Obsessed with Rambutan/ mamón chino please help

hawkeyebriApril 14, 2009

Hello all, I am new to this forum but my love for Rambutan has me searching for answers anywhere i can find them. I am living in the Chicago suburbs and cannot find Rambutan anywhere (except canned in certain Asian fruit markets). Ever since my trip to Costa Rica last year where i first tried Mamón chino/ Rambutan i have been obsessed with it and have tried finding it everywhere. Alas i have a feeling no place in Chicago have this delicious fruit and am considering an indoor grow. I'm wondering if anyone on this forum has had any success growing a small plant (non greenhouse) and their yield/ time for success. Since I am a beginner grower, I'm sure this idea might be comical to some, however i don't know what else to do to get this yummy fruit, therefore any help would be greatly appreciated. Also if anyone knows where i can buy fresh (non canned) Rambutan in the Chicagoland area that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Unfortunately, obtaining this fruit remains difficult. There are certain times that it is offered in some markets and grocers. But what I've seen does not come close to resembling a fresh rambutan. Hula Bros in Hawaii offer fresh fruit at certain times of the year. It is expensive.

None of us here would discourage you from trying to grow any fruit tree you choose...many of us are growing well outside normal parameters. I would caution restraint until you learn exactly what will be required to grow something like a rambutan. I would only recommend finding a grafted plant. Seeds take way too long, no guarantee they will ever fruit or if the fruit will be any good, and for rambutan...I believe seed grown trees will require males and females. Frankies in Hawaii, Montoso Gardens and Govardhan Gardens in Puerto Rico are the only ones I am aware of that carry grafted plants for mail order.

They are not cheap. And even in better locations such as Florida, they are a difficult plant to keep going. This is not to discourage, but just brutal honesty.

If you have questions on anything, ask. This forum is a fantastic place for anyone to learn a lot, not get embarrassed, and not fear getting burned for their lack of knowledge.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 2:27PM
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I agree with ohiojay if anything Get a grafted tree they have many Cultivars some of wich dont get too tall ideal for indoors. Dont you have a Chinatown in Chicago? I live in Toronto and the chinatown here has most exotic fruits.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:02AM
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I have an airlayer from Hawaii that I have almost succesfully killed. I think I kept it too wet when it was indoors for the winter. I just repotted it into a mix that holds almost no water to see if it comes back, but right now it is just a bare trunk. It is still green under the bark but I have little hope for it. I am going to try finding a grafted one next in hopes that it will have a better root system.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 9:26AM
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Are you planning on trying it?..I also live in chicagoland and I'm curious to see what happens

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 8:07PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

The asian supermarkets sell rambutan at around this time of the year. Try to find a chinatown or big asian supermarkets. Right now the fruits are selling for $6.99/lb. Here in Philadelphia Asian supermarkets, they are selling, fruit whole jackfruits, sapodilla, lychee, rambutan, wax apple, guava, mangoes, mangosteen. Later in the summer they will have longan, dragon fruit, and more lychee.

Better to hunt for the supermarkets than to plant a rambutan tree. :) Not sure how long you will have to wait even for the grafted tree.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 9:19PM
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I have been buying rambutan for the last two months at the chinatown here in toronto. I too love them I actually like them more than Lychee's I bought three pounds this weekend was $17 bucks cdn.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 8:48AM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Hey Hawk!! We have not heard from you since your original post. I hope we have not discouraged you from trying to grow anything you would like to. Hopefully we've just made you think a little before leaping into this. Please let us know what you have done or have found out.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 12:45PM
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Anyone know of an online source of fresh rambutans? I am having a tough time finding a grafted one so I figure I might as well just go with seedlings for now. I have bought seeds from multiple online sources and so far they have all arrive dead so I am figuring getting a few fresh fruit will be the best way to get seed that is actually viable.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 1:11PM
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How long are the seeds viable for? I still have some fruit at home that I bought on sunday I could send you some seeds jsvand5.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 1:35PM
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They should still be good. I want to know how you are able to get fresh Rambutans in Canada when I have never even seen one throughout my entire life here in FL. Seems odd to me. How did the fruit you had taste? Thanks a lot for the offer. I killed my air layered tree pretty quickly so hopefully I will have better luck with some seedlings.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 1:59PM
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Jsvand5 my offer still stands if you want seeds or even fruit let me know ill hook you up.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 2:25PM
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I sent you an email. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 3:11PM
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    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 4:01PM
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Rambutan wont even grow in Miami, much less trying it in a container. They take 5 to seven years to fruit here.
The best producer I have seen is a little old tree about 60 feet tall. There is a yellow variety too.Smaller and more tart.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 8:59AM
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There are some people who have grown Rambutans in FL and elsewhere and have posted in this forum in the past. A few might have been successful in getting them to fruit. Nipa Hut sells them and Kerby's Nursery also has a large collection of tropical fruit trees. Maybe Jene's Tropical might also carry them. I know Excalibur does carry some. However, I do agree with the rest that planting this exotic fruit is going to be an uphill task unless you have a greenhouse or grow it in a greenhouse condition. That said, I am one person who will always try it until I don't get it, then it's time to give up. I have sprouted many of them and they grew to almost a foot before they all shriveled up. However, I do have two I bought (one is a seedling and the other was told airlayered, although I doubt about it being airlayered because it would cost a lot more). The one grown from seed is 2.5 ft tall now and the grafted one (or "airlayered" as claimed) is 1.5 ft tall. Both are happy and giving off some new growth presently. I intend for them to stay in the pot and in a greenhouse condition. I don't think they'll get a chance if the temp drops to below 60. If you can provide them with the right humidity and temp, I would say go for it and try to push the limits. Getting them to fruit is another ball game (although that is certainly a nice thought). For me, it's just the fun of seeing how far they can go that keeps me going. When you do manage to get one to grow, post your experience.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 3:15PM
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Rambutan is my wife's favorite fruit, and seeing is that I live in Missouri, I would have to build an enormous green house, or I would have to bring it indoors for the winter. Does anyone know where I can find a dward version that produces sweet fruit. If anyone can help me they would oficially be my hero. Please Help.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 4:40PM
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go ahead i'd like to see what u come up with!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 10:05PM
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YO soy de Costa Rica y estoy buscando invercionista capitalista para sembrar 10.000 arboles de rambutam aqu� en Costa Rica o en Nicaragua tengo los arboles injertados de la variedad ron gren y r 164 que son las mejores del mundo, el proyecto es para exportar a USA unos250000kg al a�o. mi correo cfrutimex@gmail.com

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 1:24AM
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