Loquat, also known as Japanese plum, is a fruiting tree native to Southeast Asia and very popular in California. Planting loquat from seeds is easy, although because of grafting you can’t expect to get a tree that produces the same fruit as the one you started with. If you’re growing loquat seeds for ornamental purposes, though, you should be fine. Keep reading to learn more about loquat seed germination and how to prepare loquat seeds for planting.
Planting Loquat from Seeds
Each loquat fruit contains between 1 and 3 seeds. Break the fruit open and wash the flesh away from the seeds. Loquat seed germination might not be possible if you let them dry out, so it’s best to plant them right away. Even if you’re waiting a day or two, store the seeds wrapped in a damp paper towel. It is possible to store them for up to six months in a vented container of moist sawdust or moss at 40 F. (4 C.).
Plant your seeds in a well-draining soilless potting medium, covering the top with an inch (2.5 cm.) more of medium. You can put more than one seed in the same pot.
Loquat seed germination works best in a bright, warm environment. Place your pot in a well-lit place at least 70 F. (21 C.), and keep it moist until the seeds sprout. When the seedlings are about 6 inches (15 cm.) high, you can transplant them into their own pots.
When you transplant, leave some of the roots exposed. If you want to graft your loquat, wait until the base of its trunk is at least ½ an inch (1.5 cm.) in diameter. If you don’t graft, it will probably take your tree between 6 and 8 years to start producing fruit.