Sweetheart Lychee Blooming- December 2009

ch3rri(z6 PA)December 27, 2009

Hello All. I just updated my blog on my Sweetheart Lychee Blooming progress. Finally got some male flowers!!! Check out my blog for more pics....:)

Here is a link that might be useful: Sweetheart Lychee Blooming- December 2009

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lycheeluva(6/7)

Awesome pics- please continue to take pics every 2-3 weeks and post. wonder why your trees are a few weeks ahead of mine- i would have thought we have similar weather

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 8:40PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Awesome blog Cherri...enjoyed looking at all the pictures of your Lychee blooms! Amazing you guys up north have your lychee trees blooming and here I am in FL...and NO blooms as of yet on my Sweetheart and def. none on my Sweet Cliff since its in full growth flush right now,lol...Congrats! I hope I get some like you guys. Great job!

Def. keep us posted! Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 9:14PM
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andrew78(6)

Hello Kristi,
Congradulations! That is an awesome feeling when you get flowers on your tropicals. So much more rewarding for us northern growers. I know you were not sure that you were going to get any. Well, good luck on your fruit and I am going to look at your blog page. I think I have enough info and pics to get mine posted now. Hopefully by the end of the week. The stress of the holidays is lifting, and things are going back to normal for me. Please keep up with the pictures of the lychee. I found an oriental market in Amhurst, NY. I am hoping to be able to find some of these fruits when they are in season. I went there last Monday and it was a pure accident that I found it. I went in and saw some interesting greens and vegetables but nothing I recognized or wanted to try. Even visited the Puerto rican area of Buffalo but found no tropical fruit that interested me. Only sugar cane and pineapple.
Andrew

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 10:40PM
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hmhausman(FL 10B)

Kristy:

Beautiful plants and great blog.....thanks!

Harry

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 11:00PM
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hmhausman(FL 10B)

OH and forgot to say that I am rather jealous.....since I just did a yard walk to find my Sweetheart Lychees just having pushed a nice flush of new leaves, everywhere and on both of my trees. I guess this will not be the year that I can taste any home grown Sweethearts. I will definitley be making my way down to Pine Island Nursery to try some this year. This business of being ignorant of the flavor and taste of this lychee is not my style.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2009 at 11:07PM
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lycheeluva(6/7)

Kristy- where and when did you buy your sweetheart and what size was it when you bought it

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 10:21AM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

I got my lychee tree from Top last summer. It was already 4ft tall when I got it so it was like $74...yes..double the amount from Pine. But then it was a mature airlayer so I was happy with it. It grew pretty fast and now taller than me. But I think Top only have the smaller one now which is like $50. Their shipping is really expensive...but then they give 10% off for return customers and now 20% off for until 12-31. So I'm going to buy another tree from them...lol

Remember to call to ask what size tree they have.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 2:42PM
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lycheeluva(6/7)

64 inc shipping? if not, how much inc shipping

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 3:04PM
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andrew78(6)

Lycheeluva,
I would have to say that it was without shipping. Top's shipping is very expensive but I got two nice big mango trees(well big for us northern growers. Not as easy for us to get larger tree!). I got a 4.5 foot Julie and about the same height for lancetilla. The shipping was $51.00! I made the mistake of not asking for a Lancetilla that had a good shape. They sent me a tree with no stem and I ended cutting 2.5 feet off. I would have been better off with a smaller tree because of the pruning! Oh well. The quality of the trees has been excellent for me so far. I also bought a green caimito. That was more then mango. Tree plus shipping was $74.00 but I didn't loose any leaves like most people say. I would be willing to pay the higher cost at Tops.
Andrew

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 4:36PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

$74.95 is just for the tree. Shipping was like $26. So it's an expensive tree....lol.

I think the shipping depends on how large and cost of the tree. I just checked, for $39.99 the shipping is like $22.

If you plant to order, here is the code for 20% off. this is good until Dec. 31. XMAS20

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 4:39PM
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lycheeluva(6/7)

thanks for the code. wont use it but thanks anyway. enjoy the tree.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2009 at 5:07PM
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simon_grow

Hey ch3rri, congratulations on getting your baby to bloom for you. I'm so glad you finally got some male flowers. Did you hand pollinate your females?

I just got back from my honeymoon to Hong Kong and Thailand and was very happy to see that my small Sweetheart Lychee is shooting out its first flower spikes!!! I love my trees like they are my own children so I know how excited you must be. Well congratulations and keep pollinating those females if you want some lychees to hold to full maturity.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 8:48PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

Simon,

I'm not so excited anymore as most of the flower dried up or fell off. Now my tree is losing leaves like crazy. the tree is almost naked now.:( I'm not sure what's going on....maybe I over water the tree... Oh well...I kinda of knew I'm not getting any fruit since the male flowers showed up so late. Plus...maybe the tree should concentrate on growing. I'll need to change it into another pot later and also prune it so it can be shorter. I guess I need a healthy tree now. I think I also need to feed some sulfur to it to get the soil more on the acid side. So sad my tree is almost naked.:(

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 10:53PM
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andrew78(6)

Ch3rri,
When you water is the soil still wet? I would ask Lycheeluva about adding any fertilizers right now. I don't know to much about the lychee but I know if a tree is stressed you really have to be carefull with what you do to it. I would check with some of the people here and maybe lycheesonline. I hope you don't lose it. The repotting should definetly help though. Thats a pretty large tree for that container! Have you checked the leaves, stems, branches, roots? I am just wondering if you got a bug infestation, or maybe if you watered to much it may be suffering from root rot. Do you get any drafts by those windows? I covered my windows in the room where the tropicals were growing. I was afraid of any cold drafts coming from the window. I know at are coldest we hit -7 degrees here. Good luck and keep us posted!
Andrew

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 11:43PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

The environment of the room didn't change. I mean only the lower half of the leaves are falling off so far. The leaves are still really green for some. The top soil was dry when I water the tree. This is the same situation as when i first receive the tree. The leaves would fell of so fast in just a couple of days. Not all of the leaves but about half. That's what happening right now. Half of the leaves are gone in just one week. When I pull on it gently it just came right off. But then there are some when I tried to pull real hard and it didn't fall off. So maybe it want to get rid of the old leaves and also because it was stressed from the flowers. And of course my watering has something to do with it. I think it will survive...I hope. :) I actually want to prune the tree. Maybe I'll prune it after all the blooms die. I might just repot if it continues to lose leaves. Just a sad tree right now. Will try too take some pictures...tall skinny naked tree....LOL

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 11:59PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Very nice. Good job with the sweetheart. Keep us posted on the progress.

Simon...so what did you think of Thailand and did you get to see anything fruit-related? Try any new fruit?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 7:42AM
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simon_grow

Hey Ch3rri, I'm sorry about the blooms and leaves falling off. I'm hoping that its just the older leaves that are falling off your tree. If this is the case, you should have an even bushier tree once its new leaves come out. Did you recently fertilize your tree? Lychee's do love slightly acidic soil but you should not make any drastic changes to the soils pH as it can shock the tree.

ohiojay, Thailand was very cool, coconut tree's and pineapples everywhere. Most of my favorite fruit were out of season. I really liked the cheap Mangosteens and a few other fruit they had there but was kind of dissappointed with the quality of many of the fruits. Their white dragonfruit was very bland and not sweet at all and their wax/rose apples were also not very sweet or tasty. In America, we have very high standards and many of us especially here on this forum are not satisfied with average fruit. We ask for very specific varieties that have been tried and tested to be the sweetest, most flavorful and productive varieties we can get our hands on.

I did learn a good lesson in Thailand however, when selecting Mangosteens, pick the smaller ones as they are much less likely to have fully formed seeds!

I also tried Sugar apples, Atemoya's, and white/Red Dragonfruit in Hong Kong and was dissappointed with them all. I like Cherimoya's much more than the Atemoya's I tried and the red and white dragonfruit in Hong Kong are nothing compared to the varieties I have growing at home.

The people in both countries are very nice but the pollution is horrible. I'm finally getting my lungs back :)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 3:04PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Simon...The Thai's differ from us greatly when it comes to fruit...when it is picked that is. Many prefer fruit more on the unripened side...jambus, mangos, guava, etc. They use them in more dishes or dipping in a salt, sugar, chili mixture, as well as others. Most of us, on the other hand, prefer a well ripened fruit straight from the tree. So far I've found white dragon fruit to be mostly a bore no matter where I've obtained them...even my own! Next time try one with miracle fruit. I agree, the smaller mangosteens are much nicer and are usually marketed as "seedless"...but I will gladly eat them all! Congrats by the way!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 7:32PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

Here is a picture of my sad tree.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 8:42PM
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hmhausman(FL 10B)

Kristy:

Your lychee doesn't look that bad to me. It has sort of taken more of a tree look rather than a bush. As long as the leaves do not continue dropping I think it will be fine. That kind of defoliation does occur sometimes with dehydration. Its tough to tell from a picture and I am not an expert on pot grown culture, but I would suggest the possibity that it is asking for more moisture. But I would defer to the potted tree experts.

Harry

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 10:36PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

lol...i think it was over watered for a couple days. I didn't let it dry up completely before. I think the tree is somewhat ok now. But I will have to keep an eye on it. Lots of leaves came off from the lower part of the tree. No fruit for me this year...guess I'll have to count on my sapodilla trees. I think my dwarf june plum might be ready to eat soon...lol

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 10:51PM
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timmy2green

Hey ch3rri,
I don't want to send the wrong message, I'm not an expert on Lychee, I just got an Emperor last Summer and its hanging on by a thread, however ... This was my observation: I brought it in from outside, just before we started getting hard freezes in NY, and I watered it. I figured it was going to be semi-dormant all winter so I'll give it a good drink and let it be for a while. It must have already been somewhat dormant and I didn't know it because it didn't soak up the water and instead started dropping leaves. The leaves dropped from the bottom first and at a fast pace. I took immediate action and drilled some extra holes in the bottom of the container, put some string in the bottom to let it drip out, tilted the container, and even put a fan on the wick to try to dry it up faster. Needless to say, it kept dropping for a couple days then I started seeing it slow as the soil dried. I don't remember for sure, but I think I read lychees like it dry in the winter. Also, I was reading about signs of over/underwatering recently and noted that some articles said a sign of overwatering is a tree dropping leaves, starting with the lowest and moving up the tree. Thats the long winded way of saying I would agree with your synopsis and assume it was overwatered.
Timothy

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 10:18AM
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lycheeluva(6/7)

kristy- i agree with harry- tree does not look to bad at all and there are still plenty of bloom spikes visible. why r u assuming u wont get any fruit

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 3:50PM
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lycheeluva(6/7)

also, i would def uprade to a far larger pot but i would def wait until the tree has recovered a little and until any fruiting has finished for the year- so maybe in may or june

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 4:20PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

I really think that having two trees will increase the pollination of fruits. The male flowers came toward the end of the blooming season where more than half of the female didn't get pollinated. Now most of the spikes are brown with just a couple new female flowers and all dead male flowers. So that came to my conclusion that I will not get any fruit this year It's still good to know the tree is a fruiting size and maybe I will be lucky next year...lol. This tree is too tall and will need some good pruning after the spikes completely die off.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 7:52PM
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jsvand5

I actually noticed that last season with my inground Sweetheart. About 90% of the female flowers were dead before the first male opened. I had about 5 fruit set which all fell off a few weeks later. I am wondering if the sweetheart needs cross pollination for a really good fruit set? I planted my Mauritius right next to it this year and it looks like the blooms are lined up perfectly.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 9:14PM
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simon_grow

Hey ch3rri, did you ever top your Sweetheart Lychee?

jsvand5, Sweetheart may have better fruit set with cross pollination but Phase did get about 50 fruit to set/harvest and he only had a single Sweetheart lychee tree. We did hand pollinate some of the flowers and he did have a lot of bees around also. Phase and I both live around San Diego and my Sweetheart started with female only flowers and when these dried up, tons of males opened with very few females left. And now towards the end of flowering, most the males are dried up and most the remaining flowers are females.

After ch3rri brought it up, I did notice that the later opening females were very small compared to the first females that opened up. I wonder if this has something to do with the observation that Sweetheart lychees tend to have chicken tongue seeds?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 7:42PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

Hi Simon,

I did top my lychee after the blooms died. New growth are growing now. I did notice too the later female flowers are smaller than the first females. I am thinking of getting another lychee tree. I'm still researching on the lychee. I think I will have to wait a little before getting another tree or my family will say something...lol

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 8:45PM
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