You are lucky to find our article discussing the tips on how to grow rambutan trees in which the fruits are highly-priced. If you live in an area with a tropical climate, you are lucky! Rambutan trees and other exotic fruits can easily grow in such a climate.
Southeast Asia, India, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia are the countries where the rambutan trees easily grow.
Today, you will learn how to grow rambutan trees and get its big benefits as the vitamins and minerals are truly packed for human health.
What Are Rambutans?
Rambutans are fruits growing up to 80 feet or 27 meters in height. So, they need plenty of room to grow well and produce fruits. The word “Rambutan” originated from a Malay word related to the hairy look of the fruit.
What are other rambutan’s characteristics?
Rambutan trees have 10 to 30 cm long leaves. The leaves are pinnate. There are 3 to 11 leaves in each leaflet with 5 to 15 cm in width. Rambutan flowers are small, while the fruits are round and reddish when they are ready to ripe. Rambutan seeds are brown and glossy.
The Rambutan Best Varieties
It is a general truth that fruit has some varieties. Rambutan, in this case, has a variety of colors, primarily red, orange, or yellow-skinned. The red varieties usually ripen earlier and have a medium size. The yellow varieties ripen later than the red ones. The yellow varieties have smaller sizes.
Compared to yellow-skinned fruit, the red rambutan flesh is a little drier. However, the yellow-skinned fruit is juicer than the red one. Both the red and yellow-skinned fruit have the same white flesh.
Believe it or not, there are more than 200 varieties of rambutan fruits. So, if you want to grow rambutan trees, you can choose which variety you like most.
The rambutan’s best varieties include Queen Zaida, which has dark red skin and white flesh which is moderate yields. Quezon is also one of the best rambutan varieties that produce small to medium-sized fruits which are sour to taste.
Other best rambutan varieties are Quirino and Santo Tomas. Quirino comes in a yellowish and reddish color. The trees produce fruits about 80 fruits per group.
On the other hand, Santo Tomas is a rambutan variety with yellow and pink skin, thick flesh, and a tiny seed. This tree generally produces moderate yields.
Rambutan trees grow well, typically in tropical and semi-tropical regions. They need warm weather. This means the trees cannot grow below 50F. They can even die.
Thus, this generally implies that these tropical trees can grow only in Florida and some parts of California. This way, Southeast Asia, India, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia also have a tropical climate to grow rambutan trees.
However, if you live in countries below 50F, you need a greenhouse if you want to grow the trees.
The Best Land For Planting Rambutan
The preferred land or soil for growing rambutan trees is deep, rich sandy loam or clay loam soil with rich organic properties. The soil should also drain the water well. Thus, the soil depth must be about 2.0 m to 3.0 m.
The right land for growing rambutan should be free from unwanted seeds and materials, pebbles, and stones. So plow the land 2 to 3 times to attain the fine tilth and smooth texture. You also need to harrow and level the land before starting planting.
In addition to preparing the land for planting rambutan trees, irrigation methods are also important to learn to grow rambutan trees. This way, the rambutan plantation needs water because the trees are drought-sensitive plants.
It would be best if you irrigated the trees in the dry season as the dry season is the most critical period. Though the trees are bearing and establishing, irrigation is still absolutely required.
There are several steps to plant rambutan dealing with how you use seed, either from the fruit itself or online. So, the first step is to get a fresh rambutan seed that is no older than a week. This is importantly the key as the old seed will not successfully grow.
Wash the rambutan seed from its flesh and plant it in a pot with good drainage holes. Add organic soil that has been amended with sand or organic compost. Next, you can cover the seed lightly with the soil. Wait for 10-21 days for the seed to germinate.
Generally, it takes two years to make your rambutan tree ready for transplant. At that point, you can transplant the tree when it is about a foot tall, yet it is still very fragile.
When it is ready, transplant it into a ceramic pot rather than instantly into the ground. Create good drainage and make sure the soil is healthy and quick for the tree’s growth.
Rambutan Tree Care and Fertilization
When you decide to grow rambutan trees, it is not only about growing but also caring. This way, caring for rambutan trees deals with how you give fertilizer to make it grow well and produce fruits. In this part, there are some rules for rambutan tree fertilization as follows:
- Give fertilizer to your rambutan trees when they are six months old. Give again when they are one year old.
- Use a mix of phosphate, potash, and urea for good fertilizing.
- Fertilize again when the trees are two years old and three years old.
- After that, give fertilizer to the trees every six months.
- Keep the tree damp and keep the humidity around 75 to 80 percent.
- Locate your rambutan trees in partial sun.
Companion Planting for Growing Rambutans
Rambutans love to grow alongside companion planting that needs tropical heat. Growing the companion plants near rambutan trees helps increase the greater number of pollinators.
The companion plants for rambutan are dragon fruit, guava, soursop, jackfruit, starfruit, citrus tree, avocado, papaya, lychee, and longan. Make sure that you know these trees well to help your rambutans tree grow well.
You must be wondering when you can harvest your lovely rambutans, right?
No worry! In about 5 years, rambutan fruits will be ready for harvest. It is easy to determine when to harvest. Just look at the color of the fruit. When they are red or orange hue, they are ready to harvest. So pick up the fruits directly from the trees.
Will the trees produce fruits again?
Definitely, the tree will continue producing the delicious fruits after a certain period.
What are the best harvesting techniques for rambutan fruits?
Rambutan fruit can be harvested in the mid-country zone in July and September. In some climate conditions, the harvest time is in December and February. Meanwhile, rambutan fruits can be well harvested in June and August under several conditions.
Post Harvesting Techniques
After harvesting, some techniques help keep the fruits fresh. First, wash and clean the fruits. Second, store the fruits for 3 to 4 days in a normal condition. They can also be sorted in cold storage at 18 C degrees. To store, you need low-density polyethylene bags that contain ventilating holes.
For packaging, you are recommended to pack the fruits in coconut leaf baskets and use rigid ventilation. Meanwhile, if you want to transport the fruits, use ventilating lorries rather than open transportation. The fruits must be protected from direct sunlight and rainfall when it is time to load and unload them.
For marketing, rambutan fruits are marketed both locally and internationally. This means that rambutans are internationally popular.
Pest and Diseases that Attack Rambutan Trees
Two kinds of pests attack rambutan trees. They are fruit borer and acrosircops crammella. These pests will definitely damage the tree’s stems. You can control them using chemical methods only.
Meanwhile, the diseases that can attack rambutan trees include powdery mildew that causes the fruit to drop prematurely. Anyone who has rambutan trees with this disease can spray sulfur several times during the early stages.
Rambutan Growing Keep-In Notes
Now, if you really want to grow rambutan trees, here are the notes to keep:
- It would be best to buy grafted fruit trees.
- If the trees are already established, do a minimum pruning. It is required to help maintain the shape and remove the decaying branches.
- Put an extra effort into preparing the soil.
- Water the rambutan trees regularly, especially in the dry season.
- Enrich the soil with organic matter.
- Harvest the fruits when their colors are bright.
All in all, it is not easy to grow rambutan trees. However, it is possible to grow them if you carefully follow every step and tip to grow the fruit trees. Note that rambutan trees grow well in areas with tropical or subtropical climates.