In January 2017 I was in Portugal and ate lots of tasty juicy fresh lychees. Some time later I started a new project – growing lychee trees from seeds.
How I succeeded? Was it easy? Was it not?
I started to learn about growing lychee tree only this summer, summer 2020, so, for three years I was growing it just by intuition, or, maybe it would be more correct to say: “Lychee trees were growing by themselves”.
Here are the steps and results of my “intuitive”, not “googled” lychee tree growing journey:
- I ate fresh lychees and put lots of seeds together into a regular disposable plastic bag (I remember I did not wash them)
- After 3-4 days I talked with a friend of mine and she told me “the seeds should be planted into soil directly after the fuits/vegetables/berries were eaten, the same day”. That meant – I was late for a few days already!
- Despite of the fact that I was late with planting – I put the seeds into soil, they were still moist, because sit together in one bag
- Approximately 12 seeds were planted
- After some time all the seeds germinated and I saw the first sprouts sticking out. Hooray!!!
- “Hooray” lasted for some time and was replaced with “Hmm, oh, why…” because one by one the tiny offspring started to disappear – one by one, week by week they started to die. That was sad
- After a few months I had only five of them, planted together in one ceramic pot
- Later on, only four survived and were growing normally for a half a year or so
- But after that period – two of those four decided to die too – they just stopped their existence! That was sad again…
- I kept two remaining young trees together in one pot for more than a year when I started to notice that it is already not enough place for both of them being together in one pot
- This spring, 2020, I noticed plenty of new tiny leaves appeared here and there on one lychee tree. However, probably I did not water them well, or maybe spring sun was too shiny, – all those tiny leaves dried…
- The stem of one of the young tree is now firm and light brown colored, as a stem of a real tree; the stem of another one is also firm, but still green colored and thinner
- In June 2020, I planted them into different pots
My lychee trees are growing, but that is what I have l’earned within the three years:
- Lychee trees do not need any fertilizer, any. Even those “natural” and “organic” ones will “burn their leaves”. Only my-made Bokashi brew (home made fertilizer from fruit and vegetable peels) was good during the last year
Some lychee leaves have “burned”. They change the color from green to brown when there is too much of fertilizer. In fact, lychee tree does not need any fertilizer AT ALL. Only home-made fertilizer from vegetable/fruit peels works well without burning the leaves
- I would wish to educate myself earlier about fertilization of lychee. Because I used organic fertilizer for citrus plants to nourish lychee, thinking that “All the exotic trees are similar and therefore would like the same fertilizer”. I was wrong
- Ants like lychee. I used “natural” spray in the evenings for a few weeks and collected the ants by hand, letting them to find a new place to live, but not on my trees (never hurt the ants!)
- The structure of soil should ensure well drainage. This tip is probably the same for any plants
- A pot should be high for the main root to have space going deep – that makes a tree feel happy:)
Within those three years I did not follow any of the instructions from youtube videos or other web sources, because I started to educate myself about lychees only this summer, when my lychee trees were already 3 years old. However, I found these videos (below) as proper ones to guide me in a future:
Pepe’s fruit trees
Grow Lychee Tree in Container, Pro-Nursery Annual maintenance, Be the Creator, Jul’19
How to grow LYCHEE tree from seeds in Container | Lychee Seed Germination
- In late spring 2020, when the temperature outside at nights was more than 8-10 Celsius degrees – I kept my lychee trees on a balcony for a month, but each evening I have checked the real temperature for the current night – it should be more than 8-10 C. If lower – the plant could froze. Why I kept the plants in cold? I read it would facilitate blooming
- However, my lychee trees decided not to bloom this summer, even after cold therapy:)
- Right now, in late summer 2020, my lychee trees are positioned at east-south part of the apartment on the balcony, to get maximum hours of sun during the day (but not on the direct sun)
- I have collected manually all the larvas of ants (I think that were larvas, but I could not find proper info to prove that). The larvas stuck to leaves and stems of one plant only. For a long time I thought that it should be like this, that these outgrowths are a part of plant life, but I think I was wrong. Anyway, I have not found any info explaining this “larva phenomenon”, that make this post as a unique opportunity to know about it
Please let me know in the comments below if you know anything about these “larvas” and how to deal with them properly!:)
Thanks to Youtube, now I started to educate myself, and found the professionals who explain many many things about growing lychee. One of them stressed that “Lychee is close to impossible to grow from seed”. Yep, now I feel proud of myself – I managed to do something impossible – that is to grow lychee plant from a seed:)
Some final remarks on growing a new type of plant with minimum knowledge:
- Love what you are doing. Love and passion cover “the impossibles”
- I need to say, people from India know so much about planting, so truly, because they are so close to Nature, yes that is true. Even I am not understanding Hindi – I learn from wonderful Indian people a lot about gardening. Thank you!
- Educate yourself by finding professional literature, or professionals on a social media
About my Bokashi composting set
I wrote the post about my Bokashi composting set and you may find it by clicking on the link Bokashi – my organic composting at home. My Bokashi composting set is in the action all year round!
If some of my readers would be interested, I bought my Bokashi online:Skaza Bokashi Organko Set (2 x 16 L) | 2 Composters from Recycled Plastic | Starter Set for Kitchen & Garden Composting | with EM Bokashi Bran 1 kg (Black-Green)
Have a question about Bokashi? – I would be happy to share my personal experience with you, just let me know in the comments below or contact by email email@example.com
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This blog post is NOT SPONSORED. I purchased the Bokashi set mentioned in this post myself and feel very satisfied with this product and its positive impact to my garden.