Lychee – a delicious fruit with a specific taste


Chinese lychee (Litci chinensis, Sonnerat) is also known as the “delicious plum”. This exotic fruit comes from China and Indochina. Under the thin skin you will find delicious juicy fruits which some people compare with canned tangerines. But the taste of lychee is very specific and there are many who simply love this fruit, as well as those who hate it. Lychee grows on huge trees that can reach a height of up to twenty meters and can live for more than 200 years! But growers keep the tree height up to ten meters to make harvesting easier.

Sweet fruits

Lychee is about 2.5 centimetres in diameter and about 4 centimetres long. The shape is most often oval, but it can also be heart-shaped or round. The skin is pinkish and after peeling (it is very easy), you get the edible pulp. Be careful when you eat it though because there is a hard seed in the middle about the size of a bean or smaller.

Chinese strawberries or plums

Lychee is also called the Chinese plums (if the pulp is dried) or even Chinese strawberries (if canned). But as with any fruit or vegetable, it is best fresh. The problem is that lychee can stay fresh for no more than 4 days after picking. An interesting way is to simmer the fruit in butter and use it as a filling for pancakes or as a decoration for desserts. Lychee prepared in this way is used similarly as canned strawberries. Do not cook fresh lychee though. The flesh will get a spongy texture and you will not like it.


Photo: Pixabay

Lychee growing

Save the seed from the fruit you consumed and you can grow your own lychee plant. Just make sure the seeds are not dried or even shrunk, but smooth and firm. Lychee loses its ability to germinate quickly, so plant it as soon as possible after you get the fruit from your supermarket. Clean the seed from the pulp and plant about two centimetres deep. As for a soil, use a mixture of peat and sand (equal proportions). Keep the temperature at around 20 °C and maintain constant soil moisture, and it should sprout in a month.

Carrying for your plant

Keep the plant away from direct sunlight and maintain constant moist of the soil. The bad news is that it will not grow into a big tree and it will not bare any fruits, but you can have a very interesting indoor plant. During the winter, place the plant in a room where the temperature is around 10 °C. Do not expose it to freezing temperatures even though it can withstand sub-zero temperatures for a short time. You can help the plant to grow if you use a liquid fertilizer designed for indoor plants. Fertilize from February to the end of September. That should be plenty.

Preview photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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