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Baomei Yang, Guoliang Li, Shaohai Yang, Zhaohuan He, Changmin Zhou and Lixian Yao

Soils of litchi orchards in China are commonly deficient in nitrogen and potassium. The cultivar Feizixiao litchis planted in a typical acidic upland orchard, which is low in nitrogen and potassium, were used as a subject in field experiments with different ratios of potassium to nitrogen (K2O:N = 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2, and 1.4). Field experiments were conducted from 2009 to 2012. The effects of K2O:N ratio on the yield, quality, and storability of litchi were investigated and discussed. Results indicated that with the increase of K2O:N ratio, fruit yield initially increased and then decreased, and litchi had the highest yield when K2O:N was 1.2. When K and N fertilizers were applied at the ratio of 1.2, litchi had a better fruit quality with higher vitamin C content, soluble sugar, and soluble solid. With the increase of K2O:N ratio, healthy fruit rate initially increased and then decreased. This rate reached the maximum value when K2O:N was 1.2. Meanwhile, fruit-rotting rate, peel-browning index, cell membrane permeability, and peroxidase (POD) activity decreased at first and then increased and reached the minimum value when the K2O:N ratio was 1.2. Therefore, litchi fruit had the highest yield, better quality, and best storage property when K2O:N was 1.2. Thus, this ratio is recommended for the main litchi production areas in China.