How to take care of lychee tree

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

Litchi (Litchi chinensis) or Chinese lychee is a fruit tree from the Sapindaceae family. There are several other names for this plant - Chinese plum, liji, lacy and fox. Chinese plum can be eaten both fresh and canned. Litchi is used to make delicious Chinese wine and a variety of desserts. This article will talk in detail about how to properly grow lychee from the stone and how to care for the plant at home. 9Ol000

6 Useful properties of lychee and contraindications

7 How to grow lychee (video)

Description of the lychee fruit

Lychee is an evergreen tree with a spreading crown. In height, litchi can grow from 10 m to 30 m, and sometimes even higher. The leaves of the plant are complex and pinnate, dark green on top and grayish below, glossy. They consist of four or eight leaflets lanceolate or elongated-ovoid, pointed to the edge.

Lychee flowers are petalless, calyx-like, greenish or yellowish. The peel of the fruit is red, and the pulp is white, sweet and somewhat reminiscent of jelly in texture, very fragrant and juicy. Fruit length 2-4 cm. Lychee fruits ripen from the end of May to the end of June, the ripening period depends on the variety that was chosen for cultivation.

Growing lychee from the stone

Since lychee is considered a tropical plant, it is very difficult to find its seedlings in nurseries. Therefore, it is easier to grow litchi from the bone. Only seeds from ripe fruits are suitable for germination. They should be bright red, the flesh is translucent and juicy, strong aroma. If you take a stone from an unripe fruit, then the plant will grow very small and weak, it will often be attacked by insects and affected by various diseases, and perhaps the stone from such a fruit will not germinate at all.

Remove the pit from the lychee fruit and immediately wrap it in a damp cloth. In this state, the bone should lie for at least a week, the tissue must be regularly moistened. When the bone swells, it must be removed from the tissue and planted in a pot with drainage holes. For planting lychee seeds, it is best to use a ready-made substrate for flower seedlings. Also, do not forget about the drainage layer. It is necessary to deepen the bone by about 2 cm. After planting, it is necessary to pour the soil abundantly with warm water. Lychee should be germinated at a temperature of 25-30 degrees and in moist soil. If you follow all the conditions, then the bone will sprout in 2-4 weeks. But it happens that the bones germinate later.

After the first leaves appear, the lychee pot should be placed in a well-lit place, but not in direct sunlight. When four true leaves grow, you need to transplant the lychee into another container, larger in volume. The growing temperature should be at least 20 degrees. And daylight hours are at least 12 hours. If it is not possible to place it in a lighted room, then you will have to illuminate the plant with artificial light, since without proper lighting the plant will not grow strong and healthy, and the long-awaited fruits will appear at all

Home care for lychee


Being a tropical plant, lychee loves moisture. It needs regular spraying with warm water at least twice a day. You need to water the plant regularly, but avoid waterlogging the soil. Water for irrigation should be warm and settled for two days. The best way to moisten the soil is by watering through the pan. Watering should be such that the soil is always moist, but without stagnant water.

Top dressing and fertilizer

Lychee responds very positively to fertilization. The first feeding of litchi should be done approximately in the third month after planting, after feeding it should be stopped until the plant is one year old. In the second year, you need to add a solution of complex mineral fertilizer a couple of times. As an organic fertilizer, you can use a solution of mullein. During the applied top dressing, they make it possible to grow a healthy and well-bearing plant.


Since the growth of lychee is not so fast, it does not need frequent pruning. For the first two years, it is necessary to carry out formative pruning several times, which will help form the correct crown of the tree. And after that, you will just need to occasionally trim the knocked-out shoots in order to maintain a neat crown shape. Sometimes it happens that a plant does not bear fruit at all, but it is not considered worth wasting, since rarely anyone can boast of a beautiful exotic plant grown at home.

Diseases and pests

Lychee is considered to be fairly resistant to attack by harmful insects. But there are such cases that aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, thrips, mealybugs and scale insects move from other affected indoor litchi. In order to prevent this, it is necessary to regularly inspect the plant. If there are signs of the presence of pests, then the litchi should be immediately treated with special solutions of insecticides or acaricides.

As far as diseases are concerned, they rarely affect lychees. Diseases can only appear due to improper care. If you allow waterlogging of the soil, then the roots of the plant will begin to rot. And from not enough olive, the plant loses its strength, withers and dries. Therefore, in order to prevent the appearance of diseases, it is necessary to follow all the canons of caring for lychee.

Types and varieties of lychee

Breeders have bred many hybrid varieties of lychee. The most popular of them are cultivars:

Hanging green - the leaves of this tree have a light green tint. The fruits also have barely noticeable green stripes. The fruits remain fresh, juicy and tasty jam after a few days, as the skin is removed from them.

Sticky Rice Balls - The flesh of this variety is firm and sweet, slightly honey-like in taste. The peel does not have tubercles, a bright red hue. The seed is much smaller than other varieties, or completely absent.

Sweet osmanthus - this variety got its name because its fruits have a characteristic smell that is very similar to the aroma of osmanthus. The peel is very strongly bumpy and has a bright red tint. The fruit is very sweet and juicy.

Green Yatu - this variety has a characteristic difference from other varieties - the peel of its fruits is covered with patches of a dark green hue.

Black leaf - this variety is early maturing. The fruits are quite fleshy and have one feature. They secrete a large amount of juice, which is somewhat reminiscent of red ink.

May red is a variety, the very first fruits of which ripen in the second half of May.

Smile of the concubine - this variety is one of the most ancient, belongs to the early ripening. The plant and its fruits secrete red juice.

Useful properties of litchi and contraindications

The fruits contain vitamins and minerals necessary for the normal development of the human body. For example, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, B vitamins and many others. Lychee fruits are used in folk medicine in the treatment of atherosclerosis, they also help to normalize sugar levels in diabetes. Improve the functioning of the liver, kidneys and lungs. It is useful to eat lychee fruits for those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases. Lychee also helps to cope with anemia and intestinal disorders. In addition to all of the above, lychee has a positive effect on male power.

Lychee fruits are contraindicated only in case of individual intolerance. For everyone else, they will only benefit. The main thing to remember is that you need to eat fresh fruits, without signs of decay.

If you follow all the rules of planting, growing from the stone next to the plant at home, then the plant will grow strong, healthy and incredibly beautiful. Perhaps it will please you with a healthy, juicy and tasty harvest, or it will become a real exotic decoration for your home.

How to grow lychee (video)

How to grow lychee

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Fruit trees and shrubs Garden: trees and shrubs

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 Lichs from the Bone
  • 3 Care for Lichs at home
    • 3.1 How to water
    • 3.2 Fertilizer
    • 3.3 CRAPS
    • 3.4 DISURE
    • 3.40117
    • 4 types and varieties of LICH
    • 5 Properties of Fruit Lich: harm and benefit
      • 5. 1 Useful properties
      • 5.2 Contraindications

    Features of LICH

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    LICI is an eternally green, it is possessed 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 quite 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

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    Caring for lychee at home

    How to water

    Lychee is a tropical moisture-loving plant, in this regard, the young bush must be moistened twice a day with a sprayer 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 of 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 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 fruit contains many substances 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.

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