How To Plant Longan Seeds & Grow Longan Fruit Tree (Dragon Eye Fruit)
Soak freshly procured longan seeds before planting them. Further, plant them in a location with well-drained soil receiving ample sunlight.
Scientifically known as Dimocarpus longan, the longan tree is a part of the soapberry family Sapindaceae. This tropical fruit tree is popular by many other common names like lungan and dragon’s eye.
It is native to regions lying between India and Burma as well as throughout China. If you live in any part of India, you might know longan trees by the name “Pichu”.
The trick to enjoying this tasty fruit over an extended period is to learn how to grow longan from seed and trust us, you are not alone searching for the answer to this. Many people grow this evergreen plant for the various health benefits that it provides.
They are cultivated best in warm areas using seeds or cuttings. Normally, this evergreen tree grows well in well-drained, sandy, rocky, and loamy soils with a regular watering schedule.
If you want to know all about perfect growing conditions that longan trees need to thrive well, continue reading.
How To Grow A Longan Tree From Seed?
Growing longan tree through seeds is not much of a hassle. First, you have to procure fresh seeds from longan fruits. Choose mature longan trees to get the best seed pods. You can gather them after they fall from the tree to the ground.
Before you plant it, make sure to leave it soaking in water overnight. This way its shell will become soft and you can quickly crack open the pod to extract the seed.
Leave it dry out in the shade for 4 days, before growing. It is wise to plant fresh seeds without any delay because longan seeds tend to quickly lose their viability.
After this, choose a suitable location to plant your longan seed. Longan trees grow beautifully when they get a minimum of 6 hours of full sunlight every day. Make sure it has good drainage so its roots don’t remain completely drenched. Otherwise, you will have a hard time protecting your plant from fungus infections.
To grow a stunning tree, it’s important to understand the seed planting technique and the care it needs from thereon.
A. How To Plant Longan Seeds?
After collecting fresh longan seeds you should focus on preparing the soil to plant the seeds. Remember that you can buy the seeds or use one from longan tree nearby. However, buying the seeds is a more convenient option.
Keep in mind that the roots of longan plants don’t like to thrive when they get fully wet. So, take care to locate a surface with good drainage to avoid dealing with an infestation.
Don’t plant the seeds too deep otherwise, it can lead to the rotting of roots. It’s best to sow them about 2 cm or ¾ inch deep so that the root ball stays over the ground level.
Typically, you can see longan seeds germinating in about 10 to 15 days. Longan seeds are known to be highly sensitive and require great care for growing into beautiful plants.
Make sure to maintain the optimum moisture level in the soil. This will help your seeds to easily uptake water through the roots.
However, be careful while watering your plants so it’s doesn’t get overwatered. It can often damage the roots and impede your plant from growing healthily.
Likewise, longan seeds grow best in warm temperatures between 60 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Just remember that longan plans like to absorb direct sunlight for growing fast.
So, take care to set up longan seeds in a spot getting a minimum of 4 hours of sunlight per day. In other cases, you can have trouble growing your plant quickly.
During winter months or colder days, make sure to take your longan seedling inside to provide sufficient heat. Before you plant your seedlings make sure to add good quality compost in the soil followed by a 2-inch layer of soil.
It will prevent longan seedlings to establish their roots without breakage. Don’t use nitrogen-based fertilizers because they can promote seedlings to germinate early and drop off without reaching maturity.
Ideal Conditions for Longan Trees To Thrive
Longan is a highly popular tropical tree because of its appearance like that of a lychee tree. Knowing how to grow a longan tree from seed is one thing and taking care of longan tree afterward is another.
This evergreen tree can climb to a height of 15 feet and above. However, you can also grow beautiful-looking dwarf longan trees as container plants.
If you take the time to provide appropriate growing conditions for these trees, you can grow a stunning longan tree.
Here check out some important factors necessary for longan trees to thrive.
A. What Climate Does Longan Grow In?
Longan trees are consistently winter hardy in USDA zones 10 to 12. Most of its stunning varieties can reliably thrive in both tropical as well as sub-tropical areas. It requires the winter season or non-freezing fall for a short period to grow stunning flowers without trouble.
However, Its varieties cannot thrive in drought-prone regions. For their extravagant flowering, these trees need to be planted at a temperature of 60 – 70°F for about two to three months.
Whereas a warm climate during the spring and increased temperatures during the peak summer season is the best time for longan trees to produce fruits.
B. Does Longan Tree Need A Lot Of Water?
Water young longan trees consistently to keep moist soil. Frequent watering is a major aspect when learning how to grow longan from seed without any trouble.
Likewise, when your tree starts flowering, deep water it every day until it starts producing fruits. This will allow its root system to spread widely and absorb sufficient water to meet plant needs.
These days, many people like to use recycled water for irrigating their plants. In this case, make sure that the water is free from chlorine residue which can be severely toxic to longan seedlings.
Additionally, protect your plant during heavy rainfall because it can cause flower drop-off and decreases pollination. As soon as your longan trees mature and start blooming, it is recommended to frequently water them till the time of harvest.
However, you should avoid sprinkling water on mature trees all the time otherwise it can damage your roots and cause rotting.
C. Where Do Longan Trees Grow As Per Sunlight Requirements?
Longan trees thrive in a moist and tropical climate. So, choose a dry and warm spot in your garden to plant your longan tree. Make sure it gets full sunlight for at least 6 hours a day.
During colder and frosty weather make sure to keep your longan plant or else it can get damaged due to increased levels of salt.
In addition, give enough space while planting your longan tree in the garden. This is because mature longan roots tend to spread outside the edge of the branches.
So, it needs large space and optimum fertilization for growing and producing quality fruits. That said, location has a crucial role regarding how to grow longan fruit from seed.
D. Best Soil For Longan Trees
Longan trees require well-drained soil with low salinity and an ideal pH level between 5.5 and 6.0. There are many types of soil such as rocky soils, sandy loams, sand, and calcareous soils, which conveniently promote the growth of longan trees.
Don’t add grass or weed on the soil surface surrounding the longan trunk. It is best to apply mulch at least 12 inches away from the tree’s trunk and spread it outside to the drip line. It helps retain moisture in the soil and prevents weed formation and root rotting.
E. What Is The Best Fertilizer For Longan Tree?
Longan trees are best grown with the help of quality fertilizers. It is recommended to apply a balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 15:15:15 or 6:6:6. This should be done in two applications, one time in the spring and summer months during the first year of growing longan trees.
After this, you can wait for 6 to 8 weeks to add fertilizers for the ideal growth of your plant. Make sure to feed it with abundant fertilizers and water so it grows out as a stunning tree.
You can also go for natural fertilizers like mulch, compost tea, and liquid manure. All of these will wonderfully serve you when you think about how to grow longan from seeds.
By adding liquid manures you can provide the necessary nutrients which help longan seedlings to grow into healthy trees. It carries nitrogen, which penetrates through plant leaves to keep them healthy.
Using a compost tree is also a great idea because it carries microbes that feed plants by breaking down organic matter to form food. You should also try to mulch your plant to keep the soil moist even during dry weather conditions.
F. How Do You Prune A Longan Tree?
If you have a lovely longan tree standing tall in your garden, you should think about pruning it. This is essential to maintain a beautiful tree and prevent any pest attacks. Make sure to trim off any damaged, dead, or non-blooming branches without delay.
In case your tree has beautiful thick foliage make sure to trim it nicely and to promote a good flow of air. Remove any shoots which can suck up all the necessary nutrients from young longan trees.
If you notice any single panicle heavily loaded with fruits, it is recommended to decrease it to half of the minor fruits. It will facilitate the growth of larger fruit on the trees.
How & When To Harvest Longan Fruit?
“How to grow dragon eye fruit from seed” is a common question that most people ask to get delectable longan fruits. Typically, longan seeds mature into delicious fruits in about 18 to 24 months. So, the best thing about growing longan trees is certainly harvesting their shiny fruit.
It is recommended to harvest them before it completely dries out. You can easily know if it’s ready to harvest. It will grow about 5 inches in length and ripe without falling off the tree.
Just pluck away the hanging clusters of fruit from their stem point and enjoy their juicy taste.
If you don’t harvest ripe longan fruits, they will drop off on getting mature.
Protection Longan Trees From Pest & Diseases
Longan trees can be easily damaged by a lot of pests like mealybugs, aphids, scale infestation, mites, fruit-piercing moths, fruit flies, and caterpillars that feed on flowers and leaves.
The sweet longan fruits also attract flying foxes and some birds. There are also root weevils that can harm longan trees by roots and lead to fungal infections. To preserve the health of these trees it is important to regularly water them till they mature.
Sometimes your longan tree can get attacked by red algae which can damage its shoots and limbs. This problem most commonly occurs in a warm, humid, and rainy climate. The most prevalent symptoms of damage include reddish-rust or deep gray spots or blotches on longan tree leaves or barks.
Adding quality fertilizers like foliar fertilizer is a great way to protect longan trees. Foliar fertilizers consist of nutrients like zinc, boron, molybdenum, manganese as well as magnesium.
You should apply at least four to six times a year in April and September months. Likewise, pruning the infected branches is also an effective way to deal with pest or fungal attacks.
Can Longan Trees Grow In Pots or Should I Put It In Ground?
Of course, you can grow longan trees in a pot. However, the size of your plant will remain restricted to the size of the chosen container.
On the other hand, if you plan to grow longan outside in the garden, you can expect it to grow between 30 to 40 feet.
It all depends on the variety of longan trees, surrounding climate, and soil type that you chose to grow.
How Long Does It Take For Longan Seed To Germinate?
With the knowledge of how to grow longan seeds, germination of longan seeds can occur in about 7 to 10 days. You should collect fresh seed pods, soak them in water overnight, and then extract the seed for planting.
To get the best results, make sure to choose a location with good drainage so your seedlings don’t get overwatered and ultimately die. You can also buy fruit seedlings directly from a nursery or online.
How Long To Grow Longan From Seed and Bear Fruit?
Generally, longan trees take a lot of time to grow and bear fruit when planted as seedlings.
It can take around 7 to 8 years to produce fruit.
Instead, you can go for other options of propagating longan trees like budding, inarching, grafting, and air layering. If you think of going longan trees using air layering, it can take two to three years to bear fruit.
How Do I Get My Longan Tree To Bear Fruit?
Longan trees need perfect soil and adequate sunlight to start flowering and bear fruit. So, when you have a young longan plant, take care to water it daily to keep the soil moist until it starts producing fruit.
Water the ground surface under the root zone or canopy of longan trees. Use a sprinkler to water the leaves. You can also use a chemical inducer to make your longan tree bear large amounts of fruit.
At the same time, protect your plant from heavy rains when it begins flowering. It’s because excessive rains can make the flowers fall off and decreases the chances of pollination.
Similarly, make sure to consistently irrigate mature longan trees when you see them blossoming and till you harvest them.