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Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have listed some of your most frequently asked lychee questions. If you have any additional question or comments please contact us.

FAQ Categories: Lychee Fruit    Lychee Trees    Lychee Martini    Soil Food Web    Mycorrhizal Fungi    Phosphorus Fertilizer    Lychee Air Layers    General Information    Pest Problems    Ordering Info    Shipping Info   

Lychee Fruit

Lychee Trees

Lychee Martini

Soil Food Web

Mycorrhizal Fungi

Phosphorus Fertilizer

Lychee Air Layers

General Information

Pest Problems

Ordering Info

Shipping Info

Lychee Fruit
You say that lychee fruit is very sweet, but the fruit that I bought in the store is bitter and unpleasant tasting. Why is this?

Lychee fruit does not ripen after picking, unlike other tropical fruits such as mangoes, avocadoes and bananas. If lychee fruit is picked early it is almost always bitter tasting and often leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. Often times large commercial fruit growers pick their fruit prematurely in order to get it into the marketplace when the wholesale prices are higher.

If lychee fruit is properly harevested, at the peak of ripeness, it is delicious, sweet and fragrant. Taste statistics indicate that 91% of people who try properly ripened and harvested lychee fruit find the experience excellent.

In our experience small Florida growers who focus more on quality, rather than profitablility, produce the best lychee fruit in the country. Do to our unigue climate conditions Florida is the lychee growing capitol of the US and one of the only states where they can be successfully grown. We recommend that you buy direct from Florida growers or look for the "Fresh From Florida" logo if you are buying lychees in a supermarket.

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What is the correct way to eat a lychee?
As fast as possible so that you can move on to the next one. Actually, all kidding aside, we like to bite a small piece off around the stem and then squeeze the fruit so that the aril (the fleshy part around the seed) pops into your mouth. Back to Top
What is the difference between a lychee fruit and a lychee nut?
Lychee nuts is a name that usually refers to dried lychee fruits but is not really a nut. A true nut is actually the edible seed of certain fruits. Lychees are much tastier when eaten fresh; however, when you can't get fresh lychees the dried lychees are a great alternative. Back to Top
Are lychees healthy & nutritious?
One cup of fresh lychee fruit has only 125 calories, more of the antioxidant Vitamin C than oranges or lemons, about as much dietary fiber as an apple with the skin on and is loaded with potassium. Back to Top
When is the season for lychee fruit?
Lychee season is during the summer, May & June in South Florida (northern hemisphere) and December to February in Australia (southern hemisphere). On average the season lasts about six weeks at the most. Back to Top
What should I do after I receive my fresh lychees?
You should immediately place the lychees under refrigeration. If you do not plan to eat all of your lychees within the next several days you can freeze them. Frozen lychees are also very delicious and taste like a fine sorbet. If you freeze them even in months like November and December they still taste wonderful. You should enclose them in a zip lock bag. Back to Top
Can you freeze lychee fruit?
YES! Lychee fruit is wonderful when frozen. Frozen lychees are like a fine sorbet. We bring frozen lychees to parties during the holidays and we never have to take any back home with us. Back to Top
How do you freeze lychee fruit? Whole with skin on or do they need to be peeled first?
You can freeze them with the skin on. I put mine in Zip-Lock freezer bags. The color of the skin will turn a brownish color, but it doesn't effect the taste of the fruit. I have never peeled my lychees before freezing them so I don't know what effect that would have on them. I image they would not last as long peeled because the tough skin on the outside act like a suit of armor protecting the tender fruit inside. Back to Top
If I am diabetic can I eat lychees?
"It's hard to beat a fresh fruit salad, papaya, pears, apples, oranges, Chinese plums, mango, longan and litchi. Fruit is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and has zero fat. Everyone, including people with diabetes, should eat three to four servings of fruit a day." This is a quote from the article "Diabetic Guide to Chinese Food" in Diabetic Gourmet Magazine Back to Top
Some of my fruit have small seeds and many more have large seeds. Is this situation normal?
Yes, small seeds are the exception in the case of Brewster lychees, however, despite the predominance of full size seeds the Brewster variety is a larger fruit in general and has a higher flesh to seed ratio than many other varieties. Mauritius lychees have small seeds, but they are also a smaller fruit. Ha-Kip lychees tend to have a predominance of small "chicken tongue" seeds and Bengal seeds are relatively small. Back to Top
Why does my fruit have stems on them?
We find that the fruit keeps longer when some of the stem remains. If the stem is pulled off this can rupture the skin of the fruit accelerating the spoiling process. Back to Top
Will I get sick if I eat too many lychees at one sitting?
When we pick lychees we eat almost every other fruit that we pick. So far none of us have ever become sick. Su Tung Po, the greatest Chinese poet/painter of the Song Dynasty, wrote a poem while he was exiled in Guangdong province in Southern China for his politically satyrical writings, wrote a poem about consoling himself by eating 300 lychees a day. Back to Top
 
Lychee Trees
Can I grow a lychee tree in my area?
Lychees grow best in South Florida, Hawaii, southern California and southern Texas. However, it never ceases to amaze us at how many people all over the country are successfully growing a lychee tree outside with a little freeze protection, or indoors in a greenhouse, atrium or sunny spot.

Lychee trees require approximately 100-200 hours of chilling below 68 degrees mean daily temperature in the winter to set fruit. They are subtropical and cannot tolerate temperatures below 30 degrees for more than 8 hours. If it hard freezes in your area you will have to provide some type of freeze protection for your lychee tree.

We encourage people to experiment and explore new ways of growing lychees here in the US and we are happy to assist and provide support for anyone trying to grow a lychee tree(s) in less than perfect conditions. Back to Top

What is the best variety of lychee tree to grow in the US?
The Brewster and Mauritius varieties have proven to be the most reliable both to grow and to produce fruit and are the primary commercial varieties in the US. Lychee enthusiasts all over the US have reported to us that their Brewster & Mauritius consistently outperform other varieties. You will get better fruit set from cross pollination if you have more than just one variety so if you get two we recommend a Brewster & Mauritius.

The Sweetheart variety has a large red fruit with a small seed. We highly recommend this variety if you want just one lychee tree for your yard. The future of the Sweetheart for commercial production looks good, however, the variety has not been around long enough to have a sufficient track record yet.

The Emperor is another variety that has been doing quite well in the US and is a great container lychee tree. The feedback we have been getting is that the Emperor variety is quite hardy and does not require as much water as some other varieties of lychees do. The Emperor is most likely a "mountain variety" of lychee tree.

In Hawaii the main commercial variety is the Kaimana because the growing conditions in Hawaii differ from that of the mainland US. Back to Top

How do I plant my lychee tree?
For details on how to plant your lychee tree read these two articles:
Steps for Planting a Lychee Tree in your Yard
Planting Tips for your Lychee Tree Back to Top
How do I take care of my lychee tree(s)?
A lychee tree is as healthy as it root system. The root system is not only to hold up the tree but the primary of the roots is to absorb the water and nutrients that feed the tree. Feeding the soil and the soil food web feeds the lychee tree. The following two articles describe the relationship between the lychee tree, it's root system and the soil:
Lychee Tree Root System & Development
Soil Food Web
There are dozens of articles on growing and taking care of lychee trees in the Lychee Info section of this website. Back to Top
How long will it take for my lychee tree to produce fruit?
Lychee trees produced from air layers should begin fruiting the very first season. However, the first few years that you have the tree you should trim off most of the emerging fruit so that the young tree can focus it's energy on growing rather than producing fruit. After two or three years you can let the tree produce fruit normally. Maximum fruit yield begins after the tree is about 10 years old. Back to Top
How much fruit does a lychee tree produce?
The fruit yield for a single lychee tree varies with age, variety, weather/climate, pollination and growing practices. The older and more established the tree is the more fruit it will yield annually. A backyard lychee tree can produce 50-200 pounds of fruit per year, but will most likely not produce the same amount of fruit every year. In a good year, a lychee tree in commercial grove conditions in South Florida can produce between 400 and 800 lbs of fruit. Back to Top
How big/tall do lychee trees get?
The optimal height for a lychee tree is 10-15 feet. Some commercial growers keep their trees at 6-10 feet tall. Lychee trees can grow up to 30 or 40 feet after about 25 years or more, but it gets very difficult to pick the fruit on a tree that large. There are even lychee trees in China that have grown to 100 feet tall. If you prune your lychee tree you can keep the tree at any size you desire. Back to Top
What climate conditions do lychee trees grow best in?
Lychee trees do not tolerate hard freezes (below freezing for more than a few hours), but do like chilling in the winter. Between 30 & 40 degrees for at least 40 hours during the winter is the minimum for getting the trees to consistently produce fruit. Also, lychee trees need full sun. Shaded areas of the tree will rarely produce fruit. For more info on growing lychee trees check out the Lychee Info section of this website. Back to Top
How much winter chilling does a lychee tree require to produce fruit?
A lychee tree needs approximately 100-200 hours of chilling below 68 F (20 C)degrees mean daily temparature in the winter for lychee trees to grow bloom spikes instead of leaf flushes. Back to Top
Can lychee trees tolerate freezing temperatures?
No, lychee trees are very climate sensitive. If you are growing a lychee tree in an area that experiences freezing temperatures in the winter you must use some type of freeze protection. Lychee trees will die if they are exposed to a hard freeze below 30 degrees for more than 8 hours. They do however require some chilling in the winter to produce fruit. Back to Top
Should I prune my lychee tree?
Yes. Prune your tree after harvesting the fruit to develop a nice tree shape, control tree size and promote strategically timed growth flushes. Back to Top
When is the best time to prune my lychee tree?
Prune your lychee tree every year in the summer right after you harvest the fruit. Back to Top
I want to buy a lychee tree for my yard. What type should I get?
The most reliable fruiting and most popular lychee trees here in South Florida are the Brewster and Mauritius which comprise most of our grove. Get a lychee tree that has been grown from air layers, not grafted. Only buy bare-root air layers if you are a skilled tropical fruit grower. Back to Top
Can I graft a lychee tree?
Lychee trees are difficult, but not impossible, to graft. The most effective way to propogate lychee trees is by air layering. For more info check out the "About Lychees" section of this website for our article on Grafting Lychee Trees. Back to Top
Can I plant the seeds from my lychee fruit to grow a lychee tree?
Yes and No. You can certainly plant the seed and it should sprout into a tree. Seedlings are fun to grow. However, your seedling tree will take 5 to 20 years to produce fruit and there is a possibility that it may never produce fruit at all. If the tree does bear lychee fruit the fruit may not even retain the good characteristics of the original fruit that you ate or planted. Back to Top
Do I need more than one lychee tree to produce fruit?
No, you only need one tree because lychee trees have both male and female flowers on the same tree and can be self pollinated. Back to Top
 
Lychee Martini
How do you make a lychee martini?
A basic lychee martini starts with a liquor, and has a lychee flavoring and a garnish. We have a good article on 5 Tips for Making a Good Lychee Martini and there is a good recipe here Lychee Martini Recipe Back to Top
What kind of liquor is used for a lychee martini?
Most recipes for lychee martinis use vodka. Gin is sometimes used because the botanicals that gin is distilled with are really complimentary to the lychee flavor. We have seen recipes that use sake, champagne, white wine, a liquor called soju and Lichido. Back to Top
 
Soil Food Web
What is the Soil Food Web?
The soil food web is made up of all of the beneficial soil microorganisms that "Mother Nature" has taken millions of years to perfect. They consist of bacteria, mycorrhizae, beneficial nematodes and other microscopic organisms that provide nutrients, water, protection from harmful diseases, heat and cold stress, speed up germination of seed, growth hormones as well as many other functions. Back to Top
Can any common pesticides that I can buy be harmful to the soil food web?
YES. The most harmful common pesticide that many home owners use 'weed and feed' is the most damaging to the soil food web. Do not use any pesticide with Atrazine. Back to Top
Don't I already have a soil food web in my soil?
Maybe yes maybe no. If your home was built in a natural forest, yes. If, as most of us, the building contractor bulldozed the natural vegetation to build homes or larger structures, no. When the natural vegetation was destroyed so was the food web. Back to Top
When I buy plants from a nursery don't they have a soil food web in the pot?
NO. Nursery grown plants are grown in sterile soil and are produced with chemical fertilizers. That is one of the reasons home owners often have difficulty in getting plants to survive. Back to Top
 
Mycorrhizal Fungi
What is mycorrhizal fungi?
The prefix 'myco' means fungus and 'rhiza' means root. Together they refer to a root fungus. Mycorrhizae are beneficial, symbiotic, fungi that are an intregal part of the root system. More than 98% of the plants in the world have this mycorrhizzal association. Their function is to absorb nutrients and water for the plant and by competitive exclusion, protect the plant from disease. The plant in turn provides about 40% of the food it makes by photosynthesis to 'feed' the fungus. Back to Top
Do we have to treat the soil in any way to prepare for mycorrhizae?
Continue the same practices you have been using like mulching and compost fertilizing, but you can cut down on the fertilizing. Avoid using pesticide or fungicide on your lychee tree because they will kill and/or repel beneficial soil organisms that are essential to an optimally healthy lychee tree. Back to Top
How does mycorrhizal fungi protect plant roots?
When mycorrhizal fungi is in with the root system of the plant, it's going to protect itself and it's host plant from pathogens such as Pithium or Rhizoctonia. The mycorrhizal fungi form a protective sheath around the plant roots which will not allow the mycelia of pathogens to get in. Back to Top
Is there any competition between the different mycorrhizae in the soil?
No, there are photos of two different species within half a centimeter from each other on the same root. A number of different species of mycorrhizae can be innoculating the one species of plant. Back to Top
 
Phosphorus Fertilizer
How much Phyto-Fos should I mix with water to foliar spray my lychee tree(s)?
We put 1-2 tablespoons in a 1 gallon sprayer to Phyto-Fos our yard tropicals depending on how often you will be spraying. Back to Top
How often can or should I use Phyto-Fos or other foliar phosphorous fertilizer?
During growth of any kind (foliar, root, flower or fruit/vegetable) is when the plant will respond the best to the Phyto-Fos. A plant grows by cell division which requires phosphorus as part of the "fuel" (ATP) for this process.

For plants that grow continuously you should Phosphorus spray regularly. For a plant that grows in flushes followed by short dormant periods like a lychee tree you should Phyto-Fos just during the growth flushes. Back to Top

 
Lychee Air Layers
How do I air layer a lychee tree?
We have an informative article on how to air layer a lychee tree in our Lychee Info section Air Layering Lychee Trees Back to Top
Can I plant bare-root air layers directly in the ground?
Sometimes this is possible provided you have direct irrigation for each tree and the trees must be watered at least 3 times a day for the first 6 weeks unless you are getting heavy rainfall. Most people buy lychee trees in containers because the trees are already established and you don't risk losing the trees. Back to Top
Should I buy a lychee air layer?
Only buy air layers if you are planting out a grove of lychee trees or if you are an experienced grower. Air layers are a premature tree and require a lot of care for the first few weeks in order for them to survive. We cannot guarantee our air layers the same way we do the container trees.

If you want to plant one or a few trees in your yard, buy a container lychee tree that is established and guaranteed. Back to Top

What is a lychee air layer?
An air layer is a premature lychee tree. Air layering is how most lychee trees are propagated and most practical for planting out large areas or groves of lychee trees.

Air layering is also called marcotting. A branch is selected from a parent tree and that branch is girdled, treated with rooting hormone, packed with soaking wet sphagnum moss and wrapped in aluminum foil for 8-12 weeks. New roots develop in the sphagnum and when the branch is removed you have a new premature lychee tree that can be planted in a container or in the ground. The air layer must be kept in partial sun and misted and fertigated for several weeks for the roots to become established and the tree to become stable. Back to Top

 
General Information
Do you have a nursery location where I can browse or buy your lychee fruit, trees or products?
Our licensed nursery is at our house in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and our grove is in Davie, Florida near Flamingo Gardens. You can pick up lychee products and/or browse trees in 3 or 7 gallon containers from our home nursery. Fresh lychee fruit in season can be picked up during the day at our home or grove and in the evening from our home. Please call us in advance an let us know when you will be coming by. Back to Top
Do you have any kind of guarantee on your fresh lychee fruit, trees or products?
We have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your purchase for any reason or at any time contact us for a replacement or refund. In the case of lychee trees, if you are not satisfied with the size, shape, quality, etc. of your tree you can return it to us and we will send you a replacement tree. If your lychee tree dies for any reason at any time we will replace the tree. We consider it our fault that the tree died because we did not provide you with enough informaion to properly grow and maintain your lychee tree. If your fresh lychee fruit arrives damaged, spoiled or in an unsatisfactory condition contact us immediately for partial or full replacement of the fruit. Back to Top
 
Pest Problems
Squirrels are eating and spoiling all of our unripe and ripe lychee fruit and nothing seems to keep them away. What should we do?
One of our friends who was having a squirrel problem submitted this article to us. It is the most clever solution we have heard of yet. Basically, it involves hanging netting sacks filled with mothballs from the tree. The following link describes the problem and the effectiveness of the solution Squirrel Solution Back to Top
 
Ordering Info
Can I order wholesale lychee fruit in bulk from you?
For wholesale orders please call or email us for a quote. Bulk quantity discounts for orders over 100 lbs. are available to fresh lychee fruit distributers, brokers and resellers. Back to Top
How do I place a lychee order by fax?
To place an order or to request a quote by fax, first print out the PDF Order Form. Once you have completed the order form you can fax it to us at (954)327-3351. Back to Top
How do I place a lychee order by mail?
To place an order or to request a quote by mail, first print out the PDF Order Form. Once you have completed the order form you can mail it to us at 2549 Nassau Lane, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312. Back to Top
How do I place a lychee order by telephone?
You can call us anytime with your order or if you have any questions. Call us at (954)321-8919 or on our cell phone at (954)648-6020. Back to Top
How do I place an order if the lychee shopping cart won't let me add items to it?
Some people have been experiencing a problem with our shopping cart not allowing them to add items. Please email, call or fax us your order if you do not want to or are not able to order online. We appologize for any inconvenience. Back to Top
How do I place an order to send as a lychee gift to someone?
Lychee gifts are very popular. It is better to call us to place a lychee gift order that needs to be shipped to an address other than your billing address. Back to Top
How much do fresh lychees cost?
The price fluctuates from year to year and is a function of the local crop size and quality. Check our website frequently throughout the lychee fruit season (May-June) to determine our current prices. If you subscribe to our newsletter we will notify you when the season starts and what the current price of lychee fruit is. Back to Top
What credit cards do you take?
Visa, Mastercard & American Express. We currently do not take Discover. Back to Top
What is your minimum order?
For fresh lychee fruit there is a minimum order quantity of 5 lbs. For trees and lychee products we have no minimum order. Back to Top
 
Shipping Info
Can I have my fresh lychee fruit shipped to me via UPS Ground?
We will ship your fresh lychee fruit via UPS ground anywhere in the US, however we only guarantee the fruit shipped UPS Ground if you are in Florida. We highly recommend Next Day or Two Day shipping of fresh lychee fruit. Back to Top
Can I pick up my order for fresh lychee fruit rather than having it shipped to me?
You can pick up your order for fresh lychee fruit, lychee trees and other products if you make arrangements with us at least a day in advance. We are located in Ft Lauderdale, Florida and our lychee grove is in Davie, Florida. Back to Top
Do you ship lychee trees to California?
Yes, but there are additional requirements and fees associated with shipping lychee trees into California. Call us for more information. Back to Top
How are orders for wholesale fresh lychee fruit shipped?
Shipping arrangements for wholesale orders are handled on a case by case basis. Wholesale lychee fruit is usually shipped either air freight, thru a freight forwarder or in a refrigerated truck depending on your location and individual sitution. UPS is not a practical or cost effective way to to ship wholesale fresh lychee orders of 100lbs or more. Back to Top
How do you ship lychee trees?
Our lychee trees are shipped individually via UPS with a wood frame inside the box to prevent possible crushing damage during shipping.

The box for lychee trees in 3 gallon containers is 12x12x48 so UPS charges for dimensional weight for 30 lbs rather than the actual weight of the package is closer to 15 lbs. Shipping charges run from $5-$32 depending on the state you are in plus a $10 handling fee to cover the framing and packing of the lychee tree.

We prefer to ship trees on Monday or Tuesday so that your tree arrives before the weekend in an attempt to avoid having the tree spend the weekend sitting in a UPS warehouse. In the western states your tree will most likely take a full seven days to arrive so the weekend in the warehouse is unavoidable unless you select a faster shipping option that regular UPS ground. Back to Top

How is my fresh lychee fruit shipped to me?
Your fresh lychee fruit is picked and shipped in 10lb - 15lb quantities. The fresh lychee fruit is put is plastic bags to retain moisture and color and then into a box with packing peanuts for shipment to you via UPS. Back to Top
How much will it cost to have my lychee tree shipped to me?
Shipping charges run from $5-$32 depending on the state you are in plus a $10 handling fee to cover the framing and packing of the lychee tree.

The box for lychee trees in 3 gallon containers is 12x12x48 so UPS charges for dimensional weight based on 30 lbs rather than the actual weight of the package which is closer to 15 lbs. Back to Top

Should I have my lychee fruit shipped to me Two Day or Next Day Air?
The option of having your fruit sent to you Two Day or Next Day is up to you. Two Day shipping has an extra day of travel, and is therefore twice as likely to be damaged, thrown, crushed, left in a hot warehouse, or othrwise mishandled. With Next Day or Two Day shipping we guarantee your fruit. Back to Top
What days of the week is fresh lychee fruit and shipped?
Fresh lychee fruit can be shipped Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Shipments in Florida and orders sent Next Day Air can be shipped on Thursday. We do not ship fruit on Friday or on Weekends, however, you can pick up your fruit from us locally any day of the week by appointment. Back to Top
 


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