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Emperor Lychee TreeLitchi chinensis 'Emperor'

  • Emperor Lychee Tree

    Emperor Lychee Trees have golf ball sized fruit.

  • Emperor Lychee Tree

    Emperor Lychee Tree

  • Emperor Lychee Tree

    Emperor Lychee Tree

  • Emperor Lychee Tree

    Emperor Lychee Tree

  • Emperor Lychee Tree

    Emperor Lychee Tree

  • Emperor Lychee Tree

    Emperor Lychee Tree

  • Emperor Lychee Tree
  • Emperor Lychee Tree
  • Emperor Lychee Tree
  • Emperor Lychee Tree
  • Emperor Lychee Tree
  • Emperor Lychee Tree

* Images shown are of mature plants

Emperor Lychee TreeLitchi chinensis 'Emperor'

39 reviews
Fruit Trees & Bushes
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Questions? Call our plant experts: (800) 973-8959

Rules the Garden

Why get the Emperor Lychee?

  • Giant, juicy Lychees that hold well to the tree
  • Slow growth makes it perfect for containers
  • Convenient compact size that's great for growing indoors

Transform your Garden into an Oriental Paradise

With a mix of island and Asian flair, the Emperor Lychee Tree will help create a relaxed and inviting retreat, whether planted in your garden, in the yard or on the patio. A slow, compact grower, the Emperor won't exceed heights of 10 feet, so the design possibilities are limitless wherever you choose to locate it. Clusters of giant-sized Lychees surrounded by green, pointed leaves put on an awesome display of tropical beauty. Aside from the trees good looks, one trip to the produce section and you'll know why this highly coveted fruit is in such high demand. Lychees can sell commercially for as much as $10 per pound. That means you'll save tons of money by harvesting your own fresh, delicious Emperor Lychees by the bushel right from your own tree.

Emperor Lychees taste Divine

It is said that angels eat Lychees in heaven. The fruit's soft, velvety texture and milky, sweet flavor is that good. And as the largest Lychees available anywhere, there's that much more to love with the Emperor. Lychees the size of golf balls emerge in large numbers throughout the tree. With great staying power, your fruit will hold firm until they're ready to be picked. Compared to a mix of passion fruit and grapes, the Lychee's flavor is perfect for fresh, chilled eating alone, added to tropical fruit drinks or sliced and topped on your favorite desserts. You can even leave the skin on and freeze them for up to 3 months!

With incredible flavor and a multitude of planting options, the Emperor Lychee is a tree fit for royalty.

Order yours today.

Pollination Info

Emperor Lychee Tree Pollination

Emperor Lychee Trees are self-fertile. You will get fruit with only one plant. However, adding an additional Emperor Lychee Tree will drastically increase the size of your crop.

Planting & Care

The Emperor Lychee Tree (Litchi chinensis 'Emperor') is a beautiful tropical dwarf tree that produces large, juicy fruit larger than that of the regular Lychee tree. This slow growing dwarf variety makes them easy to grow in small spaces or in containers as they only mature to a height of 8-10 feet tall and 5-8 feet wide. They are commonly planted in USDA growing zones 9-11 but can be brought indoors during the colder seasons. The Emperor will give you a touch of the Orient while also producing some of the most expensive, velvety textured fruit you can find in your local produce section. The full to partial sun loving Lychee has great staying power with its fruit that can even be frozen and enjoyed months later!

Choosing a location: Young lychee trees are sometimes difficult to establish in windy sites, and exposure to constant winds may result in tattered leaves, stunted shoot growth, and stem dieback. If possible, trees should be planted in wind-protected sites or protected from wind by surrounding trees with light shade cloth which has been attached to wire fencing. Avoid areas that may retain excess moisture.

Note: This product grows best in well-draining soil. When you receive your plant, you may notice small, white beads or rocks in the soil - this medium is added to increase drainage and keep your plant happy and healthy! 

Planting directions (in ground): Select an area of the landscape that does not flood, lychees grow best in well-draining soils. Sandy soils with low organic matter content are suitable if sufficient fertilizers are supplied.

1) Your planting area should receive full sun for the best tree growth and fruit production.
2) Make your hole three times the size of the root ball and just as deep. A large hole loosens the soil making it easy for the roots to expand into the adjacent soil.
3) Gently comb the root ball to free up the feeder roots and position them downward into the hole. Try to mimic the natural soil habitat for the tree for the back filling. Amend the soil with some organic matter/compost at a 50-50 ratio of dirt removed from the hole.
Tip: Mycorrhizal fungi (available for purchase in our Root Rocket) is highly recommended as a soil additive when back filling your planting site.
4) Keep the tree as straight as possible and begin to backfill the hole. Put several shovels of amended soil in and gently pat down with your hands. Add a few more scoops repeating the procedure until the hole is filled.

Planting directions (potted): There are a couple of basic steps to follow when keeping your lychee tree containerized. This will help maintain the health and integrity of the tree.

1) Sunlight is a major requirement for a healthy potted lychee so be sure you have a good full sun location indoors while the cold season is present.
2) Select a pot 1-2 sizes larger than what the lychee came in (Example: Came in a 1 gallon pot, go up to a 3 gallon).
3) Lychees tend to like a more moistened soil so use a good moisture controlled soil or even an automatic watering pot to keep a steady flow of water going to the roots. Avoid over saturating the soil. (Some of the best results with potting were from a mixture of equal parts compost and topsoil with partially decomposed mulch).
4) Container grown lychees need to have the nutrients in their soil replenished, adding Mycorrhizal fungi will increase the root growth and their ability to distribute/absorb nutrients and water.
Tip: Remove your lychee from its container once a year and trim back the roots a little. You can also do this when it is time for the tree to be re-potted into a larger container. Uncontrolled root growth can be very unhealthy for the tree since they cannot absorb water or take in oxygen as needed.
5) If your tree is indoors during the flowering time you may need to assist the tree with spreading the pollen around. Nature typically takes care of this for you with bees and other insects providing the flowers emerge during the warmer seasons. If the tree is indoors you can mimic the pollinating by using a small, fine tipped paint brush or cotton swab. Just collect the pollen from each flower and go back and forth to all of the blooms. Do not rinse the brush off! This defeats the purpose of collecting the pollen.

Watering: Lychee trees are moderately drought tolerant. However, newly planted lychee trees should be irrigated regularly during establishment. In the home landscape, trees will perform well without supplemental irrigation after the trees are established. For more consistent cropping of mature trees, withholding irrigation during the fall and winter until bloom may enhance the amount of flowering. Water a container grown lychee every day. In the summer, missing even a single day of watering can cause major leaf drop on the tree.

Tip: Applying a thin layer of well cured compost from the drip-line to within 6 inches of the trunk may be beneficial for the fibrous roots of lychee trees. In addition, mulching lychee trees in the home landscape helps retain soil moisture, reduces weed problems adjacent to the tree trunk, and improves the soil near the surface. Mulch with a 2 to 6 inch (5-15 cm) layer of bark, wood chips, or similar mulch material. Keep mulch 8 to 12 inches (20-30 cm) from the trunk to prevent rotting of the base of the trunk.

Pruning: Occasional thinning/pruning of the lychee is encouraged for protection from wind damage and builds a strong structure. The density of the lychee makes it susceptible to powerful wind gusts which might cause it to blow over. Younger lychees need to maintain a round shape so be sure to thin them out annually. This will also help with the sunlight exposure and better air circulation for the canopy. When the tree gets to about 4-5 years old it should be near its full maturity and a yearly trimming of the fruit should be sufficient in terms of pruning the tree.

A potted lychee will not require any pruning for at least 2-3 years and even then, it’s a minor thinning to open crotch angles.

Fertilizing: After the first flush of growth hardens, when the leaves start to turn a darker green and the shoots harden off is when you will want to feed your tree. Refrain from using any type of artificial fertilizers, these can kill many beneficial organisms in your soil’s ecosystem. Use organic fertilizers to feed your lychee tree such as kelp, compost extracts or seaweed. Using fertilizer formulas containing Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium can easily lead to burning of the tree’s roots.

Cease fertilizing in the third year to get the tree fully prepared to enter its fruit bearing stage. After the harvest of fruit, fertilize with half the amount and do not feed again until fruit has set for the second harvest.

Container grown lychees do not require fertilizer but will benefit greatly by spraying liquid phosphorous on the leaves. Do this during times of transplantation and annually around September or October. This will promote flowering and the fruiting of your tree, pollinated flowers are after all what brings that delicious fruit!

Shipping Details

Estimated Shipping Time: Most orders ship immediately. As noted on the website, some items are seasonal, and may only ship in spring or fall. Once your order is shipped, you'll receive an email with a tracking number.

Amount of Order Shipping Charge
Less than $49 $19.95

Product Details

Mature Height: 8-10 ft.
Mature Width: 5-8 ft.
Sunlight: Full-Partial
Growth Rate: Slow
Harvest Time: April-May
Botanical Name: Litchi chinensis 'Emperor'
Does Not Ship To: AZ
Grows Well In Zones: 4-11 patio / 9-11 outdoors
Your Growing Zone: #
4-11 patio         /           9-11 outdoors       Map

Growing Zones: 4-11 patio / 9-11 outdoors

(hardy down to 30℉)

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