Foliar application of nitrogen at petal fall stage increases fruit set and size of 'Bengal' lychee
Despite low fruit set and alternate bearing, the 'Bengal' cultivar dominates in commercial lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) production in Brazil. Intense early fruit drop is the most critical stage of fruit development from the grower's point of view. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of foliar application of nitrogen to enhance fruit set and size in 'Bengal' lychee. This experiment used 12-years-old 'Bengal' lychee trees in a commercial orchard in Rio Parnaiba, MG. The experiment included four urea (45% N) treatments and an untreated control, each replicated on 10 individual trees per treatment in a randomized complete block design. In mid-September 2013 (±80% petal fall), trees were sprayed with a single foliar application of nitrogen as urea at rates of 0 (control), 60, 120, 180 and 240 g per plant. Diameter and number of fruits were measured at weekly intervals from October 5 to December 14 (harvest time). The treatment with 120 g of urea plant-1 significantly increased fruit set and size. Thus, 120 g of urea plant-1 at petal fall stage may be a feasible tool to boost fruit set and size in 'Bengal' lychee.
Gonçalves, V.D., Pires, M.C. and Yamanishi, O.K. (2016). Foliar application of nitrogen at petal fall stage increases fruit set and size of 'Bengal' lychee. Acta Hortic. 1139, 591-596
Litchi chinensis Sonn., urea, fruit drop, fruit growth, yield