Directions on how to plant a mango tree
Mango trees prefer to be planted outdoors in a warm sunny position. To plant dig a hole in the soil bigger than the root ball itself and place the tree right in. Cover with soil and give it a good water.
There are over 500 varieties of mangoes worldwide but in Australia, Kensington Pride (Bowen) and Calypso are among the most common. Trees are mostly sold as grafted saplings but some varieties can be grown from the seed. With mango seeds, you’re in it for the long run as they usually take around eight years to produce fruit while grafted saplings take three to five.
Recipe: Steak with Mango & Wasabi
Troubleshooting mango trees
Mangoes are a favourite for fruit bats so as soon as you notice fruit on your trees tie a plastic bag around the fruit to help protect them.
Fruit flies are also a common problem for mango trees, the plastic bag method above will also help keep them away.
Mangoes are susceptible to Anthracnose – a fungal disease causing black spots on leaves and fruit. To avoid plant in an area with good air circulation and don’t wet the foliage. Be sure to prune off affected parts, bag them and put them in the garbage bin to prevent the spread of the fungal spores.
Mango trees like to be kept well-watered from spring to autumn but water sparingly in late winter, before the onset of flowering. Younger trees are needier than the more established trees that don’t require much watering.
Mangoes can be harvested depending on your taste preference, generally, when their skin turns yellow or orange they are ready but for some recipes, green mangoes are called for. The fruit is generally ripe around 100 to 150 days after flowering.
Pruning mango trees
Mango trees are extremely hardy and require next to no effort - this includes pruning. Leave them be and they will thrive without any pruning.
Feeding mango trees
Fertilise your mango tree in the warmer months to promote new growth and a strong stem. Be wary not to over fertilise young trees and use a good mulch around the base of the tree to protect it from drying out too quickly.
How to grow a mango tree from a cutting
- Using a sharp pair of secateurs cut a 6-8 inch branch off from a mother tree. Removing all leaves.
- Fill a jar with water and a tiny amount of rooting hormone and place the branch in the water.
- Remove the branch every day to air it out and change the water every three days. You will notice white nodes appearing this is the new growth.
- When a few leaves have sprouted place the cutting in the soil in a small pot. Cover with a plastic bag until more leaves grow.
- When the cutting looks more established plant in soil in a warm, sunny position and leave to thrive.
How to grow from a mango seed
- Simply cut the mango husk open and remove the seed from inside.
- Plant in a small pot and cover with soil.
- Leave in a warm position watering every couple of days until shoots form.
- Sprouting may occur as soon as 14 days.
Remember that it can take between three and six years for new plants to produce fruit.