Fact Sheet from the Just Fruits and Exotics Nursery
by Brandy Cowley Gilbert




Choosing the Right Loquat Variety


Loquat fruit 'Christmas'
Fig. 1
'Christmas' variety

 Loquats are small evergreen trees with beautiful, coarsely textured leaves of deepest jade green. The small white flowers open between October and December – loquat flowers have an intense sweet scent. Winter brings abundant crops of delicious pale yellow fruit with an apricot flavor. Our loquat trees are cutting grown or grafted to insure fruiting in two years. Use fresh in fruit salad, freeze, use in pies or make jelly and jam. Loquats are one of the easiest, most problem-free fruits you can grow – a little care will go a long way with this tree.


Loquat inflorescense
Fig. 2

Pollination
Loquats are self-pollinating.

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Landscaping with Loquat Trees…..

Loquats grow to approximately 20 feet tall. With a small, rounded crown, the graceful, evergreen trees have a distinctly tropical air. Combine with ginger lilies, cycads or bananas to move your garden south. Use as a small specimen tree or mix in with citrus varieties for a tall evergreen hedge. Loquats look great near ponds or water features.

Loquats are self-pollinating
Fig. 3

Site Selection and Correct Spacing for Loquat Trees

Well-drained sandy soils are preferred, but loquats will grow on many soil types if good drainage is provided. Loquats do not tolerate flooding. Trees will grow more vigorously and produce more fruit in full sun.


Planting method
Fig. 4

Loquats prefer slightly acid soil (pH 5.5-6.5), but soils of up to moderate alkalinity are readily tolerated. If you are in doubt about the acidity of your soil, take a soil sample to the Cooperative Extension Agent in your county for a soil test. Dig a planting hole approximately three times the width of the pot and at the same depth as the root ball. Set that soil aside and mix it 50/50 with either aged mushroom compost, aged manure or rotted pine bark & aged manure/compost. Remove the plant from the pot, gently loosen the root ball and place in the planting hole. To avoid burying too deep, make sure plant is positioned with the top most roots at the soil line. Fill the planting hole with the mix of soil and organic matter; gently tamp it in. Water thoroughly to settle the roots and eliminate air pockets. Do NOT put fertilizer in the planting hole. Only apply fertilizer if it is the correct time of year (see Fertilization section below).

Mulching…

If desired, construct a water basin around the base of the tree approximately 36 inches in diameter. Mulch in spring and summer with approximately 4-6 inches of mulch. Pull mulch a couple of inches away from the trunk for good air circulation.

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Fertilizing Loquat Trees

The type of fertilizer you choose may be chemical or organic. Make sure that the fertilizer contains iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, copper and boron. These minor elements are very important to plants and most soils are low in these elements. Application rates vary according to age of plant.
See chart below

10-10-10 or 10-0-10 with minerals 1 cup per each year of trees life
Max out at 9 cups on Mature Trees
Espoma Citrus Tone
(Organic)
6 cups for 1 year old
10 cups for 2 year old (4-6ft)
18 cups for 7-9ft tree
24 cups for tree over 9ft


Spread the fertilizer evenly under the entire canopy of the plant avoiding a 5-inch area around the trunk. Water or rake in. For Zones 9-10, fertilize 3 times each year in late February, late May and late July/early August. For plants further north (Zones 7-8b), fertilize in March or after bud break. Never fertilize after August (June in Zones 7-8b) as this will promote new growth late in the year which will be subject to freeze damage.


Watering Loquat Trees

The first year is the critical time for the establishment of a new loquat. Water thoroughly twice a week on light soils and once a week on clay soils. Soak the entire root system deeply – this usually takes 40-50 minutes. Loquats should receive at least 1 inch of water each week for best growth and fruit production. Water regularly, especially during dry periods. Fruit may drop prematurely if insufficiently irrigated during dry spells.

 
Pruning Loquat Trees

Loquats require little pruning. Remove dead and damaged wood when appropriate. Loquats are essentially free from pests and diseases. Freezes below 27ºF may damage fruit and flowers, but will not harm the trees.


Learn How to Control Insects and Disease on Your Loquat Trees

Always remember that good disease resistance begins with the health of the plant. Plants stressed from lack of water, not enough sun or being under fed are more susceptible to disease and insects. Maintaining good sanitation practices in the orchard is most important. The removal of diseased and dead wood, and picking up fallen or rotting fruit off the trees as it occurs, will go a long way in keeping disease and insects at a minimum. Spray at first sign of an issue, rather than waiting until the problem is out of hand will go a long way to keeping your plants healthy and fruiting properly.



Back to Loquat Page

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Bibliography

Gilbert, Cowley, Brandy. "Choosing the Right Loquat Variety. " justfruitsandexotics.com. Web. 18 Mar. 2015.

Photographs

Fig. 1,2,3,4 Gilbert, Cowley, Brandy. Choosing the Right Loquat Variety. N.d. justfruitsandexotics.com. Web. 18 Mar. 2015.

Published 18 Mar. 2015 LR. Updated 14 Mar. 2016 LR
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