Introduction: Hello gardners today we are here with a great information on Growing Mango Tree in Containers. Mango trees are native to India, hence their love of warm temperatures. There are several dwarf mango varieties perfect for a container-grown mango tree. Mango tree, (Mangifera indica), a member of the cashew family (Anacardiaceae) and one of the most important and widely grown fruit.
A step by step guide to growing mango tree in containers
Mangoes are a rich source of vitamins A, C, and vitamin D. The mango is an attractive, evergreen tree with glossy, dense foliage. Mango trees are deep-rooted plants that could become large specimens in the landscape. They are evergreen and normally produced off rootstocks that increase the hardiness of the plants. Mango trees begin to fruit in three years and form fruit quickly.
Select location for growing mango tree in containers
Mango trees can be grown in pots or in spacious areas outside. The size of each mango tree varies depending on what species it is, but they can obtain quite large, exceeding heights of 10–15 feet (3.0–4.6 m). Therefore, choose a location that will give your tree plenty of space to thrive without being shaded by other larger trees.
Get your soil ready for growing mango tree in containers
Mango trees thrive in loose, sandy soil that drains water easily. Check the pH level of your soil to see if it is in an adequate acidity range; the trees will grow best in soil that has a pH of 4.5 – 7 (acidic). Incorporate peat moss into your soil on a yearly basis in order to maintain the acidity high. Avoid using chemical fertilizers or any product that contains salt, as these will hinder the growth of the mango tree. Prepare the soil so that it is tilled about 3 feet deep, as this will provide plenty of space for the roots to spread.
Mango trees prefer well-drained and rich soil. To make the soil rich, you must use 40 percent premium compost, 20 percent pumice and 40 percent forest floor mulch. This potting mixture is of weight and it contains a lot of nutrients. It is very important from the plant’s quality and health perspective.
Pot requirements for growing Mango trees
You should choose a pot or container for growing mango tree that is at least 20 inches by 20 inches with proper drainage holes. Mango trees require having excellent drainage. Add a good layer of broken pottery to the bottom of the pot and then a layer of crushed gravel.
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For the right soil to grow mangoes, it must be light, very luxurious and nutritive. Remember that the tree plus the pot and dirt will obtain heavy when you fill it, so better place it where you do not want to move it.
Fill the pot or container half with the potting soil. Plant the mango tree in the center of the pot onto the soil. Next again put more soil to fill the pot until 2 inches from the rim. Use your hand to set the plant well and water the tree regularly.
Choosing the right mango tree variety for growing in containers
A dwarf mango tree grows up to 2 to 4 meters (6.5-13 feet) tall and can be tried in containers. There are some specific dwarf varieties of the mango tree that you can grow in a container. They are Irwin and Nam Doc Mai is best. Some other varieties you can try in containers are King Thai, Carrie, Cogshall, Glenn, Nam Doc Mai, Neelam, Amrapali, and Palmer.
A dwarf variety of mango tree is perfect for big pots and containers. For that, you have to set the heat and light requirements for the mango tree. The best time to plant a mango tree in a container or pot is in the spring.
The Best Mango varieties for containers;
Julie – Julie variety is considered a dwarf tree. It tends to increase a slight orange blush. The fruit normally ripens from June-August. Julie mango packs a flavor punch but does contain some fiber.
Irwin – Irwin fruit is ovate shaped with a rounded base and a pointed apex. The skin develops a beautiful fed color at maturity and the skin matures to a showy deep crimson to garnet color. The flesh is sweet, melting, aromatic and of superb eating quality.
Fairchild – It’s considered a condo mango tree, but still well-acclimated to container culture. The Fairchild mango tree typically has a yellowish-green skin and ripens in June-July. It is a fiberless mango with a rich, aromatic flavor.
Dwarf Hawaiian – This mango tree is reportedly an offspring of Julie and Kent. It produces mangoes early in the season and is normally one of the first varieties of fruit. Dwarf Hawaiian tree can produce multiple crops throughout the year. It usually has a more round shape with creamy flesh.
Carrie – Carrie tree has absolutely no fiber and extremely rich in flavor, sweet, aromatic and a pure pleasure to eat. Its compact size makes it an excellent dooryard tree that wants minimal care.
Amrapali – Amrapali mango tree was developed as a hybrid variety of ‘Dasheri’ and ‘Neelum’. The tree is a dwarf variety, regular-bearer, with clusters of small-sized fruits.
Nam Doc Mai – This fruit is a classic Asian desert mango. There are a few variations of this mango variety. Some varieties are more dwarf then the standard Na, Doc Mai, but even that is a smaller tree good for a pot. This sweet, juicy mango fruit has an elongated shape which tends to develop a yellowish skin color.
Cogshall – Cogshall Mango tree originated in Southwest Florida and is an ultra-compact growing mango tree making it suitable for container growing on a balcony or patio. This fruit produces sweet fiberless fruit. The lemon yellow flesh is soft and juicy with a rich sweet flavor and its flavor is highly regarded by enthusiasts. It can easily be maintained at just 8 feet tall, and it will still produce a good size crop year after year.
Lancetilla – Lancetilla mango tree is a cultivar introduced from Honduras. This mango tree is highly regarded for its exceptionally large fiber fewer fruits and tree size which can be maintained at 10 feet. Lancetilla mangoes are long, flattened and oval-shaped with blood red-colored skin and lemon-yellow firm, intensely sweet and fiberless flesh. This mango tree is highly disease resistant.
Neelam – Neelam Mango trees are known for their beautiful shape, taste and divine floral aroma. The Neelam tree is a popular choice and is renowned for its availability.
Alampur Baneshan – This tree variety has origins in India and hails as another fine Indian dessert type mango. It is best when harvested at a mature green state and left on the counter to fully ripen. The fruit can be overpowering for some and mainly this mango isn’t common outside of India.
Rosigold – This mango variety may have originated in Southeast Asia from the Ono variety. It is considered a condo mango that has a low growth habit good for containers. The mango fruit ripens early sometimes as early as March. It is a fiberless mango, sweet, and aromatic. It normally has a yellow skin with an orange-red blush. It’s being used more as a rootstock for its ability to naturally be container grown.
Honey Kiss – This tree is believed that this variety originated from Gary and Keitt varieties. It is a compact growing condo mango tree, which bears a heavy crop, usually in clusters. This variety is somewhat of a slow grower which makes it easier to manage in a container.
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Growing conditions of mango tree in containers
The best time to plant a container mango tree is in the spring. Select a dwarf mango variety such as Carrie or Cogshall, a smaller hybrid like Keit, or even one of the smaller sized regular mango trees such as Nam Doc Mai that can be pruned to keep small. Select a pot that is 20 inches by 20 inches or larger with drainage holes. Mangos require excellent drainage, so add a layer of broken pottery to the bottom of the pot and then a layer of crushed gravel. You will require a lightweight, yet highly nutritive, potting soil for a container-grown mango tree.
Watering the container mango tree
Mango trees grown on the ground don’t need much watering, but container-grown plants are different. You’ll need to water mango plant regularly in its first two-three years. Once the mango tree is established and mature enough to bear fruits start to water moderately during the pre-flowering period.
Keep doing this until 40 to 50 percent of the tree is full of flowers and then water regularly from the flowering stage to fruit formation, until a few weeks (or a month) left before harvesting the mangoes.
You need to water the mango tree regularly during warm months and lesser in the winter. Mangoes want consistent soil moisture if they are to produce high-quality fruit so they should be watered regularly. When first planting you must water every day or two for a couple of weeks, making sure not to let the root ball dry out, then gradually back off the watering frequency. So that after 6 weeks you are watering the tree every two-three days or so in the summer and every week to two weeks in the winter.
Growing Mango trees from seed in containers
- Clean the seed as soon as possible after its removal from the mango fruit, otherwise, it will lose viability very rapidly and will not germinate. You could wash and dry the seed in shade for a day.
- The best time to grow mango trees from seed is the beginning of summer. The mango seed is best germinated when the temperature range is 25 to 35°C (75 to 95°F). If the temperature is low, you can place the planted seed indoors.
- Sow the seed in a pot and then transplant the seedling to a larger pot or into the ground.
- Fill a container, about 10-inch diameter with good quality potting mix and mix some river sand. Sow the seed about 3 inches deep and water well. Put the pot in a warm sunny place, keep moist.
Step by step process for growing Mango trees from seed;
Generally, Mango trees grow easily from seed. Obtain a fresh mango pit and slit the hard husk. Remove the seed inside and plant it in a seed starter mix in a large pot or container. Situate the seed with ¼-inch protruding above the soil surface when growing mango trees in containers.
Cover the seed with half an inch (1.27 centimeters) of soil and the seed must sprout within a few weeks. Water your mango plant with lukewarm water whenever you see the soil is a bit dry. Mangos don’t require a lot of water.
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Keep the soil evenly moist and place the pot where temperatures at least 70°F. (21°C.). Sprouting can occur as early as eight to 14 days but may take up to three weeks. Keep in mind that new mango tree seedling will not produce fruit for at least six years.
Pests and diseases in mango trees
Common pests that attack a mango tree are Hoppers, fruit-fly, Mealybugs, Scale, and Spider Mites. They reduce the vigor of the mango tree, which causes fewer fruits. These should be controlled as early as possible using organic pesticides.
Pests and Diseases are the main factors that damage the growth of mangoes. The fragrance from its flowers mainly helps to attract insects for pollination. Few pests spoil the leaves and cause damage to the mango trees.
Common diseases that attack a mango tree are Powdery mildew, anthracnose, scab, mango malformation, and black rot. Plant diseases are mainly due to change in temperature, soil, sunlight, and watering. Nutrient deficiency can be the reason for it. We normally prefer organic methods (fertilizing by supplying sufficient nutrients) to prevent from diseases and Neem oil or organic sprays to deter pests.
Mango Tree care
- The mango trees are extremely sensitive to fertilizer burn, so you can avoid chemical fertilizers. Organic fertilizers such as composted manure, blood bone meal, and fish emulsion work best. When the tree is young, you can feed lightly with an organic fertilizer like a dynamic lifter or with a balanced fertilizer 3-4 times per year. Then, fertilize with citrus fertilizer in the spring when the tree begins to bloom and after the fruit has finished.
- It is a good idea to side-dress the container with about 2 inches of organic mulch, which will aid in water retention as well as feed the mango plant as the mulch breaks down.
- Keep the mango tree in a warm area with at least 6 hours of sun. Water the mango tree a few times a week during warm months and once every two weeks in the winter.
- Fertilize the mango tree with nitrogen fertilizer three times per year. Space the feedings and apply 1 pound per year of mango tree growth. Prune when the mango tree is four years old to remove any weak stems and generate a strong scaffold of branches. Thereafter, prune to remove broken or diseased plant material.
- If you are growing a mango tree in a container, then move it indoors when it is freezing outside and place it in a room that receives some sunlight in a day.
It takes 3 to 4 months time for harvesting after flowering. You can’t identify the fruit whether it is ripe or not because of its varieties depending on size, shape, and color. When it is a green and hard wait for two more weeks. If the core of the mango fruit is yellow then the fruit is ready to eat. Though you pick the mango fruit early you can ripen them at room temperature by keeping it on a paper roll.
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