I am attempting to sprout some lychee pits using the moist paper towel in a ziplock method. So far it has resulted in mold on the towel and tops of the seeds. Is there a better method?
Sometimes it does not matter if a seed grown fruit tree bears fruit, sometimes it's just nice to experience with new seeds or enjoy the foliage of plants nurseries usual do not carry.
-Remove/brush all pulp from seeds - pulp=mold
-Wash the seeds with warm water, add a few drops of dish liquid
-Rinse seeds well
-Wrap seed in a clean paper towel or coffee filter
-Moisten with distilled water, rain water will do also,
(adding a few drops of H2O2/Hyrdogen peroxide assists with fungus control, but it's not a requirement)
-Keep at 70-75F in a zip lock bag.
-Change the dressing every other day, moisten
-Keep damp but not wet - too much water=rot
-Germination in 2-6 weeks
I'm no expert on Lychee, but mold is usually a bad thing and indicates too much moisture or not enough fresh air getting to your germinating medium.
This paper has some results on Lychee seed germination that you might be interested in.
I did mine in moist paper towels. I didn't put in a ziploc bag. I put mine in a plastic container with lid. I checked them daily for moisture. It sounds like the ziploc bag isn't the way to go. They do need air also. I've done a total of 25 Lychee seeds with moist paper towels and never had a mold problem. They were done at different intervals of course. Did you soak them in water for 3 days changing the water daily? I now have my first 2 I did sprouting up out of the soil. Good luck an I hope this helped.