Growing an exotic longan fruit at home from a stone
Longan is an exotic fruit native to China that has gained popularity far beyond its borders. Growing longan fruit at home is of interest to many gardeners, because if you follow a few simple rules, you can get not only a generous harvest of tasty and fragrant fruits, but also a bright, colorful home decoration.
Features and description of the longan fruit
Longan or “dragon’s eye” refers to evergreen trees from the Sapindov family. In natural conditions, it can be seen on the territory of Asian countries – China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia.
Botanical features of the longan tree:
- Evergreen trees reach 20-30 m in height.
- Long shoots of the tree, lowered down.
- Leaves are large, 15 to 30 cm in size, paired, with pointed tips.
- During the fruiting period, the tree is densely covered with small fruits (up to 5 cm in size) of a round shape with a brown-orange peel, which outwardly resemble nuts.
- The rind of the fruit is thin but very firm. It is not eaten.
- Longan fruit has an edible, jelly-like white pulp, with a pleasant sweet taste and musky aroma..
- Inside the fruit – a large bone maroon or black.
When growing a longan fruit at home, it should be borne in mind that this tree is slow in growth and development. The first harvest of ripe fruits can be harvested only 4-6 years after planting the seed..
Growing longan fruit at home
The simplest and most effective way to grow a longan at home is to plant a seed from a fruit. But fruits brought from Asian countries to domestic supermarkets are picked unripe – otherwise they spoil during long-term transportation..
The best option for growing an exotic fruit is to use a seed from a ripe fruit, because it will depend on its maturity how longan grows at home. It is advisable to stock up on bones while traveling in Asian countries or ask tourist friends.
High germination of longan seeds is possible only if they are planted immediately after eating the fruit..
On vacation, this cannot be done – in this case, you need to ensure the correct preservation of the fruit seed:
- peel the bone from the pulp;
- dry the seed in the fresh air, in the shade;
- wipe the bone thoroughly;
- pack in tissue paper, foil and plastic container.
With this method of storage, the “dragon’s eye” seed retains high germination for up to 15 days..
Tank and soil preparation
When growing longan fruit at home, you need to take into account that this is a “capricious” culture. But when creating comfortable conditions, every gardener will be able to grow an unusual Asian plant..
Longan is a large plant that takes up a lot of space, so it needs a lot of space. The tree has a large and massive root system. The diameter of the flowerpot must match the roots.
For growing longan fruit, it is advisable to use fertile and loose soil with an acidity level of at least 5 pH. You can take a special substrate for tropical trees – it has a balanced composition, ideal for an exotic plant.
Preparation of the bone
Before planting longan bones, they need to be properly prepared. To increase germination, it is better to use several seeds at once..
Methods for preparing the bone:
- Peel the seeds from the remaining pulp and dry with a paper towel. Leave it on for 24 hours, then wrap in a cotton cloth dampened with water. Cover with plastic and place in a warm place, remembering to moisturize the fabric regularly. The first shoots will appear in 7-13 days.
- Pour warm water over the longan seeds and leave for 3 days, then place on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for 48 hours. With the help of such stratification, the germination of seed material can be significantly improved..
- Pour longan seeds with a solution of any growth stimulator prepared according to the instructions.
For the preparation of longan fruit seeds, germination stimulants such as Zircon, Epin Extra, Ecosil can be used..
Planting the bone
In order to properly plant a longan from a bone at home, you need to place it correctly in a pot. Examine the seed carefully – you can see a small light speck on its surface. Place the pit in the pot with the speck on the side.
Planting a longan seed:
- fill the drainage at the bottom of the flower pot – it can be small pebbles, coarse river sand, expanded clay;
- pour a nutritious substrate on top;
- deepen the bone by about 4 cm;
- moisten the seeds with settled water at room temperature;
- cover the container with glass or plastic wrap to create greenhouse conditions;
- place the container in a warm and dry place, away from drafts.
Planted longan seeds should be ventilated every day by removing the plastic wrap for a while. If all the rules are observed, the first shoots will appear in 13-15 days.
For active growth and good fruiting, longan must be provided with quality care. This exotic plant is very demanding on lighting – it needs at least 12 hours of daylight.
A pot with young sprouts is best placed on a windowsill on the south or southeast side. Longan needs extra lighting, especially in the case of winter growing. For this purpose, you can use special phytolamps.
The full growth of a plant is possible only if the temperature regime is observed from + 23 ° C to + 27 ° C. You also need to take care of a high level of humidity. To do this, longan foliage can be regularly moistened with a spray bottle or a container with water can be placed next to the plant..
Watering and feeding
Longan belongs to moisture-loving plants. It is best to provide him with frequent watering, but in small portions. For humidification, settled water at room temperature is used..
Longan tap water is not used.
For active development, an exotic plant needs regular feeding. They are applied every 2 weeks, alternating complex mineral fertilizers with organic ones. Longan can be fed with special citrus fertilizers..
In the case of planting several longan seeds, they must be dived. During the first 15 days after germination, young seedlings actively grow and form a strong root system. Immediately after that, you can pick them up..
Water the young seedlings liberally. Separately prepare flower pots with drainage and nutrient medium. Remove the seedling and place in a pot, cover with soil and water.
Place the pots of dived seedlings in a warm and dry place, but not in direct sunlight – this can cause burns to delicate foliage.
Longan is an exotic plant that every gardener can grow. Observing all the subtleties of cultivation agricultural technology, you can get not only a generous harvest of tasty and healthy fruits, but also an unusual green interior decoration.