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lychee seeds

Watch for germination in one to four weeks. Leave the propagation mat and plastic dome in place, but turn down the heat on the mat to 70 F and lift the dome every day to acclimate the seedlings to normal conditions.

Dig a planting hole in each pot of soil. Make the hole depth equal to 1 1/2 times the length of the seed.

Move the lychee seedlings into a ventilated, partly shaded cold frame once they reach 4 inches in height and have several sets of leaves. Continue lychee plant care by watering weekly to a 2-inch depth.

Maintain a constant level of moderate moisture in the top few inches of soil. Allow the soil to dry out mostly just beneath the surface between waterings to keep the lychee seeds from rotting.

Check for Seed Germination

Carefully score around the spiny, pinkish outer hull of the lychee fruit using a paring knife. Carefully pry the two halves of the fruit apart to reveal the large, shiny seed. Remove the seed.

Place the nursery pots indoors near a window with bright, filtered light or outdoors on a sheltered garden bed with light shade. Whether growing lychee indoors or outdoors, you need to shield the pots from direct sun since it will dry the soil and spoil the lychee seeds.

Warm the bottom of the pots with a propagation mat. Set the temperature to between 75 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Set a plastic dome with ventilation holes over the pots to hold in the heat while allowing for air circulation.

Plant and Cover the Seed

Place the lychee seed upright in the planting hole with the slightly flat, roughened end pointing down. Cover the seed with very loose soil and firm it. Spread a one-quarter-inch-thick layer of sand over the soil.

Prepare planting containers before removing the lychee seeds from the fruit. Fill 6-inch nursery containers with a moistened mixture of 3 parts potting soil and 1 part sand. Leave the top half-inch of each container empty.

Lychee seeds

Lychee seeds dry out and lose their viability in a matter of days and should be planted as soon as possible. Fill a 6-inch (15 cm.) pot with moist, rich growing medium and sow a single seed at a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm.). Keep the pot moist and warm (between 75 and 90 F., or 24 and 32 C.).

The good news is that lychee seed germination is usually very reliable. The bad news is that you may never get a lychee fruit out of it. The lychee fruit you buy in the store is often hybridized, and the likelihood that the resulting tree will match its parent is very low.

Lychee seed propagation works best with mature fruit. Select several lychees that are plump, red, and fragrant. Peel your fruit and remove its single seed from the flesh. The seed should be large, smooth, and round. Sometimes, seeds are oblong and shriveled – these are rarely viable and shouldn’t be planted.

If you just want to plant a seed for the fun of it, however, that’s a different story.

Can You Grow Lychee from Seed?

Lychees are a beloved Southeast Asian fruit that are steadily becoming more popular worldwide. If you’ve ever bought fresh lychees at the store, you’ve probably been tempted to plant those big, satisfying seeds and see what happens. Keep reading to learn more about lychee seed germination and growing lychee from seed.

Also, the trees are slow to mature, and it could take as long as 20 years for your sapling to produce fruit, if it ever does. In other words, if you want a fruit bearing tree any time soon, you should buy one from a nursery.

Lychee seed germination usually takes between one and four weeks. Once the seedling has emerged, move it to a spot that receives partial sun. Over the course of the first year, the plant will grow vigorously to 7 or 8 inches (18 or 20 cm.) in height. After this, however, growth will slow down. Transplant it to a larger pot and be patient – growth should pick up again in a couple of years.

Growing Lychee from Seed