Longan Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 8 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11

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Longan Trees originated in Southeast Asia and have been grown for centuries. They are prized for their dark green canopy, cooling shade, and sweet abundant fruit. Longan trees can reach heights of 40 feet, widths of up to 20 feet, are drought tolerant, and can take brief low temperatures down to 25 degrees F. They are fast growing and produce clusters of easy to peel reddish brown fruits with sweet juicy pulp that are similar in size, shape, and taste to the fruits of a Lychee tree. The sweet translucent flesh has been described as tasting like a giant sweet grape mixed with mango.

Longan Trees are self-pollinating and will produce fruit from a single tree. This heavy producer can yield even more fruit when paired with a second Longan Tree in the same area. Longan Trees can be grown in the ground in USDA Zones 8 to 11. This wide range, and their ability to tolerate dry conditions and cold temperatures, make the Longan a unique and forgiving tropical fruit tree. Planting a Longan Tree is the perfect way to add a gorgeous, shade-giving, tropical fruit tree to your landscape.

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Longan Tree Care

Although mature Longan Trees are drought tolerant, younger trees need well-drained soil and periodic deep watering to thrive and grow into healthy specimens. Choose a location that gets some direct sun but also some shade at the hottest parts of the day. A central garden opening that is protected by taller trees, but still has space for the Longan to grow into is ideal. The best soil type for a Longan Tree is a sandy loam soil that drains well and has ample organic material. Soils that are heavy in clay should be amended with coarse sand and peat to allow for better root growth.

Longan Trees are moderate growers and can be maintained by pruning to keep them at a desired size. They are great for fitting into a gap in your garden where they can make some extra shade and fill in between other established trees. Since they are heavy producers, it is common for them to produce a smaller crop in the year following a heavy yield.

Fruit & Harvesting

Longan Trees bloom light yellow flowers that are fragrant and hang in dense clusters. The blooms are self-fertile and each bunch of blossoms produces multiple Longan fruit. Full-size Longan trees growing in good conditions can produce dozens of clusters, each containing as many as forty or more pieces of fruit.

Blooms appear in early spring and fruit is ripe from mid to late summer. The fruit is ripe when the brown shell can be easily cracked open with a squeeze, and the flesh inside releases from the shell, is juicy, and sweet. Fruit that is picked before it is ripe will not ripen further once harvested. The easiest way to harvest Longans is to use clippers and cut off an entire cluster of fruit.

Growing Zones


Harvested Longan fruits will last for two or three days in a cool dry place. Refrigerated Longans can be kept for up to a week. The fruits can also be peeled, seeded, and canned. Longans lend themselves to a wide variety of salads, desserts, jellies, and baked goods like cobblers and cakes. They are also excellent for eating out of hand right from the tree.

You can also grow a Longan Tree in a container, as long as it gets enough filtered light and the pot has good drainage. Container-grown Longan Trees will produce fewer fruit than a mature tree growing in the ground, but since the trees produce such heavy crops, a healthy Longan Tree growing in a large (15 gallon or larger) container can produce plenty of fruit to eat and use in a season.


Can you grow a Longan Tree from a seed?

The seeds of the Longan are shiny, dark brown or black, and found inside each fruit. They are easy to propagate and will grow a producing Longan Tree, but the process takes far longer (5 to 7 years) than starting with a nursery-cultivated tree (1 to 2 years).

Why are my Longan Tree leaves turning yellow and falling?

Yellowing leaves that fall from a Longan Tree are often a sign of overwatering, and/or poorly draining soil. If your tree has yellow leaves, begin by reducing watering frequency. You can also add coarse sand or perlite to the soil to encourage drainage.

Where can you grow a Longan Tree?

Longan Trees thrive in USDA Growing Zones 8 to 11. The best spot is a well-drained location where the tree gets some mid-day shade, and is protected from strong winds.

Can you transplant a growing Longan Tree?

While it is possible to successfully transplant a small Longan Tree, the better option is to carefully select a growing location so the tree does not require moving. If you are unsure, or plan to move, grow your new Longan Tree in a container with holes for drainage until you can plant it in the best spot possible.