How to grow the lychee tree in a pot or your garden
Lychee or lychee tree is the name of a peculiar fruit of pinkish color and rounded shape, which is characterized by its sweetness, its high water content, it’s low-calorie intake and for being a source of vitamin C. Furthermore, lychee is also the name of the plant that produces this fruit, which is subtropical, and has Asian origin since it is native to the forests of southern China.
Lychee can be grown both in pots and in the open field, or garden, and as you can imagine, with what I like tropical fruits, It is important to locate the plant in an area with good sun exposure, the more light it receives throughout the day, the better. It is recommended that the soil where it is planted has a neutral or slightly acidic pH and that it does not have an excessive contribution of organic matter. In the following video I explain in detail how and where I have planted my tree:
The lychee tree reaches great vigor, easily exceeding 10 meters in height, so if you decide to plant several trees, you should plan a frame of at least 5 meters or more of the distance between trees and corridors to prevent the branches from shading each other, harming the ripening of the fruit.
As a curiosity, I will tell you that it is not important to carry out a very marked formation pruning in the first years of the life of the lychee tree, although if we leave an initial structure of two or three arms it will favor the development of new shoots and lateral vegetation during the development. Although it is not a plant that needs great care, it is very important that you pay attention to two factors that will be decisive in its development and production. One of them is the fertilizer, which, unlike in other fruit trees, must be very controlled, being more necessary during the first three years a contribution of NPK for vegetative development, and from the fourth year, combining it with micronutrients such as boron, iron, copper, and zinc. In adult trees, it is recommended to fertilize from the moment of flowering until the month after the fruit is harvested, being important to stop the nitrogen supply the rest of the year to induce the tree to produce more fruits and less vegetative development.
The other key factor for growing lychee is to control irrigation, which, as I mentioned, should be abundant in summer, preferably watering daily, to keep the soil moist, but without flooding the soil. The reason for such constant watering is because lychee, like kiwi, have a superficial root system that in hot periods, in which water evaporates more easily from the soil, may have more difficulty extracting water. and nutrients with their roots. However, the rest of the year, irrigation should be reduced to once or twice a week, depending on the climate of the area, managing to subject the plant to certain water stress that will result in greater flowering in our crop.
With these two golden rules, success in growing lychees is guaranteed, so I encourage you to plant and care for this curious and exotic fruit, which will also give added ornamental value to your orchard or garden during its flowering.
Although the fruit harvesting season is short, you can keep its fruits in the fridge for a couple of weeks, and if you freeze them, due to the thickness of their skin, their pulp will remain intact for a year.
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