The Q&A Archives: Growing Lychee

Question: My lychee seeds, whose fruit I ate, sprouted. What should I do to care for them? Can you remember any good literature? When do I need to repot? My seedlings vary in height from an inch to four inches (and still growing). Thanks.

Answer: Litchi chinensis, the lychee plant, is a slow-growing tree that prefers lots of sun and humidity. It's difficult to grow in areas that do not have a tropical climate. As your seedlings grow, transplant them into slightly larger pots to accommodate their expanding root systems, beginning with a 4" pot, then moving them to a 6" pot, etc. To grow indoors, supplement the winter sunlight with artificial light. A good way to do this is to place fluorescent lights about 6-inches about the top of the plant, and keep the lights on 14-16 hours a day. Mist the leaves daily, add some peatmoss to the soil to give it an acidic soil, and water when the top of the soil begins to dry out. Hope you're successful in duplicating a tropical climate for your lychee.

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