How to Grow Organic Lychees

If you’ve never had the joy of picking a lychee straight from a tree and devouring it then and there, then put it on your bucket list. Super fresh lychees are something else. There used to be a tree out the back of a retail nursery I worked in years ago in Brisbane, and every December when it was covered in fruit I would use any excuse to head past the tree for just a few more. They’re incredibly addictive!

Sadly, they’re not a tree you can grow anywhere so you may need to do some traveling to experience the fresh thing. They demand a fairly strict set of climate requirements. For starters, they like the subtropics and need a cool, fairly dry winter without frost and a warm humid summer. They prefer a dry spring when their flowers are in bloom – rain will damage pollen – but they will still appreciate a good soaking around the roots to help fruit set… and this needs to continue while the fruit develops if there is no rain, otherwise, the skins will crack.


They are not much sensitive to the soil type, but the soil should drain well. Also, it would be better to have the deeper soil. Lychees can be planted any time during a year leaving the few very hot months. During the first year of lychee plant, you need to set up a shade to protect it against the wind and sun damage. During the initial years of a lychee plant, it is best practice to remove the side branches until the central trunk grows to 1 meter in length.

OK, what about pests… Fruit Fly can be a problem as can flying foxes, so be ready to take appropriate measure to control them. Erinose mite is common – and causes blistering of the foliage and a velvety reddish-brown growth. To control it, spray just before a new flush of leaves using wettable sulfur with some wetting agent added and continue until the foliage develops without symptoms.

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