can expect a small harvest.
Fast Growth Rate But No Fruit On Your Loquat Tree?
A fruitless loquat tree is not a rare sight. The main reason is an unsuitable climate. Older trees can survive temperatures in the low tens. Young trees, on the other hand, are sensitive to cold weather. The tree might bloom, but the flowers will freeze and fall out. Loquats won’t produce fruit if the soil is too nutritiously poor, too moist, and the place is shady.
If you can’t provide better conditions, you can still have fruitless loquats as ornamental trees.
Are Loquat Trees Easy to Grow?
Whenever I am asked, if are loquat trees easy to grow, my answer is always the same. Yes, these trees are super easy to grow if you know what you’re doing when planting them. These evergreen shrubs are not very large, yet they produce deliciously sweet and tangy fruit that are plum-sized. Seeing that they have a non-invasive root system, growing them in the proper condition will aid them in thriving.
Loquat trees require moderate climates to grow their best as too hot or cold regions are not favored by these plants. For these fruit trees to reach their full potential and bear abundant yields, it is important to plant them next to another loquat tree for pollination. However, this does not mean that self-fertile trees that are standing alone will not bear fruit. It is just that you can expect a much smaller harvest in this case. Loquat plants grow quite rapidly with the addition of about three inches of growth that can be expected yearly.
How Far Apart Do You Plant Loquat Trees?
How far apart do you plant loquat trees? Well, because of pollination, it is best to plant these trees between 15 to 30 feet from each other. This will also allow them space to grow to their full potential as they are known to reach a height and width of up to 15 feet. This is true for standard loquat trees. However, when it comes to the dwarf varieties that grow half the size, spacing them about ten feet apart is recommended. When it comes to structures and power lines, keep in mind that careful care should be taken when planting loquats. Keeping them at least 25 feet away from these structures is advised.
How To Save a Dying Loquat Tree?
If you want to learn how to save a dying loquat tree then the following information would be useful to you. To begin, you should inspect your tree to identify sections that are damaged, dead, or diseased. Thereafter, using a sharp pair of scissors or garden shears, cut out any flawed branches and leaves from your tree. Continue doing this if you see any other damaged parts as time goes by. You must prune your tree above the new buds. Ensure that they are cut right back to expose healthy wood.
Also, if your loquat tree is dying, adding new soil that is rich in nutrients is recommended. A light regular application of a balanced fertilizer is also essential in reviving your plant. Soil testing is also important at this stage as excessive nitrogen and saline levels could advance your tree’s deterioration. If this is found, then it is best to replace or amend the soil your loquat tree is growing in. Watering regularly will also flush out salt which would be beneficial to your tree.
Do Loquat Trees Like Coffee Grounds?
So, do loquat trees like coffee grounds? Seeing that these fruit trees thrive in slightly acidic soils, an addition of diluted coffee grounds to the growing medium would keep them happy and healthy. This is because coffee granules add a good amount of acidity and nitrogen to the growing medium, which is preferred by loquats trees.
Additionally, coffee can also aid in your plant’s growth as it has the potential to enhance it. Coffee grounds also decompose rapidly and should therefore be used in moderation to keep the soil healthy. You can also opt to add a thin layer of coffee grounds on top of the mulch around your loquat tree which works great for fruit-bearing plants.
When Do You Transplant Loquat Trees?
Ever wondered when you transplant fruit trees? If so, then here is a bit of advice. When looking at transplanting these trees, the autumn or early spring season are the best times to do so according to avid gardeners. The reason that this is the most suitable time to move them is that just like many other plants, loquat trees lay dormant during this time. Therefore, it is fine to transplant them when they’re asleep as it will not affect them when their growing season arrives.
Make sure that the correct replanting procedures are followed and that your plant is afforded ample space when moving them. This leverage will; make it easy for the loquat tree roots to expand and for your plant to grow to its full potential. For excellent growth and abundant fruit production, ensure that you plant your loquat tree in an area that receives full sunlight.
What Is The Lifespan Of a Loquat Tree?
If you want to know what is the lifespan of a loquat tree, then take heed of the information below. These hardy plants can last for up to 30 years if grown in the right conditions and afforded the best care and maintenance strategies. In other words, if you hope to enjoy abundant harvests for a longer time, you should oblige and meet your plant’s demands to keep them happy and healthy.
These include growing your loquat tree in a suitable environment, doing regular soil testing to ensure they are receiving the nutrients they need, pruning them from time to time to get rid of flawed foliage, growing your plant in direct sunlight for at least eight hours daily, and watering your tree as required. These are just the basics as loquat tree care and maintenance may vary depending on the climate in your region. If diligently implemented, you will have a thriving loquat tree for a long time.
Bottom Line: Loquat Tree Growth Rate
When provided with warm temperatures, well-draining soil, and adequate fertilizer, loquat trees grow over 25 inches a year.
If you live in a cooler climate or have a shaded garden, your loquat will grow slowly and might not produce any fruit.
These trees are highly ornamental, so you can use them to diversify your landscape.
Thinking of planting a loquat tree? Share this article with your family members and get their thoughts on the idea!
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Mary is a passionate gardener who loves spending her days getting her hands dirty and nurturing her plants. She‘s an avid reader of gardening magazines and is always looking for new ways to make her garden thrive. When not outside tending to her plants, Mary can be found inside reading up on the latest gardening trends, comparing notes with fellow gardeners, and finding the perfect pottery planter for her next planting project.