How tall do lychee trees grow

How to Grow Lychee Trees for Fruit

Lychee is a tropical broadleaf evergreen tree native to China, where it grows in a warm, humid climate. Although grown commercially for its fruit, in landscapes it is often used as a shade tree or a specimen fruit tree.

Like many other tropical fruits, such as avocado, lychee is not a natural choice for indoor gardeners. It's more of a novelty plant and will be unlikely to ever bear fruit or grow to maturity (unless you have a greenhouse). The plant, while requiring a subtropical climate, needs at least 100 chill hours in order to produce flowers that bear fruit. Still, it can be fun to sprout these seeds in an attempt to grow an attractive plant. Be aware that it can take around three to five years before this slow-growing tree bears fruit and ten years or more if it was grown from seed.

Because it needs subtropical conditions, it is not a tree that can be grown across wide areas of North America. It can be successfully grown in warm states like Florida and sheltered locations in California. Planting is typically done in the spring after the risk of frost has passed. It is a slow-growing tree, taking as much as 30 years to reach 30 feet in height.

What Is Lychee Fruit?

The fruit of this tree consists of small, dimpled, fleshy drupes (clusters of three to 50 tiny fruits) with a light, perfumed flavor. The outside of the fruit has a rough, pink-red skin that is inedible and the inside flesh is clear to white and sweet. Trees usually do not produce fruit until they are at least three to five years old—it sometimes takes even longer. The fruit is usually eaten fresh or frozen and can be made into sauces, jam, puree, or preserves.

Click Play to Learn How to Easily Grow Lychee Trees

Common Name Lychee, litchi
Bontanical Name Litchi chinensis
Family Sapindaceae
Plant Type Fruit, tree
Mature Size 20–110 ft. tall, 30-50 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Moist, well-drained
Soil pH Acidic
Bloom Time Spring
Flower Color White, yellow, green
Hardiness Zones 10–11 (USDA)
Native Areas Asia

How to Plant Lychee Trees

Lychee trees are best planted at least 30 feet away from your home, other major structures, or other trees in your home landscape. Planting them too close can impact their growth and fruit harvest, particularly if they are shaded.

If you are in an area prone to flooding, planting the tree on a mound of soil can help to ensure water runoff. Lychees dislike wet feet.

Plant a lychee tree in a full sun location that is protected from wind, because this tree can be susceptible to wind damage. Spring planting, after any frosts have passed, is best.

Lychee Tree Care

The Spruce / K. Dave

The Spruce / K. Dave

The Spruce / K. Dave


Lychee thrives in full sun, but be aware that the plants need to be acclimated. Young plants that are not used to full sun will suffer from sudden exposure to bright light, but once acclimated, they will definitely perform better.


Lychee does not like alkaline soils, so amending garden soil with pine bark or pine needles may be necessary. If you are trying to grow it as a potted plant, use slightly acidic potting soil.


These plants prefer ample and regular water throughout the year. Some research has shown that a mild drought stress in the fall and early winter can enhance flowering. Water young trees frequently, as soon as the soil feels dry. More established trees can be watered once a week.

Temperature and Humidity

Lychee is surprisingly tolerant of cold and can cope with short blasts of almost freezing weather, but it really prefers warmer temperatures. To be brought to bloom, lychee needs to be exposed to cold temperatures (32 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least 100 hours in the winter. They will then bloom early in the spring and bear fruit in the early summer. These trees love high humidity.


Feed once or twice during the growing season (spring and summer) with a weak liquid fertilizer.

Types of Lychee

Many different cultivars of lychee are used in different areas of the world. These are the most popular cultivars in the United States:

  • Litchi chinensis 'Mauritius' has excellent fleshy fruit with just one large seed. It is a good choice if fruit production is your main goal.
  • L. chinensis 'Brewster' is a vigorous growing tree with a spreading upright habit. It is well suited for areas that get a lot of moisture. It is also a good cultivar for fruit production.
  • L. chinensis 'Emperor' is considered one of the best container varieties, as it is a slow-growing tree with a compact growth habit.

Harvesting Lychee Fruit

Lychee trees usually take at least five years to mature before bearing any fruit, though it rare instances they may start producing fruit within three years. You must expose the tree to cold temperatures for at least 100 hours in the winter if you want it to bloom and then bear fruit, and the female flowers have to be pollinated. In an orchard, pollination is done by insects, but for indoor trees, you will have to hand-pollinate.

The fruits of the lychee grow in clusters of three to 50 fruits, usually ripening in June to July, and sometimes into September. Allow them to ripen on the tree to a pink-red color. Do not harvest when the fruit is green, as it will not ripen further once harvested. You can test one fruit in a bunch to see if it is sweet enough. Cut the entire bunch of fruit close to the branch to harvest.

A mature lychee growing in ideal circumstances may produce a copious amount of fruit, but they can be notoriously fickle about producing fruit. Unless the tree gets the requisite cold snap in the winter (32 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit for about 100 hours), it may not produce flowers or fruit at all for the normal summer harvest period. You can maximize the chances of flowers and future fruit by pruning off new growth immediately after the harvest is complete, which will stimulate new natural growth.

Potting and Repotting

Lychee often grows to 35 or 40 feet when planted in the landscape, but it can be maintained as small patio trees in warmer climates. In pots, the plants should be repotted every spring until they reach your ideal growing size. To help keep the plant smaller, aggressively prune the main growing trunks annually to encourage a smaller, bushier plant.

Propagating Lychee

Lychee is typically propagated commercially by air-layering. This a sophisticated technique where growers make a cut into a thin branch and then surround it with a packet of moist moss or soil. Roots will form in the cut area, allowing the grower to cut off the whole branch and plant it as a small tree.

How to Grow Lychee From Seed

A home grower is more likely to start lychee from seed. To sprout seeds, first soak them for three days in water, then plant them in a 12-inch tall pot filled with well-draining potting soil. Cover them 1 inch deep with potting soil, keep them warm and moist, and wait for sprouts to emerge (which can take weeks). Once they've sprouted, move to a sunnier spot after a few weeks.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

Keep a lookout for mealybugs, aphids, and mites. Signs of infestation include tiny webs on plants, clumps of white "powdery" residue, or visible insects on the plant. A product like pyrethrum is made to control aphids and pests that flock to fruit trees. Spray it on the lychee per the product directions and it should kill the pests on contact. Treat infestations as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading to the rest of your collection.

Article Sources

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Su Z, Xiao Q, Shen J, Chen H, Yan S, Huang W. Metabolomics analysis of litchi leaves during floral induction reveals metabolic improvement by stem girdling. Molecules. 2021;26(13):4048. doi:10.3390/molecules26134048

  2. Tips on Getting Your Lychee Tree to Produce Fruit. Lychees Online.

Lychee Growing in the Florida Home Landscape

Jonathan H. Crane, Carlos F. Balerdi, and Ian Maguire 2

Figure 1.  'Brewster' lychee fruit.
Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC

Other common names: litchi, leechee, mamoncillo chino (Spanish), lichi

Scientific name: Litchi chinensis Sonn.

Family: Sapindaceae

Relatives: Spanish lime (mamoncillo, kinep; Melicoccus bijugatus), longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.), akee (Blighia sapida Koenig.), and rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum L.)

Origin: Southern China and southeastern Asia

Distribution: Subtropical and tropical areas of the world. Reliable bearing and highest production occurs in subtropical and Mediterranean-type climates. Areas with significant altitude may also be productive.

Production: Lychee are grown commercially in many subtropical areas such as Australia, Brazil, southeast China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mynamar, Pakistan, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the US (Florida, Hawaii, and California).



Trees may grow to 40 ft (12 m) in height and have a beautiful, dense, rounded, symmetrical canopy extending nearly to the ground (Figure 2a and 2b). Trees are very attractive with dark green foliage and reddish-colored fruit. Typically major limbs of nontrained trees begin within 3 ft (0.9 m) of the ground.

Figure 2.  2a) Lychee tree; 2b) Lychee tree in bloom.
Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC


Leaves are compound with 2 to 8 leaflets. Leaves have a reddish color when young, becoming shiny and bright green when mature (Figure 3).

Figure 3.  Lychee leaves. Upper and lower surfaces of the compound lychee leaf.
Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC


Flowers are small, greenish, and are borne on a large thyrse (a many-flowered inflorescence) that emerges at the ends of branches anytime from late December to April (more commonly February and March) in Florida (Figures 4a and 4b). There are three flower types: two male types (called M1 and M2) and one female (called F). In general, the M1 flowers open first, female flowers (F) open second, and M2 flowers open third.

Figure 4.  4a) Lychee inflorescence in full bloom; 4b) Lychee inflorescence in full bloom.
Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC


The fruit is a drupe and fruit are borne in loose clusters numbering from 3 to 50 fruits and are round to oval and 1.0 to 1.5 inches (25 to 38 mm) in diameter (Figures 1 and 5). The skin (pericarp) ranges from yellow to pinkish or red and is leathery, with small, short, conical or rounded protuberances. The edible portion of the fruit (pulp) is called an aril that is succulent, whitish, translucent, with excellent subacid flavor. Fruits contain one shiny, dark brown seed, usually relatively large, but it may be small and shriveled (called chicken tongues) in some varieties. Fruit must be ripened on the tree for best flavor.

Figure 5.  Lychee Fruit. 'Brewster' lychee fruit.
Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC


Lychee flowers are pollinated by bees and various fly species (Figure 6). Isolated or single lychee trees will usually set acceptable amounts of fruit. However, recent research has demonstrated that under some conditions, cross-pollination among different cultivars may increase fruit set. Therefore, in some cases there may be an advantage to planting more than one variety.

Figure 6.  6a) Lychee Pollination. Lychee flowers are pollinated by bees and wind; 6b) Close-up of honey bee with pollen.
Credit: Ian Maguire, UFIFAS TREC

Season of Bearing

Mid-May to early July in Florida, depending upon variety.


'Mauritius' is the major commercial cultivar and bears more regularly than 'Brewster,' which is the second most grown cultivar (Table 1). Some other cultivars have been evalu- ated, and new introductions are under evaluation.

Figure T1.  'Bengal' (Rose Scented).
Credit: Ian Maguire, UFIFAS TREC
Figure T2.   'Bosworth 3' (Kwai May Pink).
Credit: Ian Maguire, UFIFAS TREC
Figure T3.  'Brewster' (Chen Zi, Chen Tzu).
Credit: Ian Maguire UF/IFAS TREC
Figure T4.  'Early Large Red'.
Credit: Ian Maguire UF/IFAS TREC
Figure T5.  'Emperor'
Credit: Ian Maguire UF/IFAS TREC
Figure T6.  'Hak Ip' (Black Leaf, Haak Yip, Hei Ye).
Credit: Ian Maguire UF/IFAS TREC
Figure T7.  Kaimana.
Credit: Ian Maguire UF/IFAS TREC
Figure T8.  'Bengal'.
Credit: Ian Maguire UF/IFAS TREC
Figure T9.  'Mauritius' (Da Zao, Tai So, Hong Huey).
Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC
Figure T10.  'Ohia'.
Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC
Figure T11.  'Sweet Cliff' (Tim Naan, Tian Yan).
Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC
Figure T12.  'Hanging Green'.
Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC
Figure T13.  'Gee Kee'.
Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC


Lychee does not fruit satisfactorily at sea level in tropical climates and is best adapted to warm to cool subtropical areas. The best climates for lychee production have a dry, cold (but nonfreezing) winter period lasting 3 to 5 months; a warm spring during the flowering period; a hot and humid summer during fruit growth, development, and maturation; and moderately warm temperatures during the fall. Periodic rainfall during spring and summer is ideal.

The lychee has more cold tolerance than mango but less than sweet orange, so plantings are limited to coastal areas in southern Florida (Figure 7). Young trees are damaged at temperatures of 28° to 32°F (-2° to 0°C), while temperatures down to 24° to 25°F (-3° to -4°C) cause extensive damage or death to large trees if exposed for several hours. Lychee trees do not acclimate to cold temperatures after exposure to cool, nonfreezing temperatures. Symptoms of cold damage include leaf death, leaf drop, stem and limb dieback, bark splitting, and tree death.

Figure 7.  Florida map with dark areas along coast and arrows indicating where lychee may be grown.
Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS


Lychee trees are moderately drought tolerant. However, newly planted lychee trees should be irrigated regularly during establishment. In the home landscape, trees will perform well without supplemental irrigation after trees are established. For more consistent cropping of mature trees, withholding irrigation during the fall and winter until bloom may enhance the amount of flowering. Watering during fruit set through harvest may enhance fruit quality and yields.

Lychee may withstand short periods of flooding. However, their reaction to flooding is dependent upon flood duration, tree size, presence or absence of root diseases, and weather conditions. Planting trees on mounds or beds is recommended for areas prone to wet or flooded soil conditions.


Young lychee trees are sometimes difficult to establish in windy sites, and exposure to constant winds may result in tattered leaves, stunted shoot growth, and stem dieback. In the rocky soils of Miami-Dade County, the bark at the soil line of young trees may be damaged by continuous rubbing due to the movement caused by high winds. If possible, trees should be planted in wind-protected sites or protected from wind by surrounding trees with light shade cloth which has been attached to wire fencing.


Lychee trees do not come true from seed, and seedling trees may take 10 or more years to bear fruit. Air layering is the most common method of propagation in Florida (Figure 8). In general, the larger the limb, the easier it is to air layer. Grafting (usually cleft or veneer) and budding onto lychee seedlings or air layers is possible but is not as common as air layering alone; this may change as superior rootstocks are identified. Top working is possible although not common and may become more common as superior cultivars are recommended. Air-layered or grafted trees begin to bear fruit in 3 to 5 years.

Figure 8.  Air layering on a lychee tree.
Credit: Ian Maguire UF/IFAS TREC

Seedlings may be useful as rootstocks but are not generally recommended because of genetic variability and vary in their tolerance to different soil conditions (e.g., high-pH, calcareous soil).

Production (Crop Yields)

Unreliable bearing is the major constraint to lychee production. Cultivars vary greatly in their bearing habit. Mature 'Brewster' trees (15 to 20 ft tall; 4.6 to 6.1 m tall) may bear 200 to 300 lb (91 to 136 kg) of fruit in a good year; however, most trees bear a good crop only about 1 year out of 3 or 4. In contrast, well-cared-for, mature 'Mauritius' trees may bear every year, with good yields in alternating years. On average, yields range from less than 50 lbs to 125 lbs (23–58 kg) per tree per year over a period of years.


Planting distances depend on soil type and fertility, current technology, and expertise of the homeowner. Lychee trees in the home landscape should be planted 25 to 30 feet or more (7.6 to 9.1 m) away from buildings, other trees, and electrical wires. Trees planted too close to other trees or structures may not grow normally or produce much fruit due to shading.


Trees grow best in well-drained soils. Of the soils of southern Florida, lychee trees grow best in acid sands with moderate organic matter content. Trees grow well in the muck soils, but usually do not fruit well because of excessive vegetative (shoot and leaf) growth. Sandy soils with low organic matter content are suitable if sufficient fertilizers are supplied. Lychee may be grown on the rocky, calcareous soils of the southeast coast but require special care to prevent minor element deficiencies.

Planting a Lychee Tree

Site Selection

In general, lychee trees should be planted in full sun for best growth and fruit production. Select a part of the landscape away from other trees, buildings and structures, and power lines. Remember lychee trees can become very large if not pruned to contain their size. Select an area of the landscape that does not flood (or remain wet) after typical summer rainfall events.

Planting in Sandy Soil

Many areas in Florida have sandy soil. Remove a 3 to 10 ft (0.9–3.1 m) diameter ring of grass sod. Dig a hole 3 to 4 times the diameter and 3 times a deep as the container the lychee tree came in. Making a large hole loosens the soil adjacent to the new tree, making it easy for the roots to expand into the adjacent soil. It is not necessary to apply fertilizer, topsoil, or compost to the hole. In fact, placing topsoil or compost in the hole first and then planting on top of it is not desirable. If you wish to add topsoil or compost to the native soil, mix it with the soil excavated from making the hole in no more than a 1:1 ratio.

Backfill the hole with some of the native soil removed to make the hole. Remove the tree from the container and place it in the hole so that the top of the soil media in the container is level with or slightly above the surrounding soil level. Fill soil in around the tree roots and tamp slightly to remove air pockets. Immediately water the soil around the tree and tree roots. Staking the tree with a wooden or bamboo stake is optional. However, do not use wire or nylon rope to tie the tree to the stake as they may eventually damage the tree trunk as it grows. Use a cotton or natural fiber string that will degrade slowly.

Planting in Rockland Soil

Many areas in Miami-Dade County have a very shallow soil and several inches below the soil surface is a hard calcareous bedrock. Remove a 3 to 10 ft (0.9–3.1 m) diameter ring of grass sod. Make a hole 3 to 4 times the diameter and 3 times a deep as the container the lychee tree has come in. To dig a hole there are several options use a pick and digging bar to break up the rock or contract with a company that has augering equipment or a backhoe. Plant the tree as described in the previous section.

Planting on a Mound

Many areas in Florida are within 7 ft (2.1 m) or so of the water table and experience occasional flooding after heavy rainfall events. To improve plant survival, consider planting fruit trees on a 2 to 3 ft (0.6–0.9 m) high by 4 to 10 ft (1.2–3.1 m) diameter mound of native soil.

In areas where the bedrock nearly comes to the surface (rockland soil) follow the recommendations for the previous section. In areas with sandy soil follow the recommendations from the section on planting in sandy soil.

Care of Lychee Trees in the Home Landscape

A calendar outlining the month-to-month cultural practices for lychee is shown in Table 2.


Young trees (less than 4 years old) should be fertilized with 0.25 to 0.50 lbs (0.11 to 0.22 kg) of a complete fertilizer every 8 weeks (Table 3). Fertilizer mixtures containing 6 to 8% nitrogen, 2 to 4% available phosphorus, 6 to 8% potash, and 3 to 4% magnesium are satisfactory. Twenty to 50% of the nitrogen should be in organic form.

In acid to neutral-pH soils, micronutrients such as manganese, zinc, and iron may be applied in dry applications to the soil. However, foliar applications of manganese and zinc should be made to trees growing in high-pH, calcareous soils.Two to four applications of micronutrients should be made during the growing season (March to November).

Soil applications of iron sulfate may be effective in acid to neutral-pH soils. However, in high-pH, calcareous soils, chelated (Fe-EDDHA) iron in a soil drench should be applied. For young trees, mix 0.5 to 2.0 ounces (14 to 57 g) of iron chelate in sufficient water to move the material into the soil around the base of the tree. For mature trees mix 0.5 to 4.0 ounces (14 to 113 g) of iron chelate per tree per application. Iron should be applied 2 to 4 times during the growing season.

Once trees are 4 or more years old and begin fruit production, applications of nitrogen containing fertilizer from August until early spring (February–March) should be avoided. Nitrogen applications during this time may stimulate new vegetative growth (i.e., leaves and shoots) and reduce or eliminated the potential for flowering and fruit production.

Irrigation (Watering)

Young trees should be irrigated regularly to facilitate tree establishment and growth. Once trees begin to bear (3 to 4 years after planting), trees should be irrigated regularly from flowering through harvest. Research from other regions has suggested that mild drought stress during the fall (September or October) and early winter enhances flowering in late winter or early spring.

Insect Pests

The panicles (thyrses) and flowers of lychee are attacked by a number of moth pests. Periodically, plumose (Morganela longispina) and Philephedra tuberculosa scales attack stems, and heavy infestations may cause stem dieback. Adult Diaprepes root weevils (Diaprepes abbreviatus) and citrus root weevils (Pachnaeus litus) feed on lychee leaves, and their larvae feed on the roots of lychee trees causing a loss of tree vigor. Several nematode species (reniform, Rotylenchulus reniformis; and sheath nematode, Hemicriconemoides mangiferae) cause decline of young lychee trees.


Anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides ) is the major disease attacking fruit. The fruit of some cultivars (e. g., 'Mauritius') are much more susceptible than others (e.g., 'Brewster'). Occasionally, mushroom root rot (Clitocybe tabescens) kills lychee trees, often in land where oaks (Quercus virginiana) were previously grown. A parasitic lichen may occasionally attack leaves. Red algae may attack lychee shoots and limbs; symptoms include grayish to rust-colored, irregularly-shaped patches on the bark and bark splitting. For more information and control measures, consult your local UF/IFAS Extension agricultural agent.

Lychee Trees and Lawn Care

Lychee trees in the home landscape are susceptible to trunk injury caused by lawn mowers and weed eaters. Maintain a grass-free area 2 to 5 or more feet away from the trunk of the tree. Never hit the tree trunk with lawn mowing equipment and never use a weed eater near the tree trunk. Mechanical damage to the trunk of the tree will result in weakening the tree and if severe enough can cause the tree to dieback or die.

Roots of mature lychee trees spread beyond the drip-line of the tree canopy and heavy fertilization of the lawn adjacent to lychee trees is not recommended and may reduce fruiting and or fruit quality. The use of lawn sprinkler systems on a timer may result in over watering and cause lychee trees to decline. This is because too much water, too often is being applied, which results in root rot.

Mulch and Compost

Applying a thin layer of well cured compost from the drip-line to within 6 inches of the trunk may be beneficial for the fibrous roots of lychee trees. In addition, mulching lychee trees in the home landscape helps retain soil moisture, reduces weed problems adjacent to the tree trunk, and improves the soil near the surface. Mulch with a 2 to 6 inch (5–15 cm) layer of bark, wood chips, or similar mulch material. Keep mulch 8 to 12 inches (20–30 cm) from the trunk to prevent rotting of the base of the trunk.


Generally, training of young trees is not required. However, formative pruning during the first 2 years may be desirable to encourage lateral branching and growth. After several years of production it is desirable to cut back the tops of the trees to 10 to 15 feet (3.0 to 4.6 m). Selectively removing a few upper limbs back to their origin (crotches) each year will help prevent the loss of the lower tree canopy due to shading by the upper canopy. In addition, maintaining a smaller tree facilitates tree care and fruit harvest, makes it easier to spray the tree, and greatly reduces possible storm damage. Do not remove lower tree branches because they will help shade beneath the tree canopy and reduce weed growth and these branches may flower and fruit.

Pruning should be carried out immediately after harvest to allow regrowth and maturation of new shoots and leaves before the onset of cool/cold winter temperatures. Severe pruning is sometimes used to reduce tree height or width of very large trees. It does not injure lychee trees, but reduces fruit production for one to several seasons. Once lychee trees become 30 ft (9.1 m) or taller extreme caution should be used in pruning the trees. Climbing trees to prune them is dangerous and not recommended. Pruning of large lychee trees should be done by a professional arborist that is licensed and insured.


Fruit are harvested by cutting the main stem bearing the fruit clusters several inches behind the fruit clusters (Figure 9). Fruit may or may not be detached from the fruit clusters before storage. Ripe fruit are sweet, plump, and of the size and color characteristic of the cultivar (Table 1). Fruit picked while immature are not sweet and have poor flavor.

Figure 9.  10a) Harvest pole aid; 10b) Close-up of harvest aid with cutting edge and clamp; and 10c) Close-up of harvest pole aid and clipped fruit.
Credit: Ian Maguire, UFIFAS TREC

Uses and Nutritional Value

Lychee are an excellent fresh fruit and are best consumed as soon after harvest as possible. The fruit are low in calories and a good source of potassium, and are commonly eaten out of hand (Table 4). Fresh fruit may be stored in polyethylene bags in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 days and retain reasonable color and freshness. Fruit may be frozen whole (in the peel), canned (without the peel), and dried (in the peel) for later use. In the home landscape, lychee make beautiful specimen trees that provide fruit, aesthetics, and shade.


Table 1. 

Characteristics of selected lychee varieties in Florida.


Table 2. 

Cultural calendar for lychee production of mature (bearing) trees in the home landscape.


Table 3. 

Suggested fertilizer program for lychee in the Florida landscape.


Table 4. 

Nutrient value of raw lychee fruit (3. 5 oz or 100 g of fruit).1



1. This document is HS6, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1968. Revised February 1998, February 2005, October 2008, October 2013, and November 2016. Reviewed December 2019. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

2. Jonathan H. Crane, professor and tropical fruit crops specialist, UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center; Carlos F. Balerdi, professor and multi-county tropical fruit crop Extension agent (retired), UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County; and Ian Maguire, media artist (former), UF/IFAS Tropical REC; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

growing from stone at home, useful properties

Litchi fruit tree (Litchi chinensis), also called Chinese lychee, is a member of the Sapindaceae family. It is also called Fox, Chinese Plum, Liji or Laysi. There is documentary evidence that such a plant was grown in China as early as the second century BC. Today, such a plant is cultivated in all countries of Southeast Asia. Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza wrote that this fruit is similar to a plum, it does not burden the stomach, and it can be eaten in any volume, it is because of this that he called such a plant "Chinese plum". This culture was brought to Europe by the French botanist Pierre Sonner, who traveled through China and Southeast Asia. It happened in the 18th century.

Lychee fruit is eaten canned or fresh, it is used to make jelly, ice cream and other desserts, and it is also used to make traditional Chinese wine.


  • 1 Features of LICH
  • 2 Growing faces
  • 3 Care for Lychi at home
    • 3.1 How to Water
    • 3.2 Fertilizer
    • 3.3 Campaishes
    • 3.5 Pests
  • 4 types and varieties of Lichi
  • 5 Objects of Fruit Lich: harm and benefits
    • 5. 1 Useful properties
    • 5.2 Contraindications

    Features of LICH

    LICI is an evergreen tree, it has a split crown. Such a tree, growing in natural conditions, can reach a height of 10-30 meters. The composition of complex pinnate leaf blades includes from 4 to 8 leaf blades of an elongated ovoid or lanceolate shape with a pointed apex. The front surface of the plates is dark green and shiny, and the wrong side is pale gray. Lush umbellate inflorescences reach a length of 0.7 m, they consist of flowers that do not have petals, but consist only of cups of pale yellow or light green color. The inflorescences include a large number of flowers, but no more than 15 ovaries of all develop into fruits, while the rest die off. The length of the red-skinned fruits can vary from 25 to 40 mm, there are many sharp tubercles on the surface. Inside the fruit there is a jelly-like pulp of light color and sweet taste, it leaves the peel very easily and has a slightly noticeable wine flavor. In the center of the fruit there is a dark brown oval bone. In lychee growing in the tropics, fruit ripening is observed in May or June.

    Growing lychee from the stone

    In the middle latitudes, lychee is considered an outlandish plant, and therefore it is rather difficult to buy seedlings of such a crop in a garden pavilion. However, you can try to grow such a tree from a stone at room conditions. To do this, purchase a ripe fruit with a strong odor, translucent juicy pulp and red skin. The bone must be removed from the pulp, it is wrapped in moistened gauze or cloth. For 7 days, you need to ensure that the wrapper is slightly damp all the time.

    The swollen bone must be removed from the tissue, after which it is planted in a pot, at the bottom of which there is a drainage hole. At the bottom of the pot, first you need to lay out a drainage layer of expanded clay, after which it is filled with flower soil mixture. It is necessary to deepen the bone into the substrate by only 20 mm. When planting several seeds, the chances that a seedling will appear increase several times. When the stone is planted, the substrate in the container must be moistened with tepid water. The seed should germinate at a temperature of 25 to 30 degrees, it is very important to ensure that the substrate in the pot is constantly slightly moist. The first seedlings should appear in about 7-30 days, but this may happen later.

    After the seedling that has appeared has grown the first leaf plates of a light red color, the container must be rearranged on a sunny windowsill, while the plant must be protected from direct sunlight. A plant is transplanted into a larger pot during the formation of 4 or 5 leaf plates in it. In order for the seedlings to develop normally, they will need a long daylight hours, at least 12 hours. The air temperature in the room throughout the year should not fall below 20 degrees.

    How to grow lychee

    Watch this video on YouTube

    Caring for lychee at home

    How to water

    Lychee is a tropical moisture-loving plant, in this regard, the young bush must be moistened with a sprayer twice a day or filtered water. The plant should be watered moderately and systematically, for this you need to use filtered or settled water for two days, while it should be at room temperature. Experienced flower growers advise using bottom watering, for this you need to regularly pour water into the pan.

    It is necessary to water the bush in such a way that it does not suffer from a lack or excess of moisture in the root system. At the same time, the room should constantly have high humidity.


    The first feeding of lychee should be carried out 3 months after the seedling appears. After this, feeding is stopped until the tree is at least 1 year old. Starting from the second year of life, top dressing is carried out 1 or 2 times in 4 weeks, for this they use a solution of complex mineral fertilizers in moderate concentration. Organic fertilizers can also be used to feed lychee, for example, a mullein solution (1:15) is well suited. Thanks to top dressing, the formation of buds improves, and the bush is also stimulated to bear fruit.


    This plant is slow growing and should be cut very rarely. During the first 2 years, you need to engage in the formation of the crown of the plant. After that, the shape only needs to be maintained, for this, systematically shortening excessively long stems. If a lot of time has passed, and there are still no fruits on the tree, then you should not be upset, because all the same, such an exotic tree is quite rare.


    Lychee is quite resistant to diseases. A tree can get sick only if it is not properly cared for. If you water the bush too abundantly, then because of this, rot may appear on the root system. If the plant does not have enough water, it will become lethargic and begin to wither. By providing the right care for the lychee, you can protect it from all diseases.


    This crop is also highly resistant to pests. However, spider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs, aphids, thrips or scale insects can move to a bush from other indoor flowers. In this regard, the plant needs a systematic thorough examination, if pests or signs of their presence are noticed on it, then try to start destroying them immediately. To do this, the affected plant must be sprayed with an acaricide or insecticide, while the solution must be prepared in accordance with the instructions on the package.

    Why does Lychee get sick? Does not grow, leaves turn yellow. And at the beginning about the weather))))

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    Types and varieties of lychee

    Quite a large number of varieties and hybrids of lychee were bred, but such a plant is widespread only in Asia. The following cultivars are the most popular:

    1. Hanging Green . The tree is covered with pale green leaves. On the surface of the fruit there is a barely visible strip of green. The fruits remain fresh and do not lose their taste even three days after the peel is removed from them.
    2. Sticky rice balls . The dense pulp of such fruits has a sweet honey taste. They are covered with a red skin, on which there are no tubercles. The stone in such fruits is much smaller in comparison with other varieties, or it does not exist at all.
    3. Sweet osmanthus . Sweet fruits have an osmanthus aroma. They are covered with a strongly bumpy peel of a rich red color.
    4. Green Yatu . On the peel of the fruit there is a speck of a dark green color.
    5. Black sheet . This variety is early maturing. The fruits are fleshy, they are covered with a peel that secretes a juice similar to red ink.
    6. May Red . This variety is the earliest. Fruit picking is done in May.
    7. Concubine's smile . This variety is very ancient and early maturing. Fruits and the peel with which they are covered exude a red juice.

    Lychee fruit properties: harm and benefit

    Useful properties

    Lychee fruits contain many substances that are useful for the human body, for example: vitamins E, K, C, H, PP and group B (B1, B3, B6), magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, iodine, manganese, zinc, selenium, iron, calcium, potassium, pectins and organic acids. In oriental medicine, such fruits are used to normalize sugar levels in diabetes mellitus, improve the activity of the liver, kidneys and lungs, and they also help in the treatment and prevention of atherosclerosis. In cardiovascular diseases, it is also recommended to eat lychee, because the pulp of the fruit contains potassium. They are also very useful for high cholesterol levels in the blood, for anemia, for intestinal disorders and for diseases of the pancreas. Such fruits in Hindu medicine are considered an aphrodisiac that improves male strength and libido.

    LICHIE BENEFIT AND HARM | benefits of lychee, useful properties of litchi calories

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    Litchi fruits are contraindicated only for those who have an individual intolerance. There are no other contraindications for such fruits. However, stale fruits with a dark skin should not be eaten, because they can cause intestinal upset.

    How lychee grows in natural and artificial conditions

    More and more exotic products can be found on our table. Lychee is one of these curiosities.

    The fruits of this tree are distinguished by a unique refreshing taste, bright color, and also have a large stone. Therefore, more and more gardeners are interested in how lychee grows and whether it is possible to grow it yourself.


    • 1 What is lychee, how and where does this crop grow
    • 2 How are lychee fruits used, their benefits and harms
    • 3 How to grow lychee from a stone
    • 4 How to properly care for lychee

    What is lychee, how and where does this culture grow

    South China is considered the birthplace of this culture. Also, this fruit has other names: Chinese plum, Chinese grape or dragon's eye.

    More than a hundred varieties. Which are suitable for growing as an agricultural crop. Species with seedless fruits are especially valued.

    Lychee photo

    It is an evergreen tree with a dense, rounded crown. The sheet plate is elongated with a pointed end.

    Dark green. The leaves are pinnate. The number of constituent leaflets can be paired or unpaired.

    The fruits are collected in large clusters. They have a dense skin of red or pink color. Their surface is bumpy. The flesh is white, very juicy and tender. The taste is sweet with a slight sourness.

    Slight astringency present. The stone is large, brown in color with a smooth glossy surface, easily separated.

    The average height of an adult tree reaches 25 meters, and in some cases it can exceed them.

    Yield is 75-140 kg of fruit per tree. The first fruiting occurs as early as 4-6 years after planting seedlings in open ground. The tree develops slowly, so its productivity increases gradually.

    As an agricultural crop, lychee is grown in tropical and subtropical countries. In regions with hot and dry climates, lychee yields the most. With increased humidity, the productivity of this crop is significantly reduced.

    Fruits ripen in natural conditions 120-140 days after flowering. Usually this is the third decade of May or the first decade of June. The fruits are picked from the tree in bunches. This allows you to extend their shelf life and improve transportability.

    When grown outdoors, grafted seedlings are planted. Seedlings from the stone are weak, develop for a very long time and the first fruiting on them is possible only after 9-11 years.

    Young lychee tree photo

    In other climatic zones, lychee is grown as an ornamental crop. Usually, the tubing method is used for this.

    The height of a mature tree under such conditions does not exceed 3.5 meters. With such cultivation, the Chinese plum can be propagated vegetatively and a tree can be grown from a stone.

    Regardless of the method of cultivation, lychees require careful care. Only if all the conditions of agricultural technology are observed, the tree gives a good harvest, and also has a dense green crown. It is of particular value for landscape design or for decorating a room.

    How lychee fruits are used, their benefits and harms

    Ripe Chinese plum fruits are used as an independent dessert and as an ingredient in various dishes. They are used not only in cooking, but also in the preparation of traditional medicine.

    Various cosmetic skin care products are also made on their basis.

    The most famous product made from the fruit is Chinese wine. There are also many recipes for sweets based on them. Such sweets are very similar to thick jelly or marmalade.

    Ripe fruits are consumed fresh. They are used to prepare sweet desserts and drinks, jams and jams. The pulp is used as a filling for confectionery.

    Due to its velvety sour taste, lychee is often added to meat and fish dishes. Based on them, sauces and dressings are made.

    Fresh pulp is often added to alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It gives them a unique original taste and aroma.

    Lychee seedlings (photo)

    Large stone is also used as a condiment. It is added to oil when frying vegetables, meat, fish or seafood.

    Raw bone is not eaten, as in this form it is poisonous to humans.

    Fresh lychee should only be eaten when the fruit is fully ripe. Fruits should not have external changes in the form of skin color and violation of its integrity.

    Unripe and damaged fruits can cause food poisoning. It is also not recommended to eat this fruit on an empty stomach.

    Dried fruits can also be used as a separate product or as an ingredient in a complex dish.

    In this form, the fruit is called a nut. Their dried pulp well lags behind the skin and stone. They have a rich aroma and taste.

    Lychee fruits are not only tasty, but also very healthy. Their regular use contributes to:

    • Lowering cholesterol levels
    • Improving the functionality of the cardiovascular system
    • Normalizing the functioning of the digestive system
    • Prevention of atherosclerosis
    • Increased libido
    • Weight loss
    • Normalization of blood glucose
    • Elimination of excess fluid

    Naturopaths often use this fruit in the treatment of diseases of the lungs, kidneys and liver.

    In non-traditional medicine, not only the fruits of the tree are used for the preparation of medicines. On the basis of its rhizomes, bark and leaves, healing decoctions are prepared for the treatment of various pathologies.

    It is also recommended to include fruits in the diet. They contain few calories and at the same time quickly saturate the body. In addition, just a few fruits a day can make up for a vitamin deficiency.

    Tea with the addition of dried fruit peels has a special tonic and antioxidant effect. Its light citrus aroma gives a special freshness.

    Lat. Litchi photo

    Fruit masks with the addition of lychee pulp allow you to fill the skin with micro and macro elements.

    This helps to improve its tone and rejuvenation. A lotion based on ripe fruits also cleanses the skin of the face well.

    Lychee fruits have practically no contraindications for consumption. In some cases, they can cause an allergic reaction.

    Therefore, it is recommended to use them with caution in people with hypersensitivity to the fruit and in children in large quantities.

    How to grow lychee from stone

    How to grow lychee from stone at home? Many gardeners and florists grow plants from seed. It is quite possible to grow lychee in this way, but it will take a lot of time and, most importantly, patience.

    Only good quality lychee seeds are suitable for planting. Mostly large bones from the fetus are used.

    They must be of regular shape, smooth with a slight sheen. Wrinkled and deformed seeds are not suitable.

    For planting, the seeds are carefully removed from the pulp and washed with warm water. They are planted in the ground immediately after receiving. Planting should not be postponed, because in just a few days the seeds lose their germination.

    Planting seeds does not require special preliminary preparation. For planting a bone you need:

    Prepare a container. It can be cups for seedlings or flowerpots. It is important that the containers are made of natural material and with drainage holes.

    The use of glass flowerpots and plastic containers is not recommended. In them, the bone can quickly rot.

    Fill the pot. At the bottom, it is desirable to pour a layer of drainage: expanded clay, polystyrene, pebbles. A layer of earth mixture is poured on top. It can be purchased at a garden store.

    A mixture of peat and black soil is best suited. The soil should be acidic and enriched with organic matter.

    Lychee plant photo

    Moisten the soil. To do this, it is necessary to pour the soil abundantly from the watering can and wait until the excess water drains through the drainage holes.

    After the container is prepared, the lychee stone is planted. Planting depth is not more than three centimeters. It is not necessary to sprinkle it tightly with earth. A layer of 1-1.5 cm will be enough.

    Some flower growers recommend splitting the stone a little. Thus, its germination can be accelerated. But if there are no special skills, it is better not to take risks and plant a whole bone.

    A polyethylene film is stretched over the flowerpot. It should fit snugly around the edges. The container is placed in a warm place. But you can not expose it to direct sunlight. After 15-20 days, a sprout should appear.

    If there are several seeds of an exotic fruit, they can be planted in one pot. Such planting does not affect their germination.

    After the seeds have germinated, the film must be removed. Further development of the plant depends solely on care.

    Expert opinion

    Yuliya Yurievna

    I have a large garden and kitchen garden, several greenhouses. I love modern methods of plant cultivation and soil mulching, and I share my experience.

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    How does litchi grow on the windowsill at home? According to the reviews of many gardeners, the described culture can be grown on your window. The main thing is to initially choose juicy, ripe fruits. The peel should be red, and the flesh should be ripe and translucent.

    Lychee seeds can be planted immediately, or kept for several days in a damp cloth or gauze. It is important that the place where such a workpiece lies is warm. When the seeds swell after 5-7 days, you can plant.

    Prepared soil is best disinfected. To do this, the already prepared substrate is fried in the oven or poured with a solution of manganese. It is better to moisten the soil with a diffuser, the moisture should be slightly warm. We recommend planting several lychee plants. Then the chances of successful germination and cultivation will be higher.

    The seedling will germinate only if the temperature is 25-29 degrees. It is important that the soil is constantly slightly moist. Although covering with a film increases the likelihood of a sprout, you need to air the planting every day and check if moisture is required.

    The plant needs a lot of light. Most likely, the use of a phytolamp will be required for the normal development of lychee. At first, it is important to provide the sprout with good lighting. However, direct sunlight can cause burns. For this reason, we recommend preparing a protective screen in advance. To do this, you can fix a thin sheet of white paper on the glass, just in front of the lychee sprout.

    The young plant is very sensitive to temperature. Even on winter days, it is important that it does not fall below 21 degrees.

    How to properly care for lychee

    In order to grow a strong and healthy plant, it is necessary to properly care for it. Lychee care is similar to standard fruit tree care. It consists in:

    • Watering
    • Top dressing
    • Forming the crown
    • Loosening the soil
    • Compliance with the light and temperature regime

    But after a few weeks, the growth rate noticeably slows down. During this period, the root system is strengthened.

    Harvest with good care (photo)

    After the lychee has grown to 20-25 cm, it needs to be transplanted into a larger pot.

    Further transplanting is carried out as the plant grows. With each transplant, a flowerpot with a diameter of 5-7 cm larger than the previous one is selected.

    When growing lychee, special attention must be paid to watering and humidity. The plant does not tolerate drought, but also does not like waterlogging. Therefore, it is recommended to moisten the soil as needed.

    Twice a day, the tree should be sprayed with clean water from a spray bottle. For irrigation, settled water at room temperature is used.

    Lighting also plays an important role. Lychees require at least 12 hours of daylight per day.

    The plant does not tolerate direct sunlight. Windows on the east side are best suited for growing it. In the autumn and winter season, when the daylight hours become shorter, additional illumination is necessary for the lychee. The plant is placed under fluorescent lamps.

    Lychee development directly depends on the composition of the soil. This crop requires regular fertilization. The first feeding is carried out no earlier than three months after planting. Special fertilizers are used, which include organic and mineral additives.

    Lychee pruning is carried out during the first two years. This allows you to form a crown of the required shape. Further sanitary pruning is carried out if necessary.

    Lychee blossoms

    Regular loosening of the soil is carried out to improve soil aeration. The depth of loosening is small, since the roots of the plant are located in the upper layer of the soil. This manipulation contributes to the better development of the young tree.

    Lychee belongs to thermophilic crops. Therefore, it can be grown outdoors only in tropical climates.

    If there are no such conditions, a fruit-bearing tree can be grown in a greenhouse. The rate of fruiting in such conditions increases significantly.

    When growing lychee as an ornamental crop, it is also necessary to observe the temperature regime.

    In the summer season it is necessary to maintain the temperature within 25-30 degrees. You can not put flowerpots under the sun. Also, the plant does not like cold wind and drafts.

    Expert opinion

    Yuliya Yuryevna

    I have a large garden and vegetable garden, several greenhouses. I love modern methods of plant cultivation and soil mulching, and I share my experience.

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    In addition to settled moisture, filtered or melt water is also suitable for irrigation. The main thing is to settle harmful plumbing impurities, such as chlorine. This plant responds well to watering in a pan.

    If it is not possible to regularly spray the crop, it is worth getting a stationary air humidifier. This is especially true in winter, when most indoor flowers suffer from dry and hot air due to radiators and radiators.

    From the second year of life, the culture needs to be fed. We recommend using complex mineral products. The plant also responds well to organic matter, but it should be in a low concentration. In addition, before and after flowering, it is better to feed the culture with potassium and phosphorus.

    Do not apply too much nitrogen. This can provoke softening and disease of the rhizome. At the same time, potassium increases the immunity of the plant. If it is noticed that the lychee has begun to pick up buds, you can pour it with a solution of boric acid. To do this, the dry matter must be diluted at a concentration of 2 grams per 10 liters of water.

    Among pests at home, spider mites, aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, whiteflies are possible. To prevent this from happening, we recommend keeping new plants in quarantine for at least a month, inspecting your pets, and maintaining optimal humidity. When infected, you can use Actellik.

    While watching the video, you will learn about lychee cultivation.

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