Dwarf lychee indoors - lychee cultivation

For many years i dreamed of growing lychee inside. We know even inside this tree has very specific growing needs that must be met. Like chocolate it is notoriously difficult to grow. We could likely use a heated grow mat to simulate its warm soils it likes in Southeast Asia. There are other problems namely the height. Even in the areas that are tropical they have problems growing lychee. Websites such as this questionable website (never heard of them before ) offer dwarf emperor lychee Lychee Tree Emperor Dwarf Variety Air-Layered. Is growing lychee really impossible and are we better off settling with satsuma orange for indoor growing in Kansas? Oranges are very easy to grow indoors.

You might wonder why emperor lychee might be a good choice and that is because of the size

It sounds like some lychee like brewster are much more cold hardy than others 28F - 32F. Lychee need some cold temperatures below 12º C = roughly 54F to bloom. It must be consecutively cold for many days. The growers in Florida store bags of ice by their trees in December to meet the chill requirements to induce blooms.

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In Kansas, keeping the tree alive may be a struggle, bearing fruits need pray and miracles. Sorry Clark, I disencouraged you. Its grow conditions are very strict. Even growing in tropical region, it still is not guaranteed to grow or produce somewhat ok flavored fruits. It is not just the heat, it is the soil, moisture, the light, the sun, the wind… The environment + others. Even in China, not all lychees are tasted equal.

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@IL847

That is good your telling me this a satsuma orange is my second choice. Oranges like pomelo are very easy to grow. @tonyOmahaz5 loves lychee as well. As far as i know he has not attempted to grow them a couple of hours away from me. He grows a lot of unusual plants. Noone around me has tried it and when i tell them i want to grow it most ask what it is. This is helpful Lychee 'Mauritius', Lychees Online . Apparently Mauritius and Brewster are fairly hardy.

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I have those 2 varieties in my garden, I see baby blooms emerging, maybe I should prune them next year.

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@SoCalGardenNut

Apparently people are plagued with difficulty growing lychee. This gentleman in Northern California is growing sweetheart and has money and time invested and only 2 lychee to show for his work. It makes me wonder what chance would i have in Kansas? Yes it is time for yours to be in bloom. The advantage with longan is you get 2 crops per year.

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I think after watching some of your videos, I should add more mulch to my fruit trees, but they are finicky, if I move them, they die, I lost 2 longan and 1 lychee already. But I don’t get 2 crops here for longan.

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@SoCalGardenNut

In California you should get 2 crops a year. Sounds like a fertilizer issue.

Says who?

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@SoCalGardenNut

Dont forget they need chill hours to produce fruit. It is general knowledge among longan growers in Florida. I only knew because i buy longan. Lychee will only produce one crop but longan yield 2.

" Season of bearing : The main bloom season for longans in south Florida is from February/March through April and the beginning of May. Harvest is generally during June, July, or August. However, some cultivars will produce off-season blooms and fruit harvested 3 to 6 months later."

" VARIETIES

There are numerous cultivars of longan; however, world-wide only 30 to 40 are grown commercially. Reliable bearing is the major production problem for longan throughout the world. In Florida, 99% of the acreage is planted with ‘Kohala’. Other cultivars have been introduced, some for a long time and others recently (Table 1). A number of new and re-introductions including ‘Edau’ (‘Daw’), ‘Chompoo’, ‘Haew’, and ‘Biew Kiew’ are under evaluation by several institutions and producers. However, nothing superior to ‘Kohala’ has been identified.

One of the recently introduced cultivars is named ‘Diamond River’. This cultivar is from Thailand and is reported to fruit every year, be precocious, produce off-season, and produce a sizeable late season crop. However, fruit quality is only fair and the tree is very susceptible to limb breakage."

https://www.fao.org/3/X6908E/x6908e0c.htm

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That’s Florida, I’m in California. We don’t have alligators or crocodiles here in the wild, only at the zoos, that’s the difference, just kidding.

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This thread makes me think about growing something else, maybe low chill cherry trees. But I did spend an arm and a leg for my biggest lychee tree.

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was it from seed or grafted?

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Probably air layered. I bought it from a nursery.

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would also be good to graft budwood from a lychee tree that you have witnessed( or at least someone else witnessed)to have fruited. Just like citrus, lychees, depending on its genetic makeup when grown from seed can take many years before starting to bloom.

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Clark, I’m in SoCal, grow both longan and lychees. I have never had more than 1 crop of fruits on longan, and I have many trees. I have many varieties of longan, my largest and oldest tree is the Kohala. Again, I have never seen fruits on my longan trees more than 1 crop per year.

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Don’t give up on your lychee trees. They are not difficult to grow here in SoCal. I have many varieties of lychee grafted on my large Brewster tree which fruits a lot every year. My largest lychee tree is the Brewster, but I have 4 other varieties grafted on it. The Mauritus I grafted a year ago has some flowers started now. I also had a few small fruits on my NMZ which is a hard to find/rare variety that is suppose to be one of the best tasting lychee.

I can tell you from my experience that the lychee tree needs to be in ground for 5-7 yrs before it will have any real fruits. After that first crop of fruits you should have yearly fruits. Here’s some photo of my large Brewster tree with fruits, it has 4 other varieties grafted on it. I like the lychee fruits better than the longans since there is more flesh to eat on a lychee. I probably will top work my longan trees with lychee since it has more tasty fruit to me.

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@anon57642013

It may not be as common knowledge as i thought it was.

" Flower induction of longan (Dimocarpus longan ) with potassium chlorate has improved the availability of longan fruit, but potassium chlorate is potentially explosive and often difficult to purchase, transport, and store. Previous reports suggested that hypochlorite enhances natural longan flower induction. This study is the first to demonstrate that chlorite- and hypochlorite- (bleach) induced off-season longan flowering is similar to chlorate-treated trees. Hypochlorite induction of flowering with bleach was likely the result of chlorate in the bleach solution. Chlorate was present in the leachate from potted longan trees treated with bleach and was detected in bleach before soil application. The quantity of chlorate found in bleach induced flowering to the same or greater extent as equivalent quantities of potassium chlorate, suggesting chlorate is an a.i. responsible for longan flowering."

"
Seasonal effects of potassium chlorate (KClO3) on flowering and yield of longan were studied by the application of KClO3 in three distinctive periods of the year: cool (December), summer (April) and rainy (August) season. The results showed that the application of KClO3 to longan trees in cool season and summer induced 100% flowering compared to 78.5% when applied in rainy season. However, the day from the application to flower emergence (DAFE) in cool season was double that carried out in summer and rainy seasons. The DAFE were 45.4, 23.0 and 22.5 days respectively. Yield per tree of the cool season application (44.00 kg) was higher than those in summer (13.80 kg) and rainy (11.99 kg) seasons."

The problem is the chemical used to induce flowering can be dangerous so it is apparently only used typically by commercial growers.
How-to-use-potassium-chlorate.pdf (73.9 KB)

@anon57642013 @SoCalGardenNut

Hopefully the explanation above helped. If you do use this substance to induce second crop blooms do so cautiously as apparently it is normally done by commercial nurseries only. A local extension office might be of additional help. Don’t know that your not commercial but i think you may grow strictly for backyard usage. Highly recommend also reading these websites and information below. Frequently i think people know about something that is apparently not well known for the reasons mentioned.

Additional proof of second crop flower induction

https://hilo.hawaii.edu/panr/writing.php?id=255

They are not saying it directly here

These are specifics of what is used and how commercial growers do this. They are saying it directly here.

Be very cautious with this fertlizer apparently there is not a safer form of this fertilizer for home gardens. Maybe just leave the two crops a year to the commercial growers might be best for most growers. Longan will not produce two crops without adequate fertilizer as discussed. Realize i’m way off the topic of lychee but since i was asked i wanted to specifically answer the question about longan. Many fruits and fertilizers are in their infancy in terms of usage and rates. Many people including myself are cautious about discussing things like double cropping but i frequently do anyway. Feel like i’m withholding information if i’m not open about some of these things. Some things i only know by book knowledge or word of mouth eg. Double cropping longan. Double cropping pears is also interesting Pears that produce two crops eg. Tenn pear

If you listen closely to what commercial growers say, like below in the video they almost always let a few things slip. @SoCalGardenNut you asked “says who?” regarding double cropping longan which i think i answered. Been busy with my solar panel upgrades this week so i have not had alot of time. Listen closely to this commercial grower who made this video 12 years ago. You by now realize they have known about this for many years. It is my belief knowledge like this should be readily shared and cautiously used.

If you decide to use it i wouldn’t store it rather just buy what you need. Here are the details why its so dangerous Potassium Chlorate for Longan Trees | Home Guides | SF Gate
" When to Apply

  1. The tree must be dormant for potassium chlorate to be effective. The chemical will induce flowering only if the tree has not been actively growing shoots within the previous two weeks. If you apply potassium chlorate to a tree that has some shoots growing and others not growing, only those shoots not growing will develop flowers. If less than 50 percent of the shoots are dormant, pruning the shoots on the top and sides of the tree will coordinate their growth.

Application Rates

  1. Potassium chlorate is sprayed to the drip-line or the edge of a longan tree’s canopy. For a tree four to eight years old, spray once with 4 to 6 ounces of potassium chlorate mixed in 5 gallons of water. For a tree eight to 15 years old, spray once with 7 to 13 ounces of potassium chlorate mixed with 5 gallons of water. For trees older than 15 years, spray twice, one application of 16 ounces in 5 gallons of water and an 8- to 10-ounce application one month later. After you spray a tree with potassium chlorate, irrigate it for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Longan trees will typically respond to the treatment in 30 to 40 days."

As i mentioned if you need to store bags of ice close to the tree for several days to meet chill needs. Do not put ice on the tree that would kill the tree.

Finally if you have problems with flowering some girdling can be done cautiously. Girdling or damaging a tree in other ways like hitting it with a stick repeatedly triggers the tree to bloom.

In 2012 the LA Times in California mentioned it again to induce blooming Growing longan, the exotic 'dragon's eye' fruit

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@IL847

The fact that is difficult to grow lychee, longan , rambutan kind of makes me want to try more but i’m fighting the urge.

Thanks @clarkinks and @anon57642013, my trees have been planted since 2018, so they have been in the ground for 4 years now. I won’t be fertilizing them with anything but oscomote, that’s what the nursery told me to do.

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