If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where exotic fruits are abundant and easy to grow, then you’re probably familiar with the rambutan fruit. If not, let us give you a little crash course! The rambutan fruit is an exotic fruit that is highly prized in Indian, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. It looks like a spiky/hairy lychee fruit, and also tastes like one in the sense that it is a little bit sweet and a little bit sour. The fruit, or berry, is oval shaped and contains a single seed. The outer appearance of the rambutan is orange/reddish with fleshy spines. The great thing about the rambutan is that the entire fruit can be consumed – seed and all! Today you’ll be learning how to grow rambutan and where exactly you can grow it! As you may expect, it’s not everywhere!
How to Grow Rambutan Trees
You can grow rambutan trees in tropical or semi-tropical regions. They love warm weather and anything below 50F or 10C will kill the trees. Usually, this means only Florida and some parts of California, but if you have a greenhouse you can definitely give it a shot!
- Obtain a FRESH rambutan seed either from the fruit itself or online. Make sure that the seed is no older than a week – this is key as if it’s an old seed, it will not take.
- If using a seed from a fruit, make sure to wash all the flesh from it.
- Plant your rambutan seed in a pot with good drainage holes. Fill with organic soil that’s been amended with sand and organic compost.
- Lightly cover the seed with soil.
- Your rambutan tree should germinate within 10-21 days.
- It will take about two years for your rambutan tree to be ready for transplant. At that point, it will be about a foot tall but still very fragile.
- You should transplant your tree in a ceramic, not plastic, pot rather than directly into the ground.
- The should should be part sand, part vermiculite, and part peat to create good drainage and ensure healthy and quick growth.
Caring for Rambutan:
- Fertilize your rambutan tree at 6 months old and then again at 1 year old.
- Use a mix of potash, phosphate, and urea.
- Fertilize again at 2 years old, and again at 3.
- Thereafter, fertilize every 6 months.
- Keep the tree damp and make sure humidity is at 75-80%.
- Place your rambutan tree in partial sun.
- In about 5 years, rambutan fruit will be ready to harvest.
- You’ll know they’re ready because their color will be a reddish/orange hue.
- Simply pick the fruit right off the tree.
- Your rambutan tree will continue to produce these delicious fruit!
So now that you know how to grow rambutan, it’s time to start planting!