358 Nitrogen Fertilization and Lychee Flowering and Production in Southern Florida

in HortScience
View More View Less
  • 1 Tropical Research and Education Center IFAS, Univ. of Florida, 18905 SW 280 St., Homestead, FL 33031

Despite the increasing popularity in American markets of the fruit of the illustrious lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.), unreliable flowering and yield has had serious impacts on lychee growers in southern Florida. Lychee flowering is normally induced by chilling temperatures. Unpredictable weather, high rainfall, and excessive nutrients cause unreliable flowering in southern Florida. Although growers have no control over the weather, they need to be able to manage the growth, vigor, and reproduction of trees through practices that optimize flowering. When excessively watered and fertilized, lychee trees grow vigorously with frequent vegetative flushes every 2 to 3 months. The lack of maturity of these late vegetative flushes prevents flower stimulation from mild temperatures in January and February, when flowering typically occurs on trees that have not experienced vegetative flushes in the late fall or early winter. Thus, by adopting nitrogen fertilizer management practice, growers should be able to induce abundant flowering even in mild winters. Our preliminary results demonstrated that timing and rates of applications of nitrogen fertilizer significantly affected concentrations of soil and leaf N. High nitrogen levels in the leaves induced more vegetative flushes and less flowering, and consequently less fruit yield.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 44 15 1
PDF Downloads 72 33 3