A fruit, so delicious that it will leave your taste buds wanting for more. The Loquat fruit tree is probably one of the most underrated fruit trees of all. let’s see how to grow Loquat and harvest Loquat fruits from your homegrown tree.
So we have our loquat tree growing for exactly two years now. It’s a dwarf variety that grows to a smaller size and still produces a ton of fruit.
Steps to grow Loquat Tree
We’ll look at all aspects of growing Loquat trees in this article.
So when we initially bought our Loquat plant, we were planning to grow it in a container only. Loquat being a dwarf tree would have grown well enough if left in a large container like a whiskey barrel and this is a grafted plant that we bought online (as shown in the above image).
Loquats are best started from grafted plants not from seeds and although you can grow Loquats from seeds it may take a long time to fruit.
Potting mix required to grow loquat
We’re using the soil here as Gary’s top pot soil, something we bought at a local nursery. This is a permanent potting mix consisting of peat moss, perlite, pumice, and charcoal.
You can use any regular potting mix but be prepared to repot every two years or so and we use the top pot potting mix as it’s a permanent mix.
It helps keep the tree roots intact while they are growing and if you have space in the ground, I would definitely recommend planting the loquat tree in the ground, but if you are short on space, a large container works very well for dwarf trees like this Loquat.
Make sure you fill it into the top of the container to avoid leaving a large gap on the top. Once the soil is leveled we are ready to plant.
Planting Loquat Tree
We got our Loquat plant in a 10-inch pot and this looks like about a year old already. The plant came out of the container easily and it does have some shallow roots as well as some deeper roots and all this helps the plant absorb all the nutrients from the soil.
Now at the time of planting use a slow-release organic fruit fertilizer. Since we ran out of our fruit tree fertilizer, we used a vegetable fertilizer that works similarly and works great for fruits like Loquats.
So we sprinkle approximately one cup of fertilizer around the base of the plant before planting our Loquat tree. Make sure you compact the soil around the plant and your Loquat tree is all set.
And here is how the loquat tree looks like after planting and is ready to go into its new location where it will get plenty of sunlight to grow and thrive.
10 Days since planting loquat tree
At about 10 days of planting your Loquat tree will establish well and should also start sending out new leaves, as it now has much more room to grow.
This variety of loquat is the Christmas Loquat, which is one of the better tasting loquat varieties to grow. It is also on a dwarf rootstock which means that the tree will not grow huge and will be constrained in growth while giving you tons of Loquat fruit.
90 Days since planting loquat tree
All right it’s been 90 days since planting and your loquat tree should look a lot bigger now. It should also have a thicker stem and some more new leaves.
Your Loquat plant is just starting to grow and thrive in these warm conditions.
After one year we moved to a new home where we did have space to plant our Loquat tree in the ground.
Now Loquat trees prefer growing in the ground where they have access to all nutrients in the soil. However, if your garden soil is very compacted and not as good you’re better off growing your Loquat tree in a container.
And you can already see the renewed growth with all the extra space the Loquat tree has, it has grown a few more leaves and is looking a lot bigger.
One and a half years since planting loquat tree
At one and a half years since planting, you can see a dramatic change in your Loquat tree, where it is much bigger has several branches that are producing flowers.
Loquat trees have clusters of flowers, a lot of flowers, and you can usually see bees humming around them to pollinate the Loquat flowers so they can produce Loquats. And remember that loquats are self-pollinating, they do not need another tree to produce fruit.
One year and nine months since planting loquat tree
At one year and nine months since planting, not only will the Loquat tree produce more leaves and branches, while it’s doing so the loquat is one of the few trees that actually produces fruits while it’s growing.
You can see the fruits here, small green fruits, there are usually four to seven fruits in each cluster and these will ripen soon.
So after patiently waiting for two years, the Loquat fruits are now ripening and we can begin harvesting.
Loquats start ripening when they turn yellow and at this stage, they are a little tart, so if you like tart Loquat harvest them at this stage.
They will come off the plant very easily when they are ripe.
And here you can see our first harvest, just beautiful looking Loquats that are absolutely amazing. They’re not only fresh they taste absolutely good too and if you wait for just seven to ten days more the Loquats will turn into a deeper yellow or orange color and at this stage, but they are also the sweetest.
As you can see this loquat fruit looks beautiful, nice, soft flesh inside with some seeds.
Loquats have a very unique tropical fruit taste something like a combination of peach, orange, and apricot, that’s the closest I can describe this as and they’re sweet but tart at the same time and in my opinion Loquats are the best tasting fruits.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a fruit that tastes as delicious as a Loquat. So try it out for yourself and Loquats are also generally not available at the grocery stores as they only stay fresh for about seven days or so. So that gives you more incentive to grow your own Loquats at home since they’re not easy to find elsewhere.
As far as fertilizing goes it’s very important that your Loquat plant gets adequate nutrients especially in the first two years of growth.
So make sure you add a slow-release fertilizer around the base of the plant and cover it with compost or planting mix.
Do this every three months or so during the growing season. Mature Loquat plants do not need fertilizer but to get better quality fruit you should improve nutrients to your Loquat tree.
Your loquat tree will also need micronutrients to produce higher quality fruit. Adding a fish and seaweed emulsion works very well for Loquat trees to get all the micronutrients that the plant needs.
Watering tips to grow loquat tree
Water well once you’ve added the fertilizer and as far as general watering goes Loquats need to be watered sparingly. Our drip system running for about an hour every 10 days or so is plenty for Loquats to grow and thrive.
They do need more frequent watering in years one and two and the frequency of watering depends on how hot your zone gets.
Loquats trees thrive here in zone 10 in southern California but you can grow Loquats for fruits in zones 8 and higher. If you’re in a lower USDA gardening zone you can still grow loquats as an ornamental tree and hope that it fruits some year.
In either case, loquats are a great tree to grow in your home garden. The loquat fruit itself is of great nutritional value. It has vitamins A, B, C as well as several micronutrients like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus making it one of the best fruits you can eat.
And loquat is extremely delicious. So go ahead and plant a loquat tree in your garden and I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to grow loquat in your home garden. If you liked reading this article please share.
If you have any questions or comments or if you have your own loquat tree that you’re growing I’d like to hear from you. So put your thoughts in the comments box below. We’ll see you again soon. Happy gardening!