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Let’s find out how to grow tree a loquat from seed.

I have never tried to grow loquats before so this is completely new for me, and quite honestly, I’m following a few tips that I found on the internet.

The loquat fruit is a fleshy fruit that turns, ironically, an apricot colour when it is ripe. These fruits grow in clusters on large trees and the fruit is usually ready to start picking in spring. Inside, the fruits contain 2 or 3 large brown pips that you can then replant.

So, can you eat loquats? Well yes, and they’re pretty good straight off the tree. But if you have a lot and want to make something extra, try some of these:

* Loquat tea
* Loquat salsa
* Loquat chutney
* Loquat marmalade
* Loquat jam
* Loquat sorbet
* Loquat crumble
* Loquat liqueur
* You can even use them to create a fruity summer cocktail!

About my Little Loquat Experiment

Today is the 09th August 2021

I am in South Africa, it is August and so it is winter. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you about zones because we don’t have those here like the USA.

The average temperature at the moment is hanging around the 13 – 15 degrees Celsius mark, but today it is sunny (15 degrees) with no wind at the moment.

I also think that the seasons are a bit confused as some of the trees already have spring blossoms on them, but it isn’t actually warm enough for that yet.

Collecting the Loquat Seeds

My neighbours have a loquat tree which hangs over into our garden, so I just I picked a few loquats that were hanging over the wall. They are not 100% ripe but they are turning yellow, they just need a little bit more time to become that golden apricot colour.

So, if this doesn’t work, I will wait a bit longer until the fruit is ripen, and I’ll try again.

It’s easy to get the seeds out. Just pull the fruit apart gently, and pop out the seeds. Some fruit had two seeds while others had  only one loquat seed.

The seeds are easy to work with as they are large, brown and a little bit slimy, so they pop out of the fruit very easily. I read that you shouldn’t let the seeds dry out like you do with butternut seeds, so I left them as is and got ready to sow.

how to grow loquats from seed; loquat seedsThese are some of the loquat fruits that I picked from the tree today.

They are slightly yellow, slightly green still and you can see the large, round brown seed easily.

I haven’t eaten loquats in years so I can’t actually remember what they taste like, but they are originally from China and are supposed to be sweet, with a yummy splash of citrus.

I’ll have to wait until the loquats on our neighbour’s tree ripen and then do my own taste-tester!

Preparing the Medium to Plant the Loquat Seeds

Part of gardening is experimental and this makes it fun and interesting. When I decided I wanted to learn how to grow a loquat tree from seed, I decided I want to test two methods to see if one way produced better results than the other.

a) Soilless growing medium

I filled my seedling tray approximately a third of the way with coconut coir, a handful of vermiculite, and approximately one tablespoon of bone meal. Organic gardening all the way!

Admittedly I am not the best at measuring out things when it comes to gardening, perhaps that is why some of my projects don’t work, but it’s all part of the experimentation part.

The internet instructions said to wet the coconut coir and once that was done I laid 20 loquat seeds on top of this. The loquat trees will not be growing here; I am just using this method to try and germinate them. Once that was done, I covered the seeds with approximately an inch of the same medium and watered them again.

b) Soil

The second container was much smaller. I put stones in the bottom of the pot for drainage, then filled it with potting soil from the nursery/ garden centre, plus compost from my compost heap, and a sprinkle of bone meal.

I laid the three seeds on top, gently covered them with more soil, and then watered them.

Loquats seeds laid out in a tray to try and learn how to grow loquat tree from seeds.            3 loquat seeds in a pot of soil ready to start the germination process

And lastly, I took them and put them in my room. Yip, my bedroom.

They are now sitting there on the stand against the north-facing window (I’m in the southern hemisphere), as it currently gets the most sun during winter. I have put both of these containers there, in the sun, and have protected them from the cold and the rain that’s supposed to be coming.

I will update you in approximately two weeks time.

Here are some pointers that I collected from the internet before I got started:

  1. It will take between 6 – 8 years from seed, for the loquat tree to produce fruit. Sometimes 10.
  2. Apparently, you should graft them when the base of the tree is 1 1/2 inches in diameter. I am not entirely sure why at this stage, so I will look into it. Maybe it produces better edible fruit?
  3. They are not fussy plants and you can grow them in alkaline or acidic soil.
  4. Fertilize three times a year with lawn fertilizer that does not contain weed killers.
  5. Plant seeds straight away and don’t let them dry out otherwise the plant embryos will die.
  6. Put them in a soilless medium of 1/2 part vermiculite or perlite, 1/2 part coconut coir, and 1 teaspoon of bone meal. Cover with an inch of the medium.
  7. Place in a bright, warm environment (approximately 21 degrees C/ 70F). Keep moist.
  8. When they are 6 inches tall they can be transplanted into their own pots.
  9. Look up transplanting and grafting when ready to transplant.

UPDATE: 23rd August 2021

Nothing’s happened yet!

UPDATE: 15 December 2021

Small loquat trees have started to grow Almost four months have passed and now I have a few small trees growing. At least I figured out that ‘how to grow loquat tree from seeds.’

Only a few from the original seeds sown have survived, although I did move houses and they went through a bit of stress.

These mini loquat trees are getting large enough to transplant into their own larger containers and they also need more nourishment through the soul to provide them with everything they need to develop strong root systems and trunks.

Loquat trees prefer loamy soil that drains well and the great thing is it doesn’t have a preference for acidic or alkaline soil.

UPDATE: August 2023

Too much has happened in this time, and I had left all of my plants at my father’s house. I need to go and fetch them; I can’t remember if the loquats had survived. But at this time, you now have an idea how to germinate these yourself.