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Is there any other fruit that just screams summer as much as mango (Mangifera indica)? Its incredibly sweet flesh can be enjoyed fresh from the tree, blended into a cold smoothie, or tossed in a salad. The tree is pretty attractive too, growing up to 10 m tall – so make sure you have the space. Otherwise, look for dwarf varieties that remain a compact 3–4 m.


Location

Mango trees prefer warm, frost-free climates, so are suitable for growing in tropical, subtropical, or warm temperate zones. Position in full sun and protect from strong winds.

Soil

Plant a mango tree in moist, well-draining soil enriched with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is made up of clay or does not drain well, improve the soil by adding in gypsum and organic matter. Repeat this throughout the year to continually improve the soil. If the soil is too hard to work with or you do not have the space, consider planting in a pot filled with quality potting mix, like Yates Premium Potting Mix. 

Fertiliser

Feed a mango tree from late spring to autumn with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver and Plant Fertiliser. When the tree starts to product fruit – normally in its third or fourth year – supplement feeding with Yates Thrive Citrus & Fruit Liquid Plant Food.

Water

Water regularly until established. Once established, mangoes are rather tolerant of dry conditions and can typically rely on seasonal rainfall for water. Mulch well around the base of the tree with an organic mulch, to help retain soil moisture. If there are extended dry periods, especially when flowering or fruiting, water deeply to help reduce drought stress. 

Harvest

Mangoes are generally ready for harvest when the skin changes from green to a dull yellow or orange and the red blush intensifies. Wear gloves and use a pair of secateurs to cut the stems holding the fruit, taking care to avoid the sap from dripping onto the mango skin or contacting your skin. The sap can be a skin irritant and can cause mild dermatitis or severe burning sensations. Wash off any sap immediately under running water and seek further medical advice, if necessary. 

Maintenance

Once the tree reaches over 1 m tall, cut it back to 0.6–0.7 m. Do this in spring or summer and this will help encourage multiple branching and a strong, open framework for a healthy tree. As the branches develop from the main stem, choose four-to-five strong branches, ensuring they fan out like an open vase and remove the rest. This will ensure sunlight and air is well-circulated within the canopy. 

Over the next couple of years, tip prune each of the main limbs in summer to encourage branching. Once the tree starts to produce fruit – normally in its third or fourth year – wait until after fruiting finishes before pruning the tips, cutting away dead or dying branches, and removing any upward growth.

After pruning, spread compost and Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser around the base of the tree and water in well.

Pests and diseases

The most common disease of mangoes is anthracnose and bacterial black spot. Both these diseases are prevalent in wet conditions but can be managed with preventative sprays of Yates Liquid Copper Fungicide. Timing of treatments are critical to prevent the spread of the disease. Please refer to the label for detailed information on how and when to apply Yates Liquid Copper Fungicide.

You may occasionally find leafhoppers on mango trees. If control is necessary, spray with Yates Nature’s Way Citrus & Ornamental Spray. If a concentrate is preferred, use Yates Pyrethrum Insect Pest Killer Concentrate. Fruit fly also find mangoes attractive. Control fruit fly early in the fruiting season by spraying the branches and foliage with Yates Nature’s Way Fruit Fly Control – do not spray the fruit.

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How to Grow a Mango Tree in the Garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. If the soil is clay based, add gypsum and fork in well. 
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the tree from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Form a raised ring around the plant, creating a well so that water will go where it’s needed most. Water in well.  
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions. 
  6. Feed the mango tree with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser at least three times a year, in spring, summer and in autumn after harvest.
  7. When the tree starts to produce fruit (normally in its third or fourth year), supplement feeding with Yates Thrive Citrus & Fruit Liquid Plant Food
  8. Harvest mangoes when the skin turns from green to yellow or orange.
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How to Grow a Mango Tree in a Pot

If planting in a mango tree in a pot, look for dwarf varieties like 'Palmer' or 'Sensation'. 

  1. Choose a pot at least 500 mm wide. Position in full sun and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Premium Potting Mix
  2. Remove the tree from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Water in well. 
  4. Water deeply, two or three times during the week, depending on weather conditions.
  5. Feed the mango tree with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser at least three times a year, in spring, summer and in autumn after harvest.
  6. When the tree starts to produce fruit (normally in its third or fourth year), supplement feeding with Yates Thrive Citrus & Fruit Liquid Plant Food
  7. Harvest mangoes when the skin turns from green to yellow or orange.
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How to Grow a Mango Tree from Seed

Looking to grow a mango from seed? It’s a fun project, but bear in mind that it can take between 5–10 years to reach fruiting maturity. If you’re going to try, use seed from Kensington Pride or Bowen mango as these will grow into a tree with the same characteristics as the parent tree.

For best results, collect seed as soon as the fruit has been removed from the tree. Here is a step-by-step guide to growing a mango tree from seed.

  1. Remove the flesh from around the husk – this is the large hard ‘seed’ in the centre of the fruit that protects the embryo. You can use a knife or soft brush to gently remove as much of the flesh as possible. Pat dry.
  2. Cut a slit into the pointy end of the husk and gently pry it open, taking care not to damage the embryo. Carefully remove the embryo.
  3. Fill a tray or pot with Yates Seed Raising Mix. Insert the embryo into the mix, with the concave edge facing down, and leave the top edge slightly exposed. If planting multiple embryos, space them 10 mm apart in the tray or pot. Position in a bright spot, out of direct sunlight and water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist.
  4. After a few days, if the top edge turns green, the seed is viable and will grow. Germination usually occurs within 10–14 days. If the edge turns black, discard the seed and start again.
  5. Repot seedlings into individual pots after a few weeks and water in well. Continue to nurse the seedlings as indoor plants on a brightly lit windowsill, or move outside into a well-let spot, out of direct sunlight. After a few years, consider planting the young tree into the garden or large pot. See How to grow a mango tree in a garden or How to grow a mango tree in a pot.

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