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 one and three 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 degrees 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 degrees 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 cm.) in diameter. If you don’t graft, it will probably take your tree between six and eight years to start producing fruit.
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The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.
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