How to get more yield and quality fruits by doing flower management in Litchi?

Published on: 13-Feb-2024

In India, litchi is being cultivated in 92 thousand hectares from which a total production of 686 thousand metric tons is obtained, whereas, in Bihar, litchi is being cultivated in 32 thousand hectares from which 300 metric tons of litchi fruit is obtained. The productivity of litchi in Bihar is 8 tonnes/hectare while the national productivity is 7.4 tonnes/hectare.

Litchi is called the queen of fruits. It is also called Pride of Bihar. Bihar accounts for about 80 percent of the total litchi production. The second week of February is going on. At this time, our litchi-producing farmers are eager to know what they should do and what they should not do in February. Litchi trees prefer warm temperatures between 68–86°F (20–30°C) during the flowering period. They require high humidity levels of 70-90%. Adequate sunlight, well-drained soil, and minimal wind are also important factors for successful flowering. Additionally, lychee trees benefit from periods of cool temperatures (below 68°F or 20°C) during their dormant phase to induce flowering. Flower management is important in litchi cultivation to ensure optimum fruit production.

1. Understanding Litchi Flower 

Depending on the climate and variety, lychee trees usually flower during late winter or early spring. Flowering is influenced by a variety of factors including temperature, rainfall, humidity, and nutrition.

Also read: Litchi, Take care of litchi cultivation from now 

2. Pruning

Pruning helps maintain the shape of the tree, remove dead wood, and promote airflow, which reduces disease and insect attack. Training and pruning young trees encourages strong scaffold development, which encourages flower and fruit production in mature trees. Pruning should be done judiciously to avoid excessive removal of flowering shoots.

3. Nutrient Management

Proper nutrition is essential for the initiation and growth of flowers. Soil testing helps in understanding nutrient deficiencies and formulating appropriate fertilization strategies. Balanced fertilizer with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and micronutrients aids healthy flower development. In litchi (depending on the species), the first spraying should be done on the tree 30 days before the appearance of flowers, by making a solution of 2 grams of zinc sulfate per liter. After 15-20 days, the second spraying will improve the flowers and plants. After 15 days of fruit setting, making a solution of 4 grams of borax per liter of water and spraying it two or three times at an interval of 15 days reduces fruit fall. Sweetness increases and along with improvement in the shape and color of the fruit, the problem of cracking of the fruit also reduces.