In recent years, people in the post-Soviet space have greatly enriched their knowledge (and skills!) In cooking, and also discovered many different previously unfamiliar products. However, some still keep their secrets, which would be nice to open. Such riddles include fruits from the Sapindo family: pulasan, longan, lychee, aki, rambutan, corlan and funny-sounding mamonchillo. The thing is that in the free market such fruits are almost impossible to find, in recipes that even exotic dishes are prepared for, these fruits are rarely involved, so only people who traveled in Asia can tell about them. Meanwhile, there is an opportunity to make an interesting experience: it is relatively easy to grow the same longan at home, but then you can try this fruit yourself and boast to your friends.
What a strange plant?
In fact, this is the name of a tree that grows, and almost everywhere, in Taiwan, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. In Asian countries, it is called Lam Yai. And in Chinese, the name translates as "eye of the dragon." Fruits growing on it have a dense but thin skin, it protects the fruit from infections and insects, but it is easily peeled off, which is an added bonus for fruit consumers.
At the beginning of the career, the longan was grown almost on an industrial scale by Indians and Sri Lankans. Then he gradually spread to the closest countries. Where longan can be bought, it is sold in bunches. And the most delicious is the one that is not only from a branch, but has already lain a bit in a warehouse or in a store.
Why is it proposed to grow longan at home? This is just a storehouse of positive qualities. Women just have to fall in love with him: the fruit has a magical effect on the skin. At the same time, it also suspends general aging, accommodates a lot of necessary trace elements and vitamins and contains compounds that perfectly protect the liver from chemicals and toxins it processes. For losing weight, longan is also priceless: neither fat nor protein. Just eating this fruit, you can get rid of dizziness and fatigue, relieve stress and nervous tension, improve sleep and get rid of fever. All these reasons are quite conducive to attempts to cultivate longan at home.
How to choose and with the greatest benefit to eat longan
If you managed to find a place where they sell this wonderful product - remember it! At least until you have figured out how to grow your own longan. However, remember that you and the seller have different interests, and you need to observe yours. Choose the fruit correctly, that is, first of all reject the clusters, on the berries of which there are cracks. It is advisable that you allow one berry to try, because depending on the place where the longan was grown, it can be very sour or too sweet.
Want to enjoy the gifts of Asian nature longer - keep the fruit in the refrigerator. So they do not spoil for almost a week. In the heat (and not in the summer) three days is the limit.
Longan can be eaten fresh as a standalone product - this is the most popular Thai way. But it is especially good with coconut milk and rice (always sticky). As an option - dried longan with sugar a little boil and combine with ice. The drink is refreshing, well quenches thirst and awakens appetite.
It is also good with ice cream and in salads, the filling for pancakes and pies is also wonderful. In sauces (especially fish) longan is simply indispensable. And for medical purposes it is used for diarrhea - it stops diarrhea almost instantly, and even disinfects the intestines.
How to enrich your home garden: care for the bone
It is almost impossible to buy seeds of this tree, and if you find them, the price obviously will not please. So if you caught a fruit in a supermarket - think about it: but not to grow a longan from a stone? It is not very difficult, but very entertaining. The only "ambush": fruiting will have to wait for eight years (at least). Or you have to look for an already fruiting tree and plant a petiole from it.
So, let's imagine that you managed to find (buy, steal, barter) a bone of a tree, from which a longan would later grow. Growing at home begins with the proper handling of planting material. That is, the stone must be thoroughly rinsed, fruit uneaten remnants of the clean off, prepare a pot with moistened earth and press the bone in there. This should be done not very deeply and not too superficially - by 4 centimeters (one and a half “growth” of the stone). The pot is wrapped with plastic wrap, which is removed every day for ventilation, the soil is kept moist. A bone can be pecked from a week to four.
You can speed up this process. This recommendation is especially good if, in your opinion, the fruit has been stored in a store or warehouse for quite some time. So that longan, which is grown at home, grows successfully, it takes about three days to soak the stone, and then put it in the fridge for five days.
How to keep sprouts
In less than 2 weeks, shoots will appear. They will rapidly grow for the same amount of time, and then growth will slow down significantly. By that time, the sprout will stretch centimeters by 15. It’s not worth worrying about stalling - this is a plant that rises slowly. However, this applies to all stone fruit. Consolate yourself with the thought that you already have a longan in the home greenhouse. Cultivation in the home of this plant in the future is not much different from most others.
If the fruits have already appeared
It will take several years to wait, so be patient. However, sooner or later this moment will come, and we must be prepared for the proper handling of fruit. The best way out is to dry them. All the beneficial properties and taste of the fruit while preserving, and they can be used after many years. At the same time, the option of harvesting dried fruits, which are customary to us, will not work here: first, you have to cook the fruit, and only then dry it in the oven or in a natural way (as circumstances permit).
In short, if you have the opportunity and you are not against "apartment" garden work, try to grow longan. The photo shows well that even without fruits, he is quite capable of decorating your collection of houseplants.
Requirements for planting material
Grow longan in an apartment is the easiest way out of the bone. Best of all for this purpose will fit the bone, which was obtained from a ripe fruit. The popularity of Longan is growing every day, in connection with which such fruits can be acquired not only on a journey, but also in large domestic supermarkets.
After the berries are eaten, you need to carefully remove the remnants of the flesh from the stone, rinse the bone itself under running water and plant in the shortest possible time. If this is not possible, you need to thoroughly wipe the bone with a napkin, and then dry it so that it does not rot. Next, the seed is wrapped in a paper napkin and in this state can be stored for 10-12 days.
Capacity and soil for growing
The plant loves wet land and a bright room. Cool windowsill for growing such exotics will not work.
Capacity should be chosen sufficiently deep and wide so that the future tree could dissolve its broad roots. Also, the plant should be provided with drainage using small-sized pebbles or river sand. You can purchase a special mix in the profile shop, which is intended for growing exotic plants, and use it for planting longan.
Since this exotic tree is very bad at carrying drafts, for it you can make a kind of “greenhouse” from a plastic cup or a transparent jar.
On the landing bone of the longan there is a small spot of light color. When planting a seed in the soil, you need to make sure that this spot "looked" sideways. If everything is done correctly, then within 5-10 days after planting, the powerful root will begin to germinate unhindered. Sprout above the ground can be seen in about 7-13 days. In rare cases, the sprout can wait about a month. It grows completely straight and naked. Some florists are frustrated by this phenomenon, since they think that they have planted a bone incorrectly and that not a sprout appeared over the ground, but a spine. But such an opinion is wrong. It is enough to wait some more time and leaves are formed on the stem.
Conditions and care for crops
Comfortable conditions for the cultivation of this fruit, which is also called "dragon eye", are temperature indicators within 22-25 ° C. Do not allow temperature drops below this level. If the apartment is cooler, it is recommended to put a warming mat specially designed for this under a container with a longan.
it tropical plantloves wet soil and good lighting. Therefore, it should be regularly watered and sprayed with a spray bottle of clean water at room temperature. It is also very important to avoid drafts, as longan does not tolerate them. When daylight begins to decline, it will be necessary to provide the plant with additional artificial lighting.
Conditions and care for seedlings
Longan is considered unpretentious to care a plant. It does not require any specific knowledge or skills from the owner. But to adhere to the norms of lighting, constant heat, and regular soil moistening is still really necessary:
- Do not allow the soil to dry out. The best outcome of such a careless attitude to the tree will be the fall of its foliage, the worst - the death of the plant. An excess of moisture can not harm him, so do not be afraid to pour the plant.
- The place where the tank with longan is located should still be well lit. If the light is not enough, then no fruit will appear on the branches of the tree.
- Regular feeding will also help grow longan, as this exot very well responds to fertilizers. Both organic and mineral compounds work well.
- The winter season is a dormant period for this plant. It “falls asleep”, preparing and gathering strength for three months for fruiting. In this regard, by the end of autumn, the frequency and abundance of irrigation should be reduced. Temperature parameters can also be reduced to 14-16 ° C above zero. At the same time, the lighting should remain abundant.
The plant will not need a pick, if it is planted in advance in large containers, each bone is separate from the other. If for some reason there is a need for a picking, for example, if several bones were planted in one pot and they all sprouted, then this manipulation can be done as follows:
- First of all, it is necessary to water the soil abundantly so that it softens and it is easier to get the plants.
- While moisture is absorbed, you can do the preparation of new containers for longan. It is necessary to take large pots so that there is enough space for the formation of the root system of a full-fledged tree. In these containers you need to put the prepared land mixed with the purchased mixture for growing exotic plants. The soil should also be watered at room temperature.
- Then very carefully you need to remove the plants from the old pot. To do this, you can use a special fork for picking, if any. It is very important not to damage the tender stem.
- Unnecessarily long roots can be shortened slightly. Due to this, the plant will develop a fibrous root system. After that, you need to lower the plant into the well in a new pot and carefully cover it with soil.
- At the end of all the above manipulations, it is necessary to water the newly planted sprouts once more and put them to take root in a well-lit place. The first few days it is important to protect the future of the tree from direct sunlight.
At first, the plant grows very quickly. But after 2-3 weeks this process is noticeably slow. This situation should not alarm the owner, as longan at home grows slowly. The tree needs a very long light day, preferably a 12-hour one. So when there is a shortage of sunlight, you need to compensate for it with the installation of lamps. The soil should still be watered regularly, and the foliage should be sprayed with water.
Under conditions of indoor growth, longan can be affected by pests. It lends itself to powdery mildew, spider mites, and scutes. So that they do not harm this exotic, you need to regularly inspect the plant, paying particular attention to the leaves. If any harmful individuals are noticed, you will need to apply the appropriate preparations.
From time to time, it is possible to carry out formative pruning of the longan in order to give the tree a well-groomed and beautiful appearance. The plant tolerates such manipulations quite well.
When fruiting comes
The first ovaries can be seen on the longan no earlier than on the 4th year of its growth. Sometimes the ovary can be formed on the 5-7 year of life of the plant.
Many flower growers are captivated by the beauty of this exotic, as well as comparative non-capriciousness in care. It is impossible not to recall also the incredibly beneficial properties of the fruits of longan, which are rich in vitamins, contain magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, and riboflavin, which gives the body energy and helps to fight stress.
Fruits that ripen on the room longan, remove weakness and fatigue, will give vitality and increase overall vitality. Besides, it is incredibly pleasant to understand that it was all cultivated by hand. So try to grow this wonderful fruit on your windowsill is a must, because the results will exceed the effort by several times.
The Chinese name for longan fruit sounds poetic, but frightening. However, tourists have the courage not to occupy, and they are happy to feast on “the eyes of a dragon” (Longyan). For the population of Southeast Asia - China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand - this fruit is a familiar and necessary part of the diet, as are its closest relatives: lychee, nursery, rambutan.
It ripens on evergreen trees with a spreading crown. Non-cultivated longan varieties grow very tall. But in the wild, they are rarely seen. In the nurseries and private gardens cultivate more stunted varieties, whose representatives reach a height of 10-20 m. There are among them those that are intended for cultivation in a particular region. Over the breeding of new varieties of culture most actively working Chinese breeders. Thanks to their efforts, the saplings of this fruit tree are supplied to other countries.
The fruits on the longan grow medium-sized, they have a rounded shape and are collected in clusters. Externally, the fruit resembles a nut. It is covered with a thin, but dense skin, painted in dark yellow or reddish brown. It is not suitable for food, but it is not difficult to free the fruit from it: the shell quickly breaks, exposing the edible vitreous flesh - aryllus. It is also called the roofing and prisemyannik. It is white, juicy and produces a special flavor. Under the sweet pulp lies a large and shiny dark bone.
Store the fruit in the refrigerator, where it can stay fresh for a week, but only if it is not overcooked. To purchase the fruits of longanna need to approach carefully. If they are immature, and in the beginning of summer they often sell such berries, they are not worth eating. To fully enjoy their unusual taste, the fruit is allowed to soak for a couple of days at room temperature. With the advent of autumn, the risk of acquiring overripe fruits increases. It is better to eat them immediately, since they are not stored for a long time, they sour almost immediately.
When bought from a store or brought from a holiday fruit will be eaten, his seed is planted in a pot. To grow from it a stately tree, attracting admiring, and somewhere and envious glances of guests, at home is not difficult. Experienced growers are advised to place the bone in the nutrient soil immediately after it is cleared of pulp. Germination in fresh seed culture is much higher. When the bones rest a little, they shrink and dry out, and growing a tree from them becomes more difficult or even impossible.
If you put a fresh seed in the pot does not work, you need to try to save it for planting.
- First, the seed is dried.
- Wipe its shell with a soft cloth so as not to moldy.
- Wrapped in foil or paper napkin.
- Кладут в маленькую коробочку, где держат до высадки максимум 2 недели.
Подготовленные таким образом косточки хорошо прорастают. Есть небольшой секрет, следование которому позволит свежим семенам быстрее взойти. Косточку 3 дня держат в воде, а затем кладут в холодильник. Высаживают ее через 5 дней. Even if the fruit in which it was, was not the first freshness and was kept for a long time before purchase, such processing will help the germ to turn. Practicing and soaking seeds before planting. After adding a growth stimulator to warm water, stones are placed in it. After 6-8 hours, they are removed from the solution and placed in the ground.
Some growers prefer to plant already sprouted tree seeds. After being removed from the fruit and cleaned, they are dried for 1-2 days, laid on a paper napkin. Then the bone is wrapped in a piece of wet cotton fabric. Package with planting material is placed on a pallet, which is placed in a plastic bag. It remains only to wait for the spine. For germination it needs warmth and constant humidity. Therefore, the fabric is periodically moistened by spraying from a spray. After 1-2 weeks of the bone will seem the root, then it can be planted in a pot.
To try to get an exotic tree at home ended successfully, it is important to choose the right fruit from which the seed is taken. If it is bought at the beginning of summer, the chances of sprouting the sprout are low, because the fruit did not have time to fully ripen. It is noticed that the bones received by their fruits, which are sold far from their homeland, sometimes germinate slowly. The explanation is simple. So that the fruit does not deteriorate during a long carriage, they are disrupted by the undecided.
On the bone of a longan there is a small speck of white color. When landing it should look sideways. If the seed is positioned correctly, then 4-10 days after being placed in the ground, its powerful root will fall down without difficulty. Sprout will seem out of the ground after 6-12 days. Sometimes he has to wait a month. He will be naked and absolutely straight. Many flower growers get scared at his appearance, thinking that they put a bone in the soil incorrectly and instead of escaping from it the root appeared. But soon leaflets will form on the sprout, and all doubts will disappear.
The soil longanu need loose and fertile with a pH in the range of 5-6. It is better to buy it in finished form. Suitable for the future of the tree nutrient substrate for exotic plants. The bottom of the pot is covered with a thick drainage layer of small stones and coarse sand. Long landing is not necessary. At home, the stones are covered with a thin layer of soil, plunging them into it at two-thirds of the length. For their germination you need warmth. Indoor air should be heated to 24-25˚C. It will be even better to provide seeds with additional heating of the soil from below. The pot can be placed on the stand, and her very - on a warm battery. From above it is tightened with plastic wrap, which is briefly removed daily to air a mini-greenhouse. The soil in the pot should be wet.
You can facilitate and accelerate the seed germination process. To do this, before planting, their shell must be slightly rubbed with emery paper or carefully scratched with a sharp knife. But even without such preparation, the fruit gives quick and friendly shoots.
Young plants are large, with thick roots. Longan loves nutrient-rich soil, so seedlings will have to be fed frequently. For planting seeds is better to take separate containers - deep and wide cups or pots. They will develop well in them, and they will not need a picking, as a result of which not all plants are accepted. At first, young longans are very vulnerable, so at home it is better to immediately plant seedlings under a transparent jar or in a mini-greenhouse. When the seedlings grow and get stronger, they are transplanted into a wider and deeper pot, gently overloading, while trying not to damage the root system.
Their development has its own characteristics. At first it is characterized by intensive growth. But after 2 weeks, when the height of the seedlings is about 15 cm, it will almost stop. After that, they will grow slowly, but this is normal. For development, seedlings need a long light day (12-hour). If it gets dark early, the plants are artificially compensated for the lack of light with a lamp. The soil in the pots should always be wet, and the leaves of the seedlings are regularly sprayed.
Longan unpretentious. Its breeding does not require specific knowledge and skills from the owner of the indoor garden. But its cultivation on the window sill will be successful only if 4 conditions are provided for the tree:
- good lighting,
- constant heat
- high soil moisture
- deep pot.
Water it regularly, not allowing even the slightest drying of the soil. In the best case, it will end up in that the tree will remain bare, dropping all the leaves from itself, in the worst it will die. Do not be afraid to transfuse the plant. Excess moisture just does not harm him. The window sill, on which stands a pot with longan, should be bright. With a lack of sunlight on its branches, not a single fruit will ripen. Looking for longanu and regular feeding. Organic compounds are suitable for it.
Winter for a tree is a period of rest when it falls asleep, accumulating strength for fruiting. It lasts 3 months. Therefore, at the end of autumn the tree starts to be watered less often. During this period, the temperature is within the range of 14-16˚C as comfortable as possible. The lighting level is the same. Throughout the entire life cycle, the longan must be warm. Even mature trees are afraid of cold winds and drafts. In the wild, these seemingly invulnerable giants die if the temperature drops to -2˚C. This greatly complicates the cultivation of culture in the home, excluding any ventilation in the autumn-winter period.
In the indoor garden longan can suffer from pests:
- spider mite.
So that they do not destroy the tree, you need to periodically carefully examine its leaves. Having found pests, they are fought with the help of special preparations. For prophylactic purposes, the crown of trees is sprayed with warm water. With frequent repetition, this simple procedure will protect the longans from the invasion of a spider mite. Beautiful and well-groomed view of the tree gives forming pruning. It carries it well. The first ovaries on the longan are formed on the 4-7 year of his life. But not every owner is able to pluck ripe fruit from its branches.
The exotic beauty of Longan, along with its relative simplicity, captivates many gardeners. But its fruits are also incredibly useful. They are rich in vitamins and carbohydrates, contain potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and riboflavin, which provides the body with energy and helps to cope with stress and intense physical exertion. These nondescript balls have high antioxidant properties, helping to preserve youth and health.
The fruits ripened on the homemade longan will relieve fatigue, eliminate dizziness, invigorate, increase vitality. It is the best natural remedy for general weakness and pallor. And the lack of fat in them allows you to safely include the fruits of the tree in the diet, even those who are on a low-calorie diet. For all this, and it is worth trying to grow longan in the indoor garden.
It is necessary to strictly monitor the temperature in the room, it should not be below 22 degrees, the optimal performance - 24−25 degrees. It is best to warm the pot from the bottom, for this it is placed on the battery or on a special heating mat. As longan does not tolerate drafts, the seed container is covered with polyethylene. But you need every day to open the seeds, providing them with air flow. It should be remembered that the soil should not be allowed to dry, it is destructive for young plants.Approximately 4–10 days after landing, a back will appear on the longan. A sprout may seem in 1-2 weeks. But it should be remembered that if the kernels are taken from an immature fetus, then they can germinate much later - in a month. Therefore, it is best not to rush and wait for 30 days, suddenly a sprout will seem. When it appears above the soil, it will be direct and completely without foliage, but after a few days the first leaves will turn green on it. After 2 weeks, the growth of the plant has slowed down a lot, but this is not terrible, because at this time the root's development occurs.
Young trees should be provided with lighting lasting at least 12 hours a day. In the fall and winter a fluorescent or LED lamp will help. They should be protected from drafts, at a temperature of -2 degrees this plant dies, so in winter it is strictly forbidden to air a room with longan. Water sprouts need more oftenwithout letting the soil dry. In the case of this plant is better to pour than to underfill. Be sure to regularly spraying sprouts with water from a spray bottle.
Longan needs organic and mineral fertilizers, but do not get too carried away with this, as excessive fertilizing can weaken the plant.
Care for adult longaneAfter reaching a long-year longan, pruning of its branches is done. This will help form a beautiful crown to the plant, which will reach a height of two meters. Lighting is made available on all sides so that the branches grow even.
The temperature in the room remains at 22−25 degrees. Watering and spraying the tree is carried out regularly, not allowing the soil to dry much. Drafts are destructive for both young and adult longans, so they are avoided.
The tree is transplanted, gradually increasing the pot, it will help not to pour a small sprout when planting it immediately into a deep container. Root pinch if it gets too long. Fertilize an adult plant no more than twice a month.
At the end of the fall, all the vital processes of the plant are suspended. At this time, the temperature in the room is reduced to 14–16 degrees, or at least cover the battery, making the space around the longan cooler. It is necessary to water a tree much less, but it is absolutely impossible to reduce lighting. Also at this time reduce the number of dressings.
What does it eat?
The taste of the fruit Longan juicy and sweet, with a touch of musk. Rich in B vitamins and minerals: phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese and calcium.
The traditional question - what is it eaten with? - has many answers. Soups, appetizers, liqueurs, sauces for fish dishes, which is not something that is prepared from the dragon's eye in Eastern cuisine! The simplest modern recipe is the longan cocktail: squeezed from watery fruits the juice is mixed with crushed ice, poured into a beautiful glass and decorated with a straw. This simple drink tones, perfectly quenches thirst, and, moreover, protects the figure, because longan is a very low-calorie fruit.
Errors of inexperience are possible
Irregular watering is very dangerous for our overseas guest. Even an adult, matured plant, due to the dryness of the soil, drops the leaves and dies.
Low light. Closer to winter, the longanu begins to be sorely missed by the sun's rays. In cold seasons, the plant should be highlighted with an energy-saving lamp.
A short pot can also damage the dragon eye, damaging its root system and depriving it of the necessary moisture.
Lack of spraying can trigger spider mites. To prevent this from happening, it is worth daily to spray longan.
Extinguished hope. If your longan suddenly stopped growing, do not despair. With proper care, such “breaks” are only part of his growing up.
The most useful are considered "ripened" fruits - those that are already a little lay on the counter. The taste of these fruits is sweet and juicy, while their just-gathered "brothers" knit a little mouth.
Buying a whole brush of longans, one should take a sample: most likely, the rest of the bunch will taste the same.
At room temperature, the overseas fruit will last a maximum of two or three days. In the heat, the only way to keep it is to put it in the fridge. There longan can be stored for about five days.