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If lychee had a ‘Cousin It’, rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) would be it. But don’t let the fuzzy wuzzy appearance fool you, beneath the  hairy exterior is one of the most sweet and aromatic fleshed fruits you’ll ever taste! Though, we’re sorry to say, not everyone will be able to grow them – the trees are quite sensitive to the cold, so are best suited to growing in the tropics.


How to grow rambutans in a garden

  1. Choose a part-sunny spot with well drained soil. Rambutans can also grow in full sun, but ensure there is shade protection. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is clay based, improve soil structure by adding gypsum and forking in well.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position 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 and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.  
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water regularly throughout the growing season, especially if conditions are dry. Small regular waterings are preferred over deep long soaks. 
  6. Feed regularly with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. When the tree starts to flower and fruit (usually after its 3rd year), supplement feeding with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.
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How to grow rambutans in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 500mm wide. Position in part sun and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter
  2. Remove the tree from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well. 
  4. Water regularly throughout the growing season, especially if conditions are dry. Small regular waterings are preferred over deep long soaks.
  5. Feed regularly with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. When the tree starts to flower and fruit (usually after its 3rd year), supplement feeding with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.

Growing tips

 

  • It’s best to buy grafted fruit trees and seedling rambutans generally produce male flowering trees. 
  • Once the tree is established, minimum pruning is required. Trim lightly to help maintain shape and remove dead or decaying branches and any suckers (growth below the graft union).
  • In heavy clay soils, it’s best to put extra effort into soil preparation. To check if your soil needs work, dig a hole and pour a bucket of water into the hole – if it takes more than 30 minutes to disappear, then you will need to improve your drainage. Consider raising the level of the bed as much as possible with free draining garden soil, dig in gypsum to help break up the clay and add plenty of Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.
  • Well known cultivars include, Rongrien, Chompu, Rapiah, Azimal and Singapura.
  • Water regularly, especially during drier periods in the year.
  • Deep, well-drained soil enriched with organic matter.
  • Pick when the skin and ‘hairs’ are bright and evenly coloured.
  • Can be planted all year round in the tropics.

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Yates Premium Potting Mix

A premium potting mix, ideal for all potted plants and shrubs, including ornamentals, fruit trees, vegies and herbs.