How to grow a loquat tree from a cutting?

Propagating a Loquat tree – Knowledgebase Question

Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica)
Posted by plantladylin
It’s difficult to propagate a loquat with a stem cutting but you can certainly try. Take a 6″ long cutting from a healthy stem tip, strip the lower leaves, dip the cut end in rooting hormone and place it in a container of moistened potting soil. Place the container in a shaded area in the garden and water regularly. If the cutting develops roots you’ll see new growth at the tip of the cutting. At that time you can plant your loquat in the ground.
Or – you can propagate a loquat through a process called air layering. Air layering is a fun way to grow roots on the tree’s stem while it is still attached to the tree. The mother plant provides water while the shoot is developing roots so survival is often higher than with rooting cuttings. Here’s how to air layer a Loquat: Remove a few leaves between 8″ and 12″ from the shoot tip, leaving a 4″ to 6″ stem section exposed. Scrape the bark from a one inch section of the stem all the way around. Applying a small amount of rooting powder on the cut area with a small paint brush or cotton swab speeds up the rooting. Pre-soak with water two hands full of sphagnum moss then gently squeeze to remove dripping water. Hold a sheet of plastic wrap in your hand and place the clump of wet sphagnum moss on top. Press a crease in it and fold it around the cut part of the stem. Hold the plastic tightly and secure the bottom edge to the stem with a wire twist tie. Carefully fold the edges of the plastic together to form a good seal in the moist moss. (This wrapping process is easier if an extra set of hands is available.) The plastic holds the moss against the cut stem and provides a moist place for roots to grow while it is still attached to the original mother plant. Many experienced propagators also cover the plastic with foil to prevent sunlight from damaging tender new roots. Birds are also sometimes known to peck at the worm like roots. Watch for the roots grow inside the plastic. After a month or so, when the roots fill the moss, cut the shoot below the rooted area so the new cutting has roots. Don’t cut above the roots or the new plant will lack roots. This rooted cutting can be grown out in a pot for a period of time before it is planted in the yard. Whichever method you choose, good luck with your project!

Loquat Tree Planting: Learning About Growing Loquat Fruit Trees

Ornamental as well as practical, loquat trees make excellent lawn specimen trees, with whirls of glossy foliage and a naturally attractive shape. They grow about 25 feet tall with a canopy that spreads 15 to 20 feet—a size that is well-suited to home landscapes. Large clusters of attractive fruit stand out against the dark green, tropical-looking foliage and add to the tree’s visual appeal. Learn more about growing and caring for a loquat tree to see if this interesting addition would make a suitable option for you.

What is a Loquat?

You may be wondering exactly what is a loquat. Loquats (Eriobotrya japonica) are trees that produce small, round or pear-shaped fruits, rarely more than 2 inches long. Sweet or slightly acidic in flavor, the juicy flesh may be white, yellow or orange with a yellow or orange-blushed peel. Loquats are tasty when peeled and eaten fresh, or you can freeze the whole fruit for later use. They make excellent jellies, jams, preserves, cobblers or pies.

Loquat Tree Information

Loquat trees are sensitive to cold weather. The trees can tolerate temperatures as low as

10 F. (-12 C.) without serious damage, but temperatures below 27 F (-3 C.) kill the flowers and fruit.

Some varieties are self-pollinating, and you can get a good yield from just one tree, but there are several cultivars that must be pollinated by another tree. When planting one tree, make sure it is a self-fertile type.

Loquat Tree Planting

Caring for a loquat tree properly begins with its planting. When growing loquat trees, you should plant the trees in a sunny location at least 25 to 30 feet from structures, electrical lines and other trees.

When you remove the sapling from its container, rinse off some of the growing medium so that when you plant the tree, the roots come in direct contact with the soil. Plant the tree so that the soil line of the tree is even with the level of the surrounding soil.

Water the tree twice the first week after planting and keep the soil lightly moist around the tree until it begins to put on new growth.

Caring for a Loquat Tree

Growing loquat fruit trees and their care focuses on good nutrition, water management and weed control.

Fertilize the trees three times a year with a lawn fertilizer that does not contain weed killers. In the first year, use a cup of fertilizer divided into three applications spread over the growing season. In the second and third years, increase the annual amount of fertilizer to 2 cups. Scatter the fertilizer on the ground and water it in.

Water a loquat tree when the blossoms begin to swell in spring and two to three more times when the fruit begins to ripen. Apply the water slowly, allowing it to sink into the soil as much as possible. Stop when the water begins to run off.

Young trees don’t compete well with weeds, so maintain a weed-free area that extends 2 to 3 feet from the trunk of the tree. Take care when cultivating around the tree because the roots are shallow. A layer of mulch will help keep weeds at bay.

Kumquat

Kumquat, (genus Fortunella), genus of evergreen shrubs or trees of the family Rutaceae, grown for their tart orange fruits. Native to eastern Asia, these small trees are cultivated throughout the subtropics. Kumquat fruits may be eaten fresh, or they may be preserved and made into jams and jellies. In China they are frequently candied. Branches of the kumquat tree are used for Christmas decoration in parts of the United States and elsewhere.

kumquat fruitKumquat fruit (Fortunella).© Karin Lau/.com

Kumquat plants reach about 2.4 to 3.6 metres (8 to 12 feet) high. The branches are mainly thornless and have glossy dark green leaves and white flowers, occurring singly or clustered in the leaf axils. The bright orange-yellow fruit is round or oval, about 2.5 cm (1 inch) in diameter, with mildly acid juicy pulp and a sweet, edible, pulpy skin.

The oval, or Nagami, kumquat (Fortunella margarita) is the most common species. It is native to southern China and bears yellowish orange fruits that are about 3 cm (1.2 inches) in diameter. The round, or Marumi, kumquat is F. japonica; it is indigenous to Japan and has orangelike fruits that are about 2.5 cm in diameter. The egg-shaped Meiwa kumquat (F. crassifolia), in which both the pulp and the rind of the fruit are sweet, is widely grown in China. In the United States, hybrids have been produced with limes, mandarin oranges, and other citrus fruits.

10 Reasons to Eat Orange and Yellow Fruits and Veggies

We love fruits and veggies of all hues, but in this post, we’re focusing on what orange and yellow fruits and vegetables do for your body.

Packed with nutrients

These bright-colored fruits and vegetables contain zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is vitamin A.

The nutrients help our bodies in many different ways, from our eyes to our bones:

  1. Aids in eye health and reduces the risk of macular degeneration of the eye
  2. Reduces the risk of prostate cancer
  3. Lowers blood pressure
  4. Lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol)
  5. Promotes healthy joints
  6. Promotes collagen formation
  7. Fights harmful free radicals in the body
  8. Encourages pH balance of the body
  9. Boosts immune system
  10. Builds healthier bones by working with calcium and magnesium

Try these

There are so many orange and yellow fruits, such as:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Ugli fruit
  • Pummelos
  • Bananas
  • Apricots
  • Nectarines
  • Persimmons
  • Mangos
  • Peaches
  • Cantaloupe
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Starfruit

Just to name a few. Also, we can’t forget about veggies:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Butternut, acorn and summer squash
  • Corn
  • Orange and yellow peppers, and
  • Yellow beets

Don’t forget about herbs like ginger that also share this color. So as you can see, there is no shortage in the array of fruits and vegetables we can choose with these sunshine hues.

Do you have any favorite recipes that include these foods? I love recipe swapping, so here are a few from me to you.

  1. Lemony Chickpea Bruschetta
  2. Beet Salad with Tangerines
  3. Gingery Sweet Potato Soup
  4. Roasted Squash Soup with Maple Glazed Bananas
  5. Root Vegetable Gratin
  6. Pumpkin Lasagne
  7. Stuffed Yellow Peppers with Spicy Swiss Chard
  8. Yogurt and Apricot Pie
  9. White Chocolate Citrus Parfait
  10. Carmelized Banana Tart

Don’t forget portion control, especially with these dessert recipes. Have you eaten a rainbow of colors today? Share them here.

Like this post? Read these:

  • Carrot, Date and Feta Salad
  • Rainbow Meal Planning
  • Winter Fruit Salad

Photo credit: Brenda Anderson

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Name That Orange! The Modern Farmer Guide to Orange Varieties

But elsewhere, especially in South Florida and California, winter is a joyful time, because citrus is back in season. This year has been a difficult one for citrus growers. Hurricane Irma, in Florida, is estimated to have reduced the citrus crop by about 21 percent, which would make this the worst season for Florida citrus in decades. In California, a slightly light crop is expected as well, which means citrus may be priced a bit higher than usual this year. But, look, so few things bring us joy in the middle of winter; we’ll ready to pay a bit more for a bite of sunshine.

With all that noted, you might be confused by the dozens of different oranges varieties – not citrus as a whole, just oranges – that pop up this time of year. And while the orange may have a reputation as one of the U.S.’s most common and basic fruits (right up there with the apple and banana), it’s actually very special! The orange as we know it is a hybrid of two other citrus trees: the pomelo (which is like a slightly less bitter grapefruit) and the mandarin (which is flat, small, sweet, and orange in color) – it’s not believed to have ever existed in the wild.

(Important! Despite being commonly called the “mandarin orange,” the mandarin is not an orange. The mandarin is one of the two parents of the orange, but to be classified as an orange, a citrus fruit must include a mandarin and a pomelo as parents. That disqualifies tangerines (which are a type of mandarin, probably) and satsumas.)

Oranges were likely first cultivated in southern China (references to the fruit can be found in region’s literature as far back as 314 BC). They’ve since been hybridized, re-hybridized, and altered so much that there are hundreds of orange varieties throughout the world. This is a guide simply to the most common orange varieties, but trust us, that’s complicated enough.

Valencia Orange

Avelina on

Oddly enough, the valencia orange is not from the city in Spain, but was created in southern California sometime in the mid-19th century. Though it is among the most common oranges in the U.S., it’s also the only major variety to be harvested in the summer; the season runs from March to July. Very sweet, with low acidity and a bright orange color, the valencia is the most common juicing orange, though it’s also eaten.

Navel Orange

By Sann von Ma / .com

It’s not totally clear where the navel orange is from – some say Brazil, some say Portugal – but it’s the most popular orange for eating in the U.S. The navel orange gets its name from the fact that it tries to grow a second orange at its base, which produces an effect somewhat like a human bellybutton. They are often seedless and thus sterile; new navel trees come from cuttings rather than plantings. In flavor, a navel is a bit more bitter than a valencia, but also hardier, with a thicker peel.

Clementine

Wolfgang Lonien on Flickr

Aha! The adorable little nephew of the orange family. The clementine, named after a French missionary who supposedly discovered the variety in Algeria, is actually a hybrid of a sweet orange (something like a valencia or navel, though we don’t know exactly which one) and the mandarin. Clementines are very tiny, very sweet, seedless, and have a fantastically loose skin and minimal pith, making them easy to peel (no tools required, besides maybe a sharp fingernail to get started), and ideal for eating.

Tangelo

By Amada44 – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

This is a controversial one, but hear me out. The tangelo is, as its name suggests, a hybrid of the tangerine and the pomelo. And the tangerine is (probably) a type of mandarin. (Or a fruit similar to a mandarin. Nobody really knows, but it’s in the mandarin orbit.) The definition of an “orange” is a hybrid of mandarin and pomelo, so, well, okay, this counts. (And to take it even further, the minneola tangelo is a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit, but since the grapefruit is a descendent of the pomelo, it still counts.)

The tangelo is most easily identified by its reddish skin and the protruding nipple-like thing on the stem end. It’s extremely juicy and sweet, with a very low amount of acid, which makes it an excellent juicing fruit, but the skin is very tight and hard to peel, which makes it trickier to eat raw.

Cara Cara Orange

Gerrit de Vries on

The prettiest of all oranges is the cara cara. It’s a type of navel orange – it’s sometimes labeled “pink navel” or “red navel” – and was discovered in Venezuela in 1976. It is an all-time great orange, extremely sweet but with a complex sort of berry flavor behind it. And best of all is the color: a luscious pink.

Blood Orange

Ruslan Ivantsov on Flickr

The blood orange is probably a natural mutation of the regular orange; it has a deep, sinister red flesh which indicates a high level of antioxidants known as anthocyanins. (Most oranges do not have these.) There are a few different types of blood oranges, the most common of which are the moro and sanguinello. Sometimes you’ll be able to see dark blotches on the skin that indicate the deep red within, sometimes not. Blood oranges are not as sweet as the cara cara, but they do have an appealing sort of raspberry flavor to them. Also, their juice is very pretty.

Bitter Orange

Reika on

An entirely different lineage, but also derived from a hybrid of the pomelo and the mandarin, the bitter orange is sometimes known as a Seville orange or sour orange. Because it’s completely lacking in sweetness, it’s not generally eaten or juiced for standalone drinking. Bitter orange’s peel is extraordinarily fragrant and is often used as a flavoring or spice in its own right; in the UK, it’s common to see it in marmalade. In Europe, this orange is often used to flavor beers, like the Belgian witbier, or as a dessert spice along with clove and cinnamon. The juice is used as a flavoring or marinating ingredient throughout Latin America, especially with pork, as in the Mexican cochinita pibil.

Bergamot Orange

Superheang168 on

What? This is an orange? Sure is. The bergamot orange, an extract of which is used in Earl Grey tea, is actually a hybrid of the lemon and the bitter orange. It’s usually lime-green or yellowish in color, sometimes smooth and sometimes sort of lumpy, and as with the bitter orange, it’s chock full of seeds. The juice is very, very sour.

Lima Orange

via Specialty Produce

One of the more common examples of what’s called an “acidless orange,” the lima is grown extensively in Brazil. It does not, of course, completely lack acid, but the levels are very low, making this one of the sweeter oranges out there. The flesh is fairly light in color, and it has a thick peel along with some seeds.

Heirloom Navel Orange

via Sky Valley

So, this is a weird one. When you hear “heirloom navel,” you’d expect an old variety of the navel orange, perhaps long forgotten. That isn’t really the case; a New York Times article showed that, mostly, heirloom navels are Washington navels, the same variety as other ordinary navels. Because there isn’t really a rule about what is qualifies an orange as “heirloom,” the label isn’t necessarily reliable. But some growers take the name seriously, only using rootstock from sour orange trees, the same way they were grown in the early years of California citrus. This produces a lower yield than using a sweet orange rootstock, but the flavor can be superior. Heirloom navels, at their best, are superbly flavorful; not really different in profile from a regular navel, but with higher sweetness and acidity levels.

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