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Sensitive loquat requires sun protection

Question: I planted a 5-gallon loquat in my front yard three months ago in April. It seemed to be taking just fine at first. A few weeks ago, I noticed the older leaves were beginning to turn brown, and the newer leaves seem to be shriveling up. When I purchased it, I was told it was OK to plant in full sun. During this heat, I drip water it every two days. I estimate it receives about 6 gallons per watering. I check the soil regularly to make sure the soil is not drying out. Any thoughts?

As you found out, loquat will not like it in rock mulch in full sun. It will do all right in full sun in a mixed planting with lots of other greenery around, but it will actually do better in a more protected location. If you can put it in an area with protection from late-afternoon sun and surround by other plants, it will perform better. Loquat does tend to get borers easily if heat-stressed and in a hot part of the yard in full sunlight.

Bob Morris is a professor emeritus in horticulture with the University of Nevada and can be reached at extremehort@aol.com. Visit his blog at

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