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Growing Rambutan Tree Indoors from Seed – A Full Guide

Introduction: Hello Gardeners, we are here today with a great information of growing Rambutan tree indoors.  A Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is a type of fruit that looks much akin to the lychee with a sweet or sour flavor. Rambutan fruit is high in iron, vitamin C, copper and antioxidants. It is one of the fruits popular for its tempting taste.

A step be step guide to Growing Rambutan tree indoors

Rambutan with the Latin name is Nephelium lappaceum. Rambutan trees bear fruit that is indeed hairy in appearance. The fruit, or berry, is oval-shaped, with a single seed and the outer peel is reddish or sometimes orange or yellow and covered with malleable, fleshy spines. The interior flesh is white to pale pink color with a flavor similar to grapes. The Rambutan seed can be cooked and eaten or the entire fruit, seed and all consumed.

Rambutan fruits contain copper, which aids with cell growth, including those in your brain, heart, and bones. They contain smaller amounts of potassium, phosphorous, manganese, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

How to Grow Rambutan Tree at Home.
How to Grow Rambutan Tree at Home.

Homegrown Biotech has recognized several commercial varieties as several homestead varieties of Rambutan. Varieties such as N18, HG Malwana, HG School Boy, HG Baling, HG Rongrien, and HG Jarum Emas are very excellent for commercial planting. Our homestead excellent varieties are E35, HG Gading (both are yellow lines) and King.

Favorable climate and soil requirement for growing Rambutan

The Rambutan tree does best on deep, clay-loam or rich sandy loam rich in organic matter, or in deep peat and it needs good drainage.

Rambutan tree grows well in a warm tropical climate. Higher humidity and favorable climatic condition are very important factors. It requires a minimum of 150 cm well-distributed annual rainfall. The Rambutan trees grow well at elevations up to 800 meters above sea level.

The ideal temperature for optimum growth for Rambutan is 22 to 35°C. But the slight climactic variations would not change its yield and growth.  Well-drained loamy soils with good organic content are most appropriate for optimum growth and yield.

The acidic and alkaline nature of the soil must be moderate (pH value of 4.5 to 6.5). Sites prone to waterlogging must be avoided for plantation. Orchards in slightly sloped lands yield better, as they capture maximum sunlight.

You should not miss the a step by step guide to Vertical Gardening Systems.

Potting for growing Rambutan trees

There are many different types of pots obtainable for growing Rambutan and each has its benefits and drawbacks. There is plastic with can heat up or freeze quickly, Metal, same as plastic, Clay and wood dry quicker, ceramic that can be heavy and several others that you can buy at local garden centers. For the most part, all can be used quite effectively with tropical plants.

These pots must have holes in the bottom for adequate drainage. When you buy pot, and before you put in soil, cover these holes with a mesh of some sort to help retain the soil, it is good to put down an inch or two of gravel to ensure good drainage. With tropical plants, drainage is necessary for healthy plants.

Place the plant in the new pot or container making sure you have filled it halfway with the new planting material. You want to make sure that when you fill the rest of the container with soil, the soil line is the same as the original plant when pulled it out. The soil-like must be about 1-4 inches below the rim of the pot when you are all finished.

Growing Rambutan tree from seed

  • Normally, Rambutan trees like to stay moist. Temperature and excellent humidity are the keys to growing a thriving rambutan.
  • Rambutan trees are grown from seed or seedling, both of which will no doubt need to be obtained from an online source unless you have access to fresh fruit in the area, in which case you can try harvesting the seed yourself. Seed should be very fresh, less than a week old, to be viable and all the pulp should be cleaned from it.
  • To grow Rambutan from seed, plant the seed flat in a small pot or container with drainage holes and filled with organic soil amended with sand and organic compost. Place the seed in the dirt and lightly cover with soil and it takes between 10 to 21 days for the seed to germinate.
  • It will take about 2 years for your Rambutan tree to be ready for transplant. At that point, it will be about a foot tall but still fragile.
  • You should transplant your Rambutan tree in a ceramic, not plastic, pot rather than directly into the ground.

You may also like the full guide of Container Gardening for Vegetables.

Rambutan tree planting medium

  • Rambutan fruit trees grow well in soil that is fertile and crumbly and slightly contains sand and can produce well on soils high in organic matter or on the ground that the state of clay.
  • The water content in the soil that ideal for planting Rambutan trees in-depth among 100 to 150 cm of the soil surface.
  • Rambutan tree does not depend on the location and condition of the ground, because the ground state can be produced by the procedures proper planting (made beds) by the instructions.
  • Rambutan can thrive in the lowlands with a height of between 30 to 500 meters above sea level.

Planting process for growing Rambutan

Loam soil is the best for growing Rambutan. Grafted saplings can be used for Rambutan planting. Dig holes that have about 3 feet in length, width, and depth. There must be a distance of 40 feet between two trees. Fill three fourth of the holes by worm compost, bone manure, cow dung powder, and neem cake.

The Rambutan tree requires shade up to three years of planting. After 3 years, it requires sunlight in plenty. Rambutan tree cannot be chosen for multiple cropping, as its yield is based on the availability of sunlight. The more sunlight the tree gets the more yields it gives. Also, it needs proper irrigation and fertilization.

You can also look into the Aeroponics Vs Hydroponics.

Planting materials for growing Rambutan tree

Although seeds germinate readily, seedlings are not recommended for Rambutan propagation, as 3/4th of the plants will turn to be males, and the females may not be true-to-type. Moreover, seedlings can take up to 8 years for fruiting. Budding is the method of option for producing high-quality planting materials. Budlings produce fruits after three years with optimum production occurring after 6 years if managed well.

Water properly

Rambutan tree is used to lots of water, however, they are also used to well-drained soil, so their water requirements are different for potted plants. These dependencies are based on the size of the pot or container, size of the plant, type of plant, temperature where you keep the plant, the humidity and the type of soil you have. You are usually safe to water when the upper surface of the soil is dry before you water your Rambutan plant. Slowly fill the pot or container watching for runoff at the bottom holes. Remember that clay pots dry faster, making watering more frequent and cooler weather slows down the growth of the plant, thus reducing the need to water as much.

Growing tips for Rambutan trees

If you want to grow Rambutan trees indoors, make sure that you have to always be prepared to protect them from any temperature drop. You need to know that these trees enjoy the moist environment. The major keys to growing the rambutan are proper temperature and humidity.

You can start a growing rambutan tree from the seedling. You can find some seedlings from a local nursery if they have them. In general, if you have access to the fruit, you can collect the seeds from the Rambutan tree directly. You need to find some fresh seeds, within one week old and they are viable. Then, you want to clean the pulp from the seed.

Prepare some small pots or containers with some drainage holes. Then, fill them all with the mixture of organic soils, composts, and sand. Place the seeds in the mixture and cover it with some soil. In general, it will take about 21 days for the seeds to grow.

In general, you need to spend at least two years to have Rambutan trees to be big enough to plant them outdoor. Since the tree is still fragile, it is improved to transfer them to bigger pots rather than planting them on the ground. Make sure to plant them in the ceramic pot with a mixture of peat, vermiculite, and sand for the improved drainage systems.

Fertilizer application for growing Rambutan tree

Rambutan plant favorably responding to fertilizer application. Fertilizers could be given after the new flush of leaves is emerged and matured. Adding 5 kg of compost or cow dung manure mixed with soil is very effective. Mulching is found to be effective in moisture conservation. Spraying ‘jeevamritham’ could stimulate the development of useful microorganisms. It will help the plants to overcome drought. Application of cow dung manure enriching Trichoderma is very useful.

Pest control

Usually, pests would not affect well nurtured Rambutan plants. Maintaining 40 ft spacing is a good process of plant protection. Drying up of branches, attack of mealy bugs, beetles and leaf-eating caterpillars are the main threats to plants. Burning the affected branches is an efficient way to avoid further spread. In case of severe pest attack, Neem-based formulations can be used to control leaf-eating caterpillars. Verticillium is very effective in managing mealybug infestation.

Harvesting Rambutan

In about five years, Rambutan fruit will be ready to harvest. You’ll know they’re ready because their color will be a reddish or orange hue. Simply pick the fruit right off the tree.

Rambutan harvesting must be done during early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are lowest. One of the main problems with harvesting Rambutan is that the ripening of the fruit is not uniform, within the same tree and even within the same cluster. A typical tree has fruit ripening continuously over a 30 to 50 day period. So, several harvesting intervals of 2 to 7 days are common during the season. The Rambutan fruit does not ripen after harvest and does not increase in palatable values. Rambutan is harvested ripe from 15 to 17 weeks after fruit-set.

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