Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 10:17 pm
In this video I’ll be picking some Loquat fruit from a mature tree and showing you how to grow Loquat plants from seed. I’ve done an experiment to see what is the best way to sow these seeds. This cold tolerant tree, native to south-central China with tropical like fruit is easy to grow, fruits prolifically and tastes good too. Join me and learn about growing edibles at home.
Growing loquat trees (Eriobotrya japonica) from seed is a relatively straightforward process, and it can be a rewarding way to produce your own fruit-bearing tree. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to grow loquat trees from seed:
- Ripe loquat fruit
- A knife
- A container for seed extraction
- A well-draining pot or seed tray
- Potting mix or seed-starting mix
- A larger container for transplanting
- Watering can
- Plastic wrap or a plastic bag
- Choose a Ripe Loquat Fruit:
- Select a ripe loquat fruit from the tree. Ripe fruits should be orange or yellow and slightly soft to the touch. The flesh should be sweet and fragrant.
- Extract the Seeds:
- Cut open the loquat fruit and carefully remove the seeds (often referred to as pits or stones). Loquat seeds are quite large and are typically surrounded by a protective coating.
- Prepare the Seeds:
- Clean the seeds by removing any remaining fruit flesh. Rinse them under cool water.
- Scarify the Seeds (Optional):
- Loquat seeds have a hard outer shell that can inhibit germination. To help them sprout more easily, you can lightly scarify the seeds by carefully scratching or filing the hard shell without damaging the inner seed.
- Soak the Seeds (Optional):
- Soaking the seeds in water for 24-48 hours before planting can also help with germination. This mimics the natural process of the fruit falling to the ground and getting exposed to moisture.
- Select a Suitable Container:
- Choose a pot or seed tray with good drainage. Loquat seeds can be planted in individual pots or seed cells.
- Plant the Seeds:
- Fill the container with a well-draining potting mix or seed-starting mix.
- Plant the loquat seeds about 1 inch deep in the soil. You can plant more than one seed in the same container.
- Water and Cover:
- Water the soil thoroughly but avoid overwatering. Keep it consistently moist but not waterlogged.
- Cover the container with plastic wrap or place it inside a plastic bag to create a mini greenhouse effect, which helps maintain humidity around the seeds.
- Provide Light and Temperature:
- Place the container in a warm, well-lit location but not in direct sunlight. Loquat seeds germinate best in temperatures around 70-75°F (21-24°C).
- Monitor and Transplant:
- Once the seeds have germinated and the seedlings have grown a few inches tall, usually within a few weeks to a couple of months, they can be transplanted into larger containers or directly into the garden.
- Care for Young Seedlings:
- Continue to water your young loquat seedlings as needed, ensuring that the soil stays consistently moist but not waterlogged.
- Fertilize with a balanced, diluted liquid fertilizer once they are established and growing well.
Growing loquat trees from seed is a patient process, and it may take a few years for the seedlings to reach a size suitable for transplanting into the garden. Once established, loquat trees are relatively hardy and can provide you with delicious fruit.