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How to Plant Lychee Seeds

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017

Lychee seeds are not often planted. This is not because they are difficult to grow, but because lychee trees grown from seeds can take anywhere from 5-20 years to produce fruit. And unless you purchase the seeds from a knowledgeable grower you will have no idea what the quality of that fruit will be--or if it will fruit at all. However, having said that, given quality seed and the right growing conditions, growing lychee from seed is an easy and rewarding process that can result in a beautiful and productive lychee tree.

Purchase your lychee seeds from a nursery. The seed that you get from fruit that you have purchased and eaten may be from a hybrid source and it may not produce fruit. And you will have invested several years of care before you find this out.

Find an appropriate spot for your lychee tree. It will need direct sunlight, adequate drainage, protection from the wind (young plants can be damaged by winds as slow as 15mph) and enough room to grow. Lychee trees are dense, rounded full-bodied trees that branch to the ground and can grow up to forty feet in height under ideal conditions.

Prepare the soil. Mix in a bag of organic, loam-based compost with added bark chips to encourage drainage. Next, measure the soil's pH. It should be between 5.5 and 7.5 to produce a healthy tree.

Plant the seed two inches deep. Lychee trees should be planted in the late spring after all danger of frost has passed.

Water the ground until it is moist. Until your lychee tree becomes a seedling, you must water it every day and keep the soil moist.


Things You Will Need

  • Lychee seed

About the Author


Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.