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How to Grow a Nespoli Tree From Seed

By Frank Whittemore
Nespoli trees bear sweet, slightly tart fruit in the spring.
Andy Sotiriou/Photodisc/Getty Images

The nespoli tree, also known as the Japanese plum or loquat, is a fruit-bearing tree that is commonly used within the United States as an ornamental in landscapes and gardens and also grown commercially for fruit. The tree grows to around 25 feet tall, with large, deeply veined and glossy leaves. The fruit of the tree is yellow to orange in color, between 2 and 3 inches long and pear-shaped; it has a sweet and slightly acidic flavor. Within the fruit are large brown seeds. Nespoli trees can be easily propagated from these seeds, according to the Texas A&M University Extension.

Combine equal parts of peat moss and sand to form a seed starter soil. Fill the cells of a seed tray with the soil mixture. Form a hole in the soil in each cell with a pencil.

Cut open a fresh nespoli fruit and remove the seeds. Wash the seeds in clean water and dry the them thoroughly.

Insert a single seed in the soil in each cell in the seed tray. Cover the seeds with soil and press the soil down lightly so that it makes good contact with each seed. Water each cell so that the soil is moist but not wet.

Poke the pencil through a large zip-top bag several times for ventilation. Insert the seed tray into the bag. Seal the bag and place it in a warm area that is well-lit.

Remove the seed tray from the bag when the seeds sprout. Water the seedlings as much as is necessary to keep the soil moist.

Transplant the seedlings, when they are 6 to 8 inches tall, into a 1-gallon grow-out pots filled with potting soil. Water the seedlings as needed. Place the seedlings in a sunny outdoor area.

Transplant each nespoli sapling when it reaches 2 to 3 feet. Plant each tree outdoors in a location that receives full sun or in a larger pot for indoor planting.


Things You Will Need

  • Nespoli seeds
  • Seed tray
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Pencil
  • Large zip-top plastic bag
  • 1-gallon pot
  • Potting soil


  • According to the Texas A&M University Extension, nespoli trees propagated from seeds are often self-infertile and may not resemble the parent plant, producing inferior fruit. The extension suggest air-layering as an alternate method for propagation that preserves the genetics of the parent tree, producing a clone that will have similar growth and fruiting characteristics.

About the Author


In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.