25 years to reach maturity
Loquat fruits should be allowed to ripen fully before harvesting. They reach maturity in about 90 days from full flower opening. A ripe fruit will have a distinctive yellowy-orange colour and begin to soften. Unripe fruits do not ripen properly off the tree and are excessively acid. The fruit must be carefully clipped individually as they are difficult to separate from the cluster stems without tearing. Ripe fruit may be refridgerated for 1 to 2 weeks.
More images of Loquat
This little evergreen tree has beautiful foliage, fragrant flowers, delicious fruit and it is easy to grow. The loquat grows to about 6.1 m high assuming a rounded form with upward pointing branches. Large, deeply textured dark green leaves are about 7.6 cm long with the bottom surface being light green and slightly fuzzy. New foliage on some specimens is an attractive rusty red. The sweetly scented white flowers are followed by small, edible yellow fruits in spring.
Common problems with Loquat
Young trees don't compete well with weeds. Fruit flies are a common problem as are black scale, birds, aphids & caterpillars. Most can be avoided by removing fruit quickly when ripe.
How to propagate Loquat
Trees are commonly grafted onto loquat seedlings or dwarf rootstock of quince. Spacing - 3-5m apart.
By seed or cuttings in early summer.
Special features of Loquat
Ripe fruits attract birds.
Attracts useful insects
The loquat flowers attract bees.
The European loquat trees are often cultivated as ornimental plants.
Other uses of Loquat
Fruits are eaten fresh