6 Tutorials On How To Grow Lychee Plants
When it comes to gardening, perhaps you are nothing but a hard-core, dedicated enthusiast who wants anything but the pleasure of being outdoors tending to the lawn, or otherwise growing some excellent crops and flowers. Perhaps you have just gotten into this hobby, or maybe you have been doing this for years. All the same, you are passionate about gardening.
Besides growing crops such as corn or fruits such as tomatoes and mangoes, you might be thinking about cultivating something new in your garden. Recently, you have been interested in lychee trees, an attractive, ornamental tree which when in bloom yields some bright, juicy lychee fruit. You are interested in growing this particular plant, and would like to know how to get started.
Well, we are here to help! Read on to learn more about how to grow lychee plant. We will give you a detailed list of all the tools and ingredients you will need, as well as an in-depth step-by-step procedure in order to yield some of the best, juiciest fruit out there. Soon enough, you will have a flourishing tree bearing excellent fruit, of which you would be proud to call your own.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
I. Things You Will Need For This Tutorial
Just like with any plant out there, lychee trees will take some time to grow and fully mature before their fruit is ripe enough for picking. Although it will take a while for the tree to grow, just know that patience is a virtue and that, in the end, it will all be worth it for those juicy, delicious fruit.
Here is a list of items you will need to grow a lychee tree:
- Lychee seed
Of course, everything starts from the source, which in this case is a lychee seed. Especially if you will be germinating them, it is a good idea to obtain them from already-existing lychee fruit: just eat the meat and save the seeds for growing later.
The essence of life, water is necessary not only for germination, but also for actually growing the lychee plant itself. Make sure that the water is clean and plenty, in order to make sure that your lychee tree receives all the nutrients that it needs to grow properly.
- Seedling trays
These items are used for the germinating process. They do not have to be big, but rather small in order to help the seedling develop adequately. If you do not have seedling trays, you can substitute them for paper cups instead.
- Potting soil
Used during and after the germinating process, potting soil is a no-brainer when it comes to growing lychee trees. Along with water and sunlight, it is one of the three essentials for cultivating just about any plant out there.
Having just the right amount of sunlight will benefit the growth of lychee trees. Make sure that the plant is neither under-exposed or overexposed. Usually, natural lighting from windowsills or greenhouses should do the trick.
- Pots of varying sizes
Having pots which range from small to medium to large will be desirable, especially after you germinate the seeds and need to transfer them to larger pots as the plant itself gets bigger and bigger. A good rule of thumb is to have pots of 3 gallons, 7 gallons, 15 gallons, and 25 gallons, before the tree can finally be planted into the ground outside.
- Organic fertilizer
Once the lychee tree is firmly planted into the ground, it is necessary to use fertilizer to nourish its roots. It is best, even a necessity, to use organic fertilizer, rather than artificial ones, because it will not burn the roots and thereby keep the plant vital and healthy.
II. Step-by-Step Tutorial On How To Grow Lychee Plants
1. Gather the lychee seeds
While it is possible to buy lychee seeds which have already been germinated at your local home and gardening store, you can also get them from the fruit itself. After all, there is more fun in that! Once you have finished eating the meat off the fruit, save the seed. Give it a good wash to remove any leftover fruit bits.
2. Soak the lychee seeds
Once you have your lychee seeds, submerge them into water and soak them in for about three days. Change the water each day to keep it clean and fresh. Once the seed shells start splitting, then you know that it is time for it to be germinated.
3. Germinate them
Take one seed and plant it into a portion of the seedling tray or into the paper cup that has been filled with potting soil. Check to make sure that there is easy drainage, as well as plant the seed sideways to ensure maximum growth. Place the seed about 3 to 4 inches deep before topping it off with soil.
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Water the soil and place the seedling tray or paper cup near a windowsill, in a greenhouse, or anywhere else which has an adequate amount of sunlight. However, do not give it too much sunlight in that it overwhelms the seed and makes it harder to grow properly- a rule of thumb is gradually expose it to sunlight, in order to ensure quality growth.
4. Replant in pots
As soon as the seedling displays adequate growth, it is now time to replant it into larger-sized pots. Start out with a 3-gallon one, and with each stage it grows to, transfer them to larger pots, including the 7-gallon, 15-gallon, and 25-gallon.
The ultimate goal is to acclimatize the lychee plant to the environment, before it can be finally planted in the garden soil outside. Be aware that this process can take years (up to 25 years, normally) for the plant to reach maturity; only then can you replant it properly in the earth.
5. Replant in the ground
Finally, once the lychee tree has reached close to maturity, you are ready to transfer it to be planted on the ground outside in your garden.
Make sure you choose an area which has wide-open space, without any other plants nearby to compete for nutrients in the soil. If possible, look for a relatively-shaded area that can also block any harsh winds from hurting the tree.
This is also the time to add organic fertilizer to the tree, in order to fortify and otherwise nourish the plant to take it to its maximum potential right before the fruit is ready to be harvested.
6. Take care of the lychee tree
Between the necessary steps to germinate and replant the lychee tree, doing little things such as giving it gradual sunlight, along with enough water, will pay off in the end.
Not only that, but also pruning away the leaves after each replanting definitely helps to keep the tree stable and sound, so that it does not tip over from its own weight and otherwise prevent light and water from getting to its roots for proper growth.
Overall, growing a lychee tree can be a daunting and time-consuming process. However, if you are dedicated to it and make the effort to care for it year after year, then all your hard work will pay off in the end with juicy, sweet lychee fruit.