Eriobotrya japonica, commonly called Loquat tree or Japanese Plum tree, is a heavy bearing fruit tree for warmer climates that is very easy to care for!
With dark green leathery leaves that stay evergreen all year long, this loquat fruit tree makes a true statement piece in the front yard where it can be enjoyed or amongst other trees in an orchard to act as a pollinator.
From November to December you will see clusters of cone shaped blooms where the yellow fruit will appear. The fragrant flowers attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees. This broadleaf evergreen tree produces small, spherical pear shaped fruits that are super sweet in taste with a few seeds throughout. The fruit will mature within 90 days from the winter bloom period and is about 2 inches in length.
The loquat fruits ripen throughout the early spring months and are excellent when eaten fresh off the tree or in fruit salads, sauces, jellies & jams, or pies. Be sure to harvest your fruit as soon as it ripens and before the birds get to it! They do not have a long shelf life which is why you don’t commonly see them in grocery stores or grown commercially.
The Loquat ornamental fruit tree makes an excellent shade tree and privacy screen due to the evergreen nature of the leaves. There are no pest or disease issues as it is highly resistant. The many loquat fruit benefits include being high in nutrients, has the ability to reduce blood pressure and is good for heart health, boosts your immune system, and a good source of vitamin A.
Loquat Tree Care
Loquats prefer fertile and moist, well drained soil. Water thoroughly the first year of planting to establish a strong root system. They are drought tolerant once established in the home landscape. Reduce watering in winter as the tree will not need as much. Up the watering in the late winter and early spring to help with fruit production and new spring growth. A thick layer of mulch around the root zone will help to keep moisture during the active growing season.
How to Grow Loquat Trees
They can grow almost anywhere in the United States but will only produce fruit in USDA zones 7-10. Full sun is required when growing loquat trees. They can tolerate partial shade planting sites but the yellow orange fruit will not be as plentiful. Loquats are self fertile but will perform better with another pollinator nearby. Japanese plum trees are moderately salt tolerant.
How Fast do Loquat Trees Grow?
Loquat trees grow extremely fast! The mature tree can reach up to 10-25 feet tall and wide. With short branches and an upright growing habit, they are easy to maintain as a small or large tree depending on the look you are going for.
How to Prune a Loquat Tree
Pruning loquat trees is essential to keeping the mature size of the tree to a desired shape and size. Since the trees are fast growing and can get quite large, you will want to keep the branches trimmed so they are reachable by hand or on a ladder so you can pick the fruit at ease. Loquat trees can be pruned annually after they finish fruiting in the early summer for best results. They can also tolerate heavy pruning or shearing. Use tree loppers or a chainsaw to cut off the larger branches if they get overgrown.
Can You Grow Loquat in a Pot?
Loquat trees can be container grown if desired. Annual or biennial pruning techniques will be required to keep the tree’s size manageable. The tree will need to be repotted every year or so to freshen up the soil and to avoid becoming rootbound. An annual application of slow release fertilizer is beneficial when growing loquats in pots to give the tree essential nutrients it need to produce fruit.
How to Eat Loquats?
Loquats can be eaten right off the tree or used in cooking recipes. The fruit will come with a layer of fuzz that acts as a protectant (similar to peaches) and is edible but may be more desirable after wiping off with your hand or a damp paper towel. You can eat the skin of the fruit but just be mindful of the few seeds that will be inside before taking a huge chomp!
With low maintenance growing qualities and a bushel of fresh fruit every year, the Japanese Loquat tree is a good specimen to add to your collection!
Shop the Japanese Loquat Tree for sale.
- Self fertile
- Produces a bounty of fruit in 2-3 years
- Low maintenance