Planting loquats: when and how to do it

The medlar is a fruit tree that has its origin in China, from where it spread to Japan and, later, to much of the world. It is a tree that reaches 10 meters in height, very popular for its resistance and for the pleasant taste of its fruits. Currently, it is a naturalized species in countries with India, Argentina and Pakistan, in addition to the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean basin. When talking about the medlar, the most common thing is that we are actually referring to the Japanese medlar, Eriobotrya japonica , the most widespread today.

If you want to learn how to plant medlar and when to do it , keep reading us in this article in which we explain it to you and encourage you to add one of these fruit trees to your garden or orchard.

When to plant loquats

The prevailing climate in the area is what defines the best time to plant this tree of tasty fruits. If you live in an area with a tropical or temperate climate throughout the year, you can plant your medlar at any time without the slightest concern. It is a fruit tree that is not demanding in this sense, and as long as you do not expose the newborn seedling to very low temperatures or very intense sun, it will have no problems no matter what time you are.

If, on the other hand, you live in a climate with well differentiated seasons, the important thing will be to plant the seed when the worst cold has passed, and at the same time give it enough time to grow and gain vigor and strength before facing the rigors of winter. For this, it is best to plant the medlars at the end of winter , so that the newly germinated plant can enjoy the spring climate, which is the most benign in this regard. If you are late you can also plant the medlar later, but try to do it in a place where it is sheltered from the worst hours of sun, or it could suffer dehydration or burns.

Planting loquats: when and how to do it - When to plant loquats

How to plant loquats

Although medlars tend to be grafted to speed up the time it takes to obtain fruits from them, they can also be sown from seeds without any problem. This tree, however, does not take cuttings well, and it is very difficult to get a branch or shoot to grow when planted directly in the ground. Follow these steps to plant medlars from the bone :

  1. Germinate the bones or the medlar seeds: it can be done directly in the ground, but it is always advisable to germinate them first separately and then transplant the seedling. Wash the medlar seeds well, which you may have taken from any fruit you have eaten. Make sure you don’t leave any pulp behind. Then wrap them in moistened kitchen paper and put them in a container, such as a glass, that you must cover with plastic wrap to prevent moisture from being lost. In a period of a few days to a few weeks, the seeds will germinate. Mind you, be sure to moisten them again if the paper dries. Once the small sprout or seedling has leaves, it is ready to be planted in the ground.
  2. Plant the medlar seedlings in pots: it is better to use biodegradable pots, which you can buy or even make yourself with a simple cardboard roll of toilet paper. Use seedling soil with many nutrients, which will help the young plant, and water it keeping the soil moist but not puddling. Put them in a bright location, but where the light does not hit the young plants directly.
  3. Transplant the medlar tree to its final place: when the plant is grown enough you can remove it directly to its final location. 
Planting loquats: when and how to do it - How to plant loquats

Medlar tree care: a basic guide

As a practical guide to caring for the medlar tree , we offer you these tips:

  • Soil and watering: the most important thing when caring for these trees is to try to give them a soil with good water drainage, since this tree, although it supports droughts well, needs a constant level of humidity and frequent waterings to adequately develop its fruits. in its flowering and fruiting season.
  • Temperature: with regard to temperature, the tree supports frosts of down to -10 ºC, but its fruits and flowers will not tolerate such low temperatures.
  • Fertilizer: provide the loquat with fertilizer monthly, or every 15 days in the months of production, to help with the flowers and fruits. 
  • Pruning: Prune this tree in the early years to shape and then maintain it, but keep in mind that, given its early production season, pruning should be done in late summer. 

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