Author Topic: Lychee Trees? Tampa Bay Area - Yes/No? Advice.  (Read 1335 times)

Bazalk

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Lychee Trees? Tampa Bay Area - Yes/No? Advice.
« on: May 06, 2020, 03:22:39 PM »
Heya!

So I won't lie…. I'm new. If I ask a dumb question or post in the wrong forum, please forgive me.
So I'm from up north – got a job around the Tampa Bay area (Brandon). Up north I love to do vegetable gardening... as a hobby only. Always wanted to try my hands at fruit trees (my stone fruit trees were growing… until deer decided to eat them or something… set them back years)
Anyway – I LOVE LOVE LOVE Lychee. Had it a few times and I love them! I want a Lychee tree… a couple of concerns.

- They only start producing fruit 7-10 years from seed – assuming all is well
- They are mostly in south Florida… which I am confused about a bit. I know they have a hardiness zone of 9-11. Tampa/central FL should fit the bill. It also provides cool nights and has adequate "winter"-ish months required for the fruit to develop. Am I wrong? Do Lychee trees grow/fruit in the Tampa Bay area? I know they hate low temps.
- I am currently on a short term lease – I have a balcony. I plan on eventually (within the year) buy a house… Is it wise to buy it from a website, keep it in a pot then transplant it into the ground? Or should I just wait until I get a house? I'm thinking 7-8 months of growing a pot is still a lot of time!
- Any advice on where to order them from? The "older" the better? I know there is fastgrowingtrees website – they have 2-3 feet plants. I assume those fruit within 3-4 years?? Thoughts?
I do plan on getting a lot more fruit trees eventually (depending on what house I can afford… we'll see)

Thanks!

PS. Please be honest…. I can take it. Any thoughts/advice/comments are appreciated! Yes I'm excited for the move and I might have my head in the clouds!

Jaboticaba45

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Re: Lychee Trees? Tampa Bay Area - Yes/No? Advice.
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2020, 04:04:41 PM »
I would recommend checking out Jenes tropicals. Very friendly and have bought a Mauritius lychee there.

Acetogenin

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Re: Lychee Trees? Tampa Bay Area - Yes/No? Advice.
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2020, 10:46:08 PM »
they'll readily grow in tampa.  if you're interested, have 2 Emperor lychees in pots local in tampa.  will sell at same price I got em.  about to move north and they won't survive.  PM if interested

SonnyCrockett

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Re: Lychee Trees? Tampa Bay Area - Yes/No? Advice.
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2020, 10:48:04 PM »
I would think it's an ok area.  I was in Sarasota near the beach and there were quite a few lychee trees around loaded with fruit.  Apparently some varieties of lychee fruit better when they have some cold (non-freezing) weather to trigger flowering.   I think Sweetheart lychee is supposed to fruit better in Sarasota than it does further south in more tropical Miami.

Odenwald

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Re: Lychee Trees? Tampa Bay Area - Yes/No? Advice.
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2020, 12:12:51 PM »
You'll be fine growing Lychee or Longan in Brandon.  I have them thriving in the same Zone 9b.  I sell lots of trees locally, (Manatee County), and to people up in the Tampa Bay area and they all do well. 

Chicken Vindaloo

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Re: Lychee Trees? Tampa Bay Area - Yes/No? Advice.
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2020, 11:04:15 AM »
In my experience, what they really hate (when small) is wind. I killed two or three until I built a wind break for my young Mauritius. Now, at around 12' tall, it tolerates wind fine. I'm in Merritt Island, FL. Actually, I think cold winters (within reason) are good for fruit production.

Vernmented

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Re: Lychee Trees? Tampa Bay Area - Yes/No? Advice.
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2020, 01:34:41 PM »
You can try pruning and tipping mid July to sync growth cycles with possible future cold fronts which trigger flowering.  I just started this year at a couple different locations and had a decent amount of flowering. I think a lot of fruit dropped due to lack of water at one location. Time will tell but it is worth a try, especially if you have a stubborn tree. I have a small yard at home so I would rather buy lychee during season although I may put one tree in just to make airlayers.

http://www.lycheesonline.com/HowToGetTreeToFruit.cfm

-Josh