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Loquats (Eriobotrya) are trees or shrubs that belong to the pome fruit family. In their East Asian homeland - the trees come from China, Japan and Korea - they can grow up to 12 meters high. They are not only cultivated for their beautiful, evergreen foliage, but above all for their tasty fruits - which, however, rarely grow and ripen directly on the tree in our latitudes, even if some nurseries claim this. Our plants are not hardy.

The loquat is not hardy and should therefore be cultivated in pots

Do not plant loquats in the garden

Basically, loquats are quite robust plants that can tolerate minus temperatures in the low-digit range. For this reason, the plants can easily remain outdoors from April to November - with the appropriate protection, of course, if there is a risk of night frost. Even a mild winter spent in the garden or on the balcony usually does not harm the tree. However, if a harsh winter is imminent, the loquat should be brought to safety as soon as possible - because in all likelihood it will not survive temperatures below five to eight degrees Celsius.

Loquats overwinter outdoors

For this reason, planting out in the garden is not recommended, because a single harsh winter can wipe out the lovingly cared for tree in no time at all. With mild temperatures down to about minus five degrees Celsius, you can also overwinter the loquat outside, provided the plant is protected accordingly. To do this you should

  • place the loquat in a corner protected from the wind and weather
  • if possible on a warm house wall
  • the location should also be bright
  • the pot is placed on an insulating base, such as styrofoam or wood
  • wrap the pot and stem with an insulating material,
  • which, however, should allow an exchange of air
  • Fleece or bast mats are ideal
  • Also, don't forget to water the tree regularly.

Without an additional heat source such as a heater, however, insulating material is useless at lower minus temperatures.

Loquats overwinter in the house / greenhouse

As soon as it gets colder, you can overwinter the loquat under cold house conditions in the house or greenhouse. The tree needs a bright and frost-free location with a maximum temperature of 12 °C - for example in the (little heated) bedroom or in the stairwell, as long as it is not too drafty there. If the tree is wintered cold, it can also be kept indoors all year round.

tips

If your loquat is already too big or you don't have a suitable place to spend the winter, just ask the gardener you trust - they often have a suitable corner in the greenhouse that you can rent for a fee.

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