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Date: 5 Jan 2021, Entry id: 1609835761-1

Growing Loquat in container

Q: I purchased a Sherry Loquat tree from you in April of 2020. It got off to a slow start initially, but now is five feet tall with healthy leaf growth! It is in a 15-gallon pot and was brought into the house by October 15th. I live in Zone 6 and kept the plant outside from end of May to October 15th. I have given the tree artificial lights in addition to slow release fertilizer. Can you please advise me on what steps I need to take to get the Sherry Loquat tree to fruit? E.g., lighting requirements, soil pH, soil type, etc.

A: Loquat is normally winter flowering and spring fruiting tree, here in Florida it is usually heavily covered with fruit by April. With a proper care, you may see flowers throughout the winter and they may set some fruit for you. Considering that during this time you have to keep the plant indoors, here are some recommendations:

1. Soil. Well-drained, porous potting mix. Do not use any heavy garden soils. For our plants we use the following mix which is excellent for containers: Abundance

2. Light. The brighter the better. Sunroom would be great, or at least put the tree next to a large window. Extra lighting with grow lights is beneficial. Any type of light will work, you can even use a simple clip-on light, the brighter the better. 8-10 hours a day.

3. Water. Loquat is drought tolerant but for fruiting it will need regular watering; just don't keep soil soggy, let is slightly dry before waterings.

4. Fertilizer program. Use liquid fertilizer. We recommend Sunshine Boosters that are safe to use with every watering and year around - SUNSHINE C-Cibus - Crop Nutrition Booster.
We recommend to switch plants from traditional "slow-release" fertilizer to the liquid one because it makes a huge difference in plant growth and flower/fruit quality and quantity. Sunshine Boosters are scientifically balanced fertilizers that supply all necessary elements for daily plant needs. They are natural and eco-safe, great for any edibles.

5. Micro-elements. These are essential for potted plants, because in containers roots can't reach out to elements that are usually present in soil when trees grown in the ground.

Apply micro-element remedies that are very effective for improving fruit production, especially when flower or fruit drop occurs:
SUNSHINE Honey - promotes more efficient blossoming and pollination, makes flowers bigger and reduces bud drop.
SUNSHINE SuperFood - improves plant vigor and quality and size of flowers
These are all natural, eco-friendly supplements that work great for fruit trees and other edibles.

Read more about Loquat trees: The best grafted Loquat varieties.