What’s a Lychee, Anyway?

Not familiar with the sweet and aromatic taste of a Lychee? It’s time to get acquainted. Native to Southern China and Southeast Asia, the round shaped fruit grows in clusters of 3 to 50 fruits from a Lychee tree. The skin is typically a shade of pink, and the fruit is translucent white with an excellent sweet and acidic flavor. Some fans have said lychees can taste like grapes. If you’re interested in growing your own lychees, Everglades Farm is your source so you can get started no matter where you live.

Types of Lychee Trees

Here at Everglades Farms, we have several varieties of lychee trees to choose from. Take a look at the chart below to figure out what variety is best for you:

Name Fruit Quality Fruit Size Fruit Production Months Country of Origin Fruiting comments
Sweetheart Excellent & Highest rated Large May-July, Early China The variety of choice for home growing and container growing, for its reliability and quality
Brewster Very Good Large May-July, Early season China Produces good crop 2 out of 3 years.
Mauritius Excellent Medium May-July Africa, Mauritius Island Regular & Reliable producer.
Emperor Very Good Largest Fruit - May-July China Dwarf Tree. Very slow grower. Does well in FL and CA. Produces fruit every 3-4 years.
Hakip Excellent Large May-July China Normal.  Regular producer.
Growing Zones: Zones 9-11 plant on the ground - Zones 4-11 Can grow in container/pot

Growing Your Own Lychee Tree

The best places in the US for growing lychee trees on the ground are Florida, California and Texas. Since lychee trees are native to tropical climates, to grow them outside you’ll need to live in a place that is:

  • Hot and humid in the summer
  • Cold and Dry in the winter with no freezing temperatures

 Lychee trees require full sun for the best growth. Keep in mind that lychee trees are slow growing, and you might not get fruit for in some years, as the tree typically needs 150 hours of chill hours (temp at 50 degrees or below), during the winter months. Acidic and sandy soil are best for planting lychee trees. When you order from Everglade Farms, your tree will come in a nursery pot that you can keep the tree in while you learn to care for it.

The chance of getting your lychee tree to bear fruit greatly increases if it is planted outdoors. As they grow, lychee trees can become 30-40 feet tall and will need to be pruned regularly. If you live in a climate that has freezing winters, you can grow your lychee tree indoors or in a green hours.


Since lychee trees take so long to bear fruit, the best way to get a fruit producing tree is through air layering propagation. At Everglades Farm, we sell air layered trees, which is one of the ways lychee trees are propagated. An air layered tree will bear fruit in 2-3 years, typically.

Buying a Lychee Tree

At Everglades Farm, we have many different lychee trees to choose from. Most of our trees are air layered right here in Florida, giving you the best chance at a fruit bearing tree. Happy planting!