Rambutan is one of the fruits popular for its tempting taste. In Kerala, red and yellow coloured rambutan fruit varieties are cultivated. The hairy fruit is grown in India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Philippines.
The fruit resembles to lychee and longan fruits. The name rambutan derived from the Malay word ‘rambut’, because the fruit has hair on rind. Rambutan grows well in Kerala and yields plenty of fruits. It fetches attractive price in the market.
The rambutan trees bear fruits after they turn seven years. Like nutmeg, rambutan also has male and female plants. It can be cultivated in completely organic method.
Rambutan can be grown at an altitude of 1800-2000 feet from the sea level. The months from June to November is ideal for rambutan cultivation.
Loam soil is the best for rambutan. Grafted saplings can be used for planting.
Dig holes that have 3 feet length, width and depth. There should be a distance of 40 feet between two trees.
Fill three fourth of the holes with worm compost, bone manure, cow dung powder and neem cake.
The tree requires shade upto three years of planting. After three years, it requires sunlight in plenty.
Rambutan cannot be chosen for multiple cropping, as its yield is based on the availability of sunlight.
The more sunlight the tree gets, the more yield it gives. Also it need proper irrigation and fertilisation.
When the first leaves turn green, provide equal amount of cow dung powder, neem cake and bone manure.
Fertilisation can be continued in the same manner for upto three years.
After four years, the amount of cow dung powder can be increased.
Though rambutan grows upto a height of 80 feet, prune the branches at 10-15 feet.
This will help to protect the fruits from birds by covering it with nets.
Normally, rambutan is not affected with diseases. However, some types of insects seem to attack it.