The Q&A Archives: Loquat Problem

Question: I have a Gold Nugget Loquat that I bought and planted in ground about 3 months ago. There was no fruit, but very healthy, with new shoots, green leaves etc.

Recently, when the temperature gets a lot higher and occasional high winds. All the leaves are shedding. And even the ones not shedding, droops so badly to the extent it looks like it has been 'poisoned'. In the night time, the drooping leaves will start to perk up again. Not sure if it is the lowering temperature or reducing wind. I removed the stake tied to it, as it seems to be obstructing new growth. I do water it every other 4 days, and has applied light fertiliser.

I had the impression that loquats are wind tolerant and love the heat. I did not expect the higher temp and wind to be bothering it. I dont know what has happened, but any advise would be appreciated.

I live in San Francisco East Bay.

Answer: Loquat, Eriobotrya japonica, sometimes called Japanese plum or Japanese Medlar, is an attractive small tree or shrub that is frequently planted in landscapes as an ornamental. The tree has large thick evergreen leaves, a moderate rate of growth and does well in most well-drained soils. It can be used as an edible landscape plant.

Loquats are adapted to most soil types as long as there is good drainage. They are also tolerant of dry conditions although tipburn of the leaves can occur during hot, dry periods. Weed control is important; loquats do not compete well with weeds and turfgrass. Removing competing vegetation 2 or 3 feet from the base of the tree is beneficial.

Loquats are basically low maintenance plants that have little requirement for fertilizer, irrigation, pesticide and pruning.

If the leaves are drooping during the afternoon, but perking up overnight and looking fine the following morning, your loquat may be getting too much exposure to afternoon sunshine. While they need sun to growth and produce, they will be happy with morning sunshine and afternoon shade. Another consideration is soil drainage. Soggy soils will keep roots too moist and will eliminate oxygen, which is essential to healthy roots. Try watering deeply only once each week. Hope this information helps you determine the causes of the droopy leaves so you can make some changes.

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