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They say good things come in small packages, and that’s certainly the case for lychees (Lichi chinensis)! The flesh of this small red tropical fruit is wonderfully sweet and oh-so moreish. The trees make beautiful garden features too, reaching heights of 2-5m (or taller, if left unpruned) and will happily grow in tropical and subtropical climates, although, they can also be grown in warm temperate zones. You’ll have to be patient though, as trees can take up to 4 years to fruit.

How to grow lychees in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is alkaline, add Yates Soil Acidifer Liquid Sulfur to help lower the pH.
  2. If planting bare-rooted plants, remove plastic and soak roots in a bucket of water for 30 minutes prior to planting. If planting from a container, remove the tree from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Dig a planting hole twice the width of the rootball and to the same depth. Position plant in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed. Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once every 2-3 days, depending on weather conditions. Once established, water deeply once every week.
  6. Feed with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser every 6-8weeks. When flowering and fruiting, feed fortnightly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.
     
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How to grow lychees in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 400mm wide and as deep. Position in full sun and protect from strong winds. Fill pot with a Yates Premium Potting Mix. 
  2. If planting bare-rooted plants, remove plastic or hessian and soak roots in a bucket of water for 30 minutes prior to planting. If planting from a container, remove the tree from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position plant in centre of the pot, backfill with potting mix, gently firm down and water in well. 
  4. Water deeply, once every 2-3 days, depending on weather conditions. Once established, water deeply once every week.
  5. Feed with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser every 6-8weeks. When flowering and fruiting, feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.

Growing tips

  • They are self-pollinating, so you’ll only need one tree to produce fruit. 

  • Prune after harvesting to help maintain shape. 
  • If your tree isn’t very productive after 5 years, it may well that it’s not suited to your climate. Lychees need a good period of cool nights to a good balance of male and female flowers. 

  • Don’t pick lychees too early, they will turn brown and will not ripen. 

  • Harvesting ripe lychees early morning and storing them in the fridge will help keep them fresh and hopefully, blemish free!

  • Varieties include:

    Souey Tung
    Wai Chee
    Sah Keng
    Kaimana
    Salathiel
    Tai So
    Fay Zee Siu
    Bengal
    Kwai May Pink

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