Japanese medlar: planting culture maintenance and fruiting

The Japanese Medlar (Eriobotrya japonica) belongs to the family of Rosaceae. Cet fruit tree with an exotic look is commonly called loquat or bibacier (which can also be written bibassier). He wears a evergreen ornamental foliage strongly ribbed, is covered from October to December with creamy white flowers with a sublime almond scent and whose form is of great originality. After flowering appear the loquats or bibaces (bibasses), edible fruit more or less juicy depending on the variety. You can therefore cultivate a loquat as much for its many aesthetic advantages as for its good fruit. Let’s see when to plant this magnificent decorative fruit tree that can reach 5 meters in height as an adult, how to care for it and take stock of its fruiting.

Plant a loquat

The ideal time to plant a loquat is between August 15 and September 15. At this time of year, the earth is very hot and there is plenty of sunshine, which is very beneficial to him. We use it in isolation or in hedge. If you want to cultivate several loquats, it is important to space them at least 4.50 meters from each other because their wingspan after a few years is 4 to 5 meters.

Planting should only be carried out outside periods of very strong heat and of course periods of frost. We proceed as follows:

  • Dig a hole a little bigger than the clod,
  • Hydrate the root ball by letting it soak in water for about 60 minutes,
  • Place a layer of gravel at the bottom of the planting hole to improve drainage,
  • Place the shrub in the hole,
  • Fill in with well-amended garden soil,
  • Tamp down,
  • Water.

It is possible to plant the Loquat in a pot. We then choose a large enough tank that can be installed on the terrace, in the sun, sheltered from the wind. It is important to offer the potted bibsteel a well-drained fertile substrate. For example, you can compose your mixture of 50% topsoil and 50% potting soil. Of course, so that rain or watering water does not stagnate in the pot, it is necessary to deposit at the bottom of the container a drainage layer such as clay balls or gravel, which are then covered with substrate.

Growing loquat

The Japanese Medlar is a fast growing tree who loves them very sunny exposures, hot, not too confined but well sheltered from the cold and prevailing winds. He tolerates everything type de sol provided it is draining.

Ses inflorescences (thyrses) succeed each other from September for at least four weeks if it does not freeze because from -3°C, they no longer resist. In the most southern regions, where the climate is particularly mild, you can enjoy the magnificent flower clusters loquat until December or January, and pollinating insects as well because they are full of nectar.

Caring for the Loquat

This decorative fruit tree is easy to maintain.


Loquat grown in the ground is very resistant to drought once well rooted. If it is in a pot, it should be watered copiously once a week in summer.


Pour stimulate the fruiting of loquatdo not hesitate to add fertilizer for fruit trees in spring and autumn, and once a month for potted medlar.


The laying of a mulch is essential during the two or three winters following its planting. A mulch consisting of a good layer of dead leaves is perfect for protecting the foot of this young fruit tree against severe frosts, which is a little less of a problem in our southernmost regions. It can tolerate temperatures of around -10°C but only for a very short time. We must therefore anticipate.


It is better, in addition to the mulch, to lay a winter sail around the loquat to protect it from the cold. The subjects in tank join the veranda from the first frosts.

Pests and diseases

The Japanese loquat is not not sensitive to parasites.

In terms of diseases, it is mainly affected by la tavelure, which occurs especially when the ambient humidity is high and the temperatures are quite cool, around 12°C. This fungal disease causes spots and blisters on the leaves or brownish spots on the fruits. It is advisable to treat with Bordeaux mixture which gives much better results in the case of scab than horsetail manure.

Fruiting of the Loquat

This beautiful tree cannot bear fruit than in the sunniest regions. And as soon as its flowers suffer a small frost, fruiting is seriously compromised. There is of course nothing to prevent it from being grown as an ornamental tree because of its many aesthetic advantages if you live in a climatic zone that is not very suitable for the loquat, unless you grow it in a pot to be able to shelter it.

This is between April and June medlar takes place, a variable period from one region to another since it is largely dependent on climatic conditions.

The Japanese loquat produces fruits from 3 to 6 cm in diameter, housing 1 to 4 cores. It exists different varieties of loquats : some give fruits with white flesh, (Eriobotrya japonica ‘Champagne’), others produce loquats with particularly mild flavor (Eriobotrya japonica ‘Peluche’), still others are covered in dark yellow-orange fruits (Eriobotrya japonica ‘Early red’).

The fruits of the loquat have more or less the appearance of a small apricot and their skin is extremely thin. Their juicy flesh is quite firm and deliciously sweet. They must be harvested as soon as they mature and with great precaution because they do not support not very delicate manipulations.

Medlar fruits should be eaten as soon as possible after picking because they keep for a very short time. Medlars can be eaten as is or in juice, compote, jelly or jam, but again in a relatively short time. Note also that we use the bibsteel leaves to prepare a delicious tea with antioxidant properties. This beautiful tree really has it all!

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