Japanese medlar, Japanese plum, Chinese plum, biwa, malta eriği, yeni dünya, naspli, nespolo, akidenia, nheseq, nespera.
Loquats are a large bush or a small tree. While it can grow as large a 30 feet, they average a smaller 20 feet. They have large, distinctive, dark green leaves with a tropical look. The leaves can be up to 10 inches long and 3 inches wide. The flowers, which appear in late fall or early winter, are small, white and sweetly scented. The fruit grows in clusters of round, yellow, 2 inch fruits between March and June.
Loquat’s fruit ranges from very sweet to sour. The outer skin has a leathery texture. We prefer them peeled. Their mild flavor compliments many different dishes. The texture is similar to that of a nectarine. The flesh has a very light yellow to white color and protects several large seeds. Loquat fruit is naturally high in pectin which could be useful in jam and jelly recipes.
Loquat also makes a good shade tree for small areas due to it’s attractive rounded crown.
Loquats are relatively easy to grow but prefer Zones 7-10 if planted outside. If you plan on growing them in a colder climate you can keep them in a pot and bring them inside during winter. Containerized loquats will need the occasional limb and root pruning. Loquats are not picky about soil type, but do not like standing in water, so well-drained soil is important. They prefer full sun but will grow in partial shade. Loquats will tolerate some drought but should be watered deeply and regularly while fruiting. Like most plants, Loquats appreciate a little organic fertilizer. Mid-winter tends to be the best time to apply fertilizer. They respond well to rather severe pruning after harvest.
While Loquat is not susceptible to many pests, it does have a couple. Fire blight can be a problem. Trim off any branches that develop a “scorched” look and burn them. Birds love the fruit and deer appreciate the leaves. Fruit flies also like loquat.
Loquats can be grown from seed. To get the most reliable flavor profile, cuttings from a flavorful tree can be grafted onto rootstock grown from seed.
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