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I have a small garden, about 90 sq.m. I've grown some lychee plants from seed, and I'd love to plant them in my garden, but I don't want the tree to take over my whole yard. If I plant it in a large pot, will it still produce fruit?

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There is a forum dedicated to tropical fruit with at least one discussion on lychees in containers. One contributor reports a little success with three ripe fruits and several others report success so the answer to the question is evidently yes, you can. However the thread makes interesting reading, noting that:

  • the few good fruit result from many possible, so you should expect a lot of fruit drop
  • the reporters are evidently located in Florida or Texas or similar areas with the associated heat and light year round,
  • specific varieties are mentioned (e.g. Sweetheart),
  • it requires a fairly large container which may be difficult to handle without specialist equipment,
  • vigorous root pruning is involved
  • the plant responds best in a container if propagated from air layering; the result is a tree with a fibrous root system which is easier to manage than if it is allowed to develop a more natural tap root which is less easily confined
  • a mature lychee requires a lot of water
  • the tree responds well to pruning, but this must be done immediately after harvest

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