By: Liz Baessler
Loquat, also known as Japanese plum, is a fruiting tree native to Southeast Asia and very popular in California. Planting loquat from seeds is easy, although because of grafting you can’t expect to get a tree that produces the same fruit as the one you started with. If you’re growing loquat seeds for ornamental purposes, though, you should be fine. Keep reading to learn more about loquat seed germination and how to prepare loquat seeds for planting.
Planting Loquat from Seeds
Each loquat fruit contains between 1 and 3 seeds. Break the fruit open and wash the flesh away from the seeds. Loquat seed germination might not be possible if you let them dry out, so it’s best to plant them right away. Even if you’re waiting a day or two, store the seeds wrapped in a damp paper towel. It is possible to store them for up to six months in a vented container of moist sawdust or moss at 40 F. (4 C.).
Plant your seeds in well-draining soilless potting medium, covering the top with an inch more of medium. You can put more than one seed in the same pot.
Loquat seed germination works best in a bright, warm environment. Place your pot in a well-lit place at least 70 F. (21 C.), and keep it moist until the seeds sprout. When the seedlings are about 6 inches high, you can transplant them into their own pots.
When you transplant, leave some of the roots exposed. If you want to graft your loquat, wait until the base of its trunk is at least ½ an inch in diameter. If you don’t graft, it will probably take your tree between 6 and 8 years to start producing fruit.
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Read more about Loquat Trees
How to Grow Loquat Trees From Seeds
Things You Will Need
Native to Southeastern China, the loquat tree has become an ornamental tree in many California landscapes. Loquat trees bear clusters of small oval or pear-shaped fruits that are 1 to 2 inches long. Inside each fruit, three to five brown seeds can be found, and these can be used to propagate new trees. Some loquat trees must have more than one tree planted in order to pollinate and produce fruit, while others are self-fertile.
Remove the seeds from the fruit and wash them in cool water. Be sure that all of the fruit is removed from the seeds. Each fruit will have large brown seeds in it.
Plant the seeds in flats or peat pots. Use soilless media.
Prepare your planting area. Loquats require good drainage, but can grow in almost any soil type. Add some organic matter to the planting location so that the soil is moderately fertile. Loquats cannot tolerate standing water, so amend the soil with peat moss or other organic material to loosen it and improve drainage.
Transplant the plants into larger pots or into the ground when they are 6 inches tall. Remove most of the soilless media, because this will delay the growth of the loquat tree. Be sure that some of the roots are exposed when you plant the loquat tree. Dig a hole slightly larger than the peat pot or flat the seed is growing in. Spread the roots in the hole and pack the soil down gently.
Water the loquat tree thoroughly. Water three times per week during the first few months while the tree is establishing itself.
Loquat trees will grow from USDA hardiness zones 8b through 11. Loquat trees are not mature, and do not fruit, for at least six years. Loquat seeds are viable for up to six months if they are stored properly, so store them at room temperature to 40 degrees Fahrenheit in partially sealed glass jars. They need high humidity. Add irrigation during the bloom season for a more abundant fruit harvest. Fertilize loquats three times per year with 1 lb. of 6-6-6 NPK fertilizer. Prune judiciously after harvest. Loquats can be grafted onto different rootstocks to improve vigor and fruiting. Wait until the tree is 1/2 inch in diameter to work it.
Do not use mechanical products around the loquat trees, because they have very shallow, delicate root systems that are easily damaged. Extreme heat, 95 degrees or higher, will kill loquat trees, and leaf scorch is caused by hot winds. Loquat trees can take temperatures as low as 12 degrees Fahrenheit if they are well-established, however the seeds are killed at 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Black scale and fire blight can affect loquat trees, so watch for disease as the tree is establishing. Treat disease immediately with fungicide and pruning.
Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica)
A versatile, multi-season tree. Bold, leathery leaves are extremely ornamental and provide dense shade. Sweetly scented flowers appear in early spring, followed by clusters of small fruits. Loquat fruits are ready for picking when the skin turns smooth and golden-orange. The skin is edible no need to peel, but each fruit contains several large, brown seeds that can cause an adverse reaction if eaten. Do not eat the seeds. The fruits are sweet and tangy with a soft, juicy texture. Native to southern China and evergreen in warm climates.
May be used as a focal point in large bedding schemes. An excellent specimen, foundation, or border plant. The fruit is delicious in pies, tarts, jams, and preserves.
Slow release feed in spring.
Water regularly until established.
Basic Care Summary
Plant in a reliably sunny spot. Best in fertile, well-drained soil. Water regularly until established. Prune to maintain desired shape.
Plant in spring or early fall to give plants the best start.
Choose a location that will allow roots to spread and branches to grow freely. Space plants far enough from building foundations, walls, and decks so that the growing foliage won't crowd the structure. Consider whether tall trees or shrubs will block windows or interfere with the roof or power lines.
To prepare the planting area dig a hole as deep as the root ball and three times as wide. After removing the soil, mix it with some compost or peat moss. This enriches the soil and loosens the existing dirt so that new roots can spread easily.
To remove the plant from the container, gently brace the base of the plant, tip it sideways and tap the outside of the pot to loosen. Rotate the container and continue to tap, loosening the soil until the plant pulls smoothly from the pot. The container can also be removed by carefully cutting it down the side.
Set the plant in the hole. If the root ball is wrapped in burlap fabric this must now be removed along with any string or wire securing the burlap. If roots are tightly packed gently rake them apart with your fingers.
Return the soil to the planting area packing it firmly around the root ball. Fill the hole until the soil line is just at the base of the plant, where the roots begin to flare out from the main stem.
Water the plant well then add a 2” (5cm) layer of mulch, such as shredded bark, around the planting area. Keep the mulch at least 4” (10cm) away from the trunk of the plant as this can keep the bark too moist and cause it to decay.
Depending on rainfall, new plants need to be watered weekly through the first growing season. A slow, one-hour trickle of water should do the job. During hot spells thoroughly soaking the ground up to 8” (20 cm) every few days is better than watering a little bit daily. Deep watering encourages roots to grow further into the ground resulting in a sturdier plant with more drought tolerance.
To check for soil moisture use your finger or a hand trowel to dig a small hole and examine the soil. If the first 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, it is time to water.
Monitor new plants through the first two years to make sure they are getting the moisture they need. After that they should be sturdy enough to survive on their own.
Established trees should be fertilized every 2-3 years. Feed in early spring when plants start growing.
Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product designed for trees and shrubs, or go with a nutritionally balanced, general-purpose formula such as 10-10-10.
Always follow the fertilizer package directions for application rates and scheduling. Over-fertilizing plants or applying at the wrong time during the growing season can result in plant injury.
Pruning may be needed to remove dead branches, encourage bushier growth, promote more flowers, or maintain a specific size or shape.
Dead branches should be removed close to the trunk, flush with the bark. When pruning to control a plant's size or shape, cuts should be made just above a leaf bud and at a slight angle. This bud will be where the new growth sprouts.
Many shrubs can be regularly sheared to keep them shaped as a hedge, edging or formal foundation planting.
Always use sharp, clean tools when pruning. There are many tools available depending on the job. Hand shears, pruners, and loppers are ideal for most shrubs. Pole pruners and tree saws are better for large, mature shrubs or trees. If a tree is so large that it can't be safely pruned with a pole pruner, it is best to call in a professional tree service.
Here what the LSU Ag guys say.
Here is a link that might be useful: LSU Ag / Loquats
I would agree with the information in the link BigEasyJock provides -- plant your loquat seeds immediately. If the seeds dry out, the plant embryos within will probably die.
Most of my loquat grafting attempts have been made with bud-shield grafts -- but I've gotten very low success rates using this method. Some suggest that it is better to employ whole-scion grafts (cleft or whip), using material from twig terminals -- and I think that I may try using this method more in the future. The one time I used it in the past, I got fairly good results.
Tips for Growing a Loquat Tree in Texas
Talk about a long way from home! Loquat trees (Eriobotrya japonica) were growing in China and Japan for more than a thousand years before reaching U.S. shores in the late 19th century. Their good looks quickly found favor in Texas, where they’re now among the most widely planted ornamentals. For Texas yards in need of tropical allure, few trees can match the loquat’s appeal.
A Warm South Texas Welcome
Loquat trees handle winter cold in USDA plant hardiness ones 8 through 10, with a minimum low temperature of 10°F (-12.2°C). And — because loquats flower and set fruit between October and February – south Texas’ balmy winters suit them perfectly. Grow them anywhere along the Gulf Coast and as far north as San Antonio for fruit.
Further north, loquats face fruit-killing winter temps below 27°F (-2.8°C). They’ll still make handsome evergreen shade trees with delicate, sweetly fragrant flowers — and for most Texas gardeners, that’s enough.
Expert gardener’s tips:
- If you’re along the southern edge of zone 8, plant the loquat on a structure’s southern or southeastern side. The added cold protection increases your chance of a fruit harvest.
- If your summer temps regularly top 100°F (37.8°C), position your tree to get afternoon shade. During its first summer, also protect it from late morning sun with a shade cloth.
Loquats and Texas Soil
Given good drainage, a loquat is at home in the limestone-heavy soils of south, central or north Texas and the acidic soils of the eastern counties. Salty soils, however, burn its leaf tips when summer is very hot and dry. Minimize the problem with proper care.
Fighting Tip Burn
The best way to prevent tip burn is to avoid chemically based nitrogen fertilizer. Compost and 0-10-10 fish emulsion are safe organic options.
Right after planting, spread a 1-inch layer of compost over the soil around the root ball. It conserves soil moisture and supply nutrients while breaking down.
After two or three months, start feeding the tree with fish emulsion:
- Dilute 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the emulsion in 1 gallon (3.78 liters) of water. This makes enough to cover 25 square feet of soil.
- Spray the solution on the leaves.
- Pour the remaining solution around the base of the tree and water it in.
- Repeat every three weeks through the growing season.
Beginning in the second year, apply the fish emulsion monthly during the growing season.
Best Loquat Cultivars for Texas
Texas summers can wreak havoc on loquat fruit, so plant an early ripening cultivar. ‘Early Red’s’ clusters of sweet, juicy fruit ripen in January and February. To extend your harvest into April, pair it with ‘Big Jim,’ a choice notable for large, exceptionally sweet fruit.
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10 Minute Recipe of Super Quick Homemade How to Peel a Loquat
How to Peel a Loquat
Before you jump to How to Peel a Loquat recipe, you may want to read this short interesting healthy tips about <The Simple Ways to Be Healthy. Becoming A Healthy Eater
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We hope you got insight from reading it, now let’s go back to how to peel a loquat recipe. To cook how to peel a loquat you need 3 ingredients and 12 steps. Here is how you cook that.
The ingredients needed to cook How to Peel a Loquat:
Steps to make How to Peel a Loquat:
- This is all you need.
- First, cut the the loquat in half, and twist the two sides apart.
- It easily splits in half.
- Remove the stem by pulling it off by hand.
- Peel off the skin before removing the seeds (this way, you can hold it tightly without the flesh falling apart).
- Remove the seeds. The white part around the seeds is the pesky astringent seed coat.
- Scoop out the seed coat with a tea spoon, starting from the bottom end of the fruit and moving toward the stem end.
- It's gone. (The tip of the seed coat is hard to get to, so pick it off by hand.)
- It's easy and pretty. (The flesh will turn brown soon after cutting the loquat open, so place them in a bowl of lemon water to maintain the color.)
- How can I use up all these loquats.
- Loquat jam.
- Here are dried loquats. Place them on a paper towel and microwave in short increments until dry (be careful not to burn them). They are even sweeter this way.
I would urge you to stop peeling the bark, and let it come off naturally. The loquat tree is a popular choice for gardeners that want an attractive, fruit-bearing tree in their garden. The loquat is a distant relative to the rose. The plant produces small fruits that taste like a blend of citrus, peach, and mango - and are utterly delicious. In many areas, including central Texas, loquat trees have naturalized in the wild.
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