Lychee:: Litchi Chinensis:: Climate, Cultivation Practice:: Cost and Benefit

Cultivation practice and other information about lichi
Ripened Lychee/Litchi

Litchi Chinensise– This article will cover Cultivation Practice of Litchee/Litchi Fruit Farming Guide/Litchi Cultivation and Production in India/Litchi Growing/Bonsai of Litchi.

Note: Use non referenced paragraph of this post using link shasyadhara.com/Litchi Chinens:: Climate, Cultivation Practice:: Cost and Benefit/

Introduction

Litchi or Lychee is a minor fruit crop in different countries. Countries like China, India, Thailand, Madagascar etc. are major litchee producing countries.

Common NameLitchi
Scientific Name Litchi chunensis
Family Sapindaceae
OriginChina
Chrosome No.
Diploid, 2n= 28, 30, 32 (Ref. 1)

Brief History of Litchi

History of litchi is more than 2000 years old (most accepted), although some data suggests it has a 3000 year’s old history. Wild species of litchi was originated from Southern China, where it is still found. In early 17th century it was began to introduce in different western countries where favours climate was found to support this delicious fruit crop. It gets major popularity during Song Dynasty (960-1279). It was introduced in India through Myanmar during 18th century.

Botainical Description

A 15 years old lichi in Central India

Litchi is an evergreen tree plant which stands on a single hard woody trunk with too many small branches. The tree is medium to large size. Hight and the overall size of canopy can vary depending on climatic conditions. Similarly, the fruit size of litchi can become very small in unfavourable conditions. The average height of small sized tree is 13-16 m while the old tree can get a maximum height of 25-28 feet. The plant bears numerous male and female flowers axillary and terminally at the top of the branch.

Nutritional Value

Fruit of litchi contains unlimited health benefits. It is rich in vitamins, carbohydrates, energy etc. It is easily digestible and beneficial effect for all age of people.

Table 02. Nutritional value of litchi per 100 g (Ref. 2. Wikipedia)

Energy276 kJ
Carbohydrates 16.53 g
Fat0.44 g
Protien0.83 g
water81.8 g

Technical/Scientific/Other Information

Propagation

Commercially, litchi is not propagated through sexually developed seeds. The two practiced methods are:

  1. Air Layring or Gootee.
  2. Stooling.

Air Layring

  • It is a commercial method of propagation in litchi.
  • Month for grafting is rainy season.
  • Select upright twig (2.5 inch thick) of up-to 1 year old.
  • Remove the entire cambium tissue just beneath a healthy bud.
  • Fill the remove portion with sphagnum moss and wrap with it transparent plastic sheet.
  • Rooting will start in 1 to 1.5 moth.
  • Use root harmonse to get result fast.
  • Now detect the rooted new plat from mother tree plant.

Stooling

  • Grow litchi plant in nurser for 2.5 years.
  • Cut the main trunk at 25 cm from ground level. It will produce new healthy branches.
  • Select 5-6 healthy branches in the month of june-July. Sucess rate will decrease after these months.
  • Pill off a ring of 2.5-3 cm from the tip of the new branch.
  • Use Indole Butyric Acid (25) Lanolin (10) paste. Ten days later cover the shoots with soil so it can cover 10-15 cm of shoot (Ref. 3. NHB).
  • After two moths detach the daughter plants from mother plant.

Where to Purchase Plant?

Litchi plants can be purchased from any litchi producing nursery. While fruits are available during late April to mid May. Seeds and plats are also available online in different e-commerce websites.

Bonsai

  • Bonsai of litchi is possible.
  • Select naturally under developed, stunted plants in nursery.
  • Regularly practice training and pruning according to desired shape.
  • Provide limited nutrition.
  • Limit and control manuring.
  • Use growth retardant harmonse.

Cultivation Practice

Climate

Litchi is a climate specific evergreen fruit crop. It is loves subtropical climate. Average temperature of 35-40 Degree Celsius is suitable. It susceptible to high temperature. Fruits start splitting in high temperature. Similarly freezing point is dangerous to the plants.

Soil

  • Loamy soil.
  • Well drained.
  • Acidic to normal, pH 5.0-7.0.
  • Rich in humus and organic matter.

Variety

  • China.
  • McLean.
  • Rose scented.
  • Dehradun.
  • Calcuttia.
  • Early and late seedless.
  • Litchi early.
  • Bombai.
  • Shahi.
  • Early large late.

Preparation of Land

  • Land should be cleared.
  • Make 1x1x1 metre’s dig in selected land.
  • In square system of planting 10 x 10 m spacing is required.
  • Mix 10-25 kg FYM per dig.

Planting

  • Planting season is rainy or mansoon.
  • Properly detach the polythene bag from plant.
  • Cover the entire root portion with soil in dig.
  • Immediately irrigate newly planted plant.

Manuring

Manuring is done yearly during rainy season. Data of table 04 can vary in different regions, although it is sufficient.

Table 04. Schedule of manuring. For 10 year old tree (Ref. 04, TNAU).

FYM60 kg
Nitrogen100 g
Phosphorus 40 g
Potassium 400 g

Irrigation

Regular irrigation is given after a month to 40 days. During summer irrigation should be applied fortnightly. Stress in summer causes splitting of fruits. Ring or thala system of irrigation is recommended. Drip irrigation is very effective where availability of water is a major issue.

Flowering and Fruitng

Flowering starts in winter season. Terminal, and axillary sprouted flowers are pollinated through insects and wind. Plant bears fruits in clutches during February March.

Insect-pests and Management

Insects

1.

Litchee stem end borer

Damage caused by litchi stem end borer

Scientific NameConopomorpha sinesis.

Damage and symptoms – Damage is done by the larvae. Larvae bore holes in stem. Excreta of larvae can be seen.

Management– Site specific treatment is very effective. Use permethrin, cypermethrin.

2.

Leaf Minor

Damage caused by leaf minor

Scientific Name– Conopomorpha litchiella.

Damage and Symptoms– Damage is done by the larvae. Young larvae bore in newly shoots through viens. Affected parts dry very fast.

Management– Same as lychee stem end borer.

1.

Brown Blight

Scientific NamePeronophythora litchi.

Damage and symptoms– This disease is caused by the fungus. Young fruit become dried with brown skin.

Management– Nursery should be cleaned. Use Copper fungicides.

2.

Anthracnise

Scientific Name– Colletotrichum gloeosporoides.

Damage and symptoms– Branch, leaves and flower stalks are affected. Affected regions turn brown and black.

Management– Same as brown blight.

Physiological Disorders and Problems

Splitting of fruits during hot summer season is a common problem in litchi. Spraying of water regularly and planting resistant varieties are problem solver management practice.

Harvesting and Yield

Harvesting is started in early May. A well developed tree can be produce up-to 1 q of mature fruit.

Marketing

Marketing is done locally. But, with help of online e-commerce website like- amazon, it can be sold online at a great deal.

Cost and Benefit

Establishing of a litchi nursery is not very costly and the first year sell of fruits can easily cross it primary investment.

Terminology

Litchi Nut: Litchi nut is a dried product of the pulp of litchi fruit.

References

  1. Kumari Abha and Mankar Abhay (2016). Analysis of genetic diversity of litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) hybrids using morphological and molecular markers.
  2. Lychee. Cultivation and uses. Wikipedia.
  3. Litchi propagation, National Horticulture Board.
  4. Manuring and Fertilizing Litchi. TNAU.

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