Fruit trees

Mango care

The tree that I am going to tell you about next is a fruit plant that reaches considerable dimensions. So much so that it reaches a height of about thirty meters with a crown diameter of up to six meters; In other words, we are facing a perfect tree to protect ourselves from the sun.

Let’s learn what is the care of the mango.

Origin and characteristics of mango

Mango is scientifically known by the name of Mangifera indica and is native to India and Indochina. Its leaves are evergreen (although they can fall if the winter is cool, and then sprout again in spring), lanceolate, green in color and with a very visible midrib as it is a paler green. The flowers are grouped together with inflorescences called panicles, which sprout in spring. The fruit is a large drupe (up to 5 centimeters long by 3-4 centimeters wide) with not too fine reddish-green skin and yellow, fleshy and edible flesh or pulp.

It has a medium rate of growth, which means that it is neither too fast nor too slow. In general, it can grow 10-15cm a year, especially if the weather is good.

It is widely cultivated in all tropical regions: Costa Rica, Cuba, and even in Spain it can be found in southern Andalusia, specifically in Granada and Malaga. Also in botanical or private gardens it is common to see some in these areas, including those of the Canary archipelago. In the Balearic Islands there are some isolated orchards that they also have, being found in localities that, due to their geographical location, have a warmer microclimate than that found in other municipalities, and a land very rich in nutrients.

What is the care of the mango?

If you dare to have a mango tree, we recommend providing it with the following care:

Weather

First of all, it is important to know in what climate or climates you could live, otherwise we would run the risk of spending money for nothing. Thus, the mango is a tropical species, which we find especially in the rain forests. For this reason, it will only grow without problems in a warm climate without thermal variations.

But… if you want to have one in a slightly cool climate (with somewhat cool temperatures in winter), I recommend the Mango Gomera 3 variety. I have one myself and it has withstood the cold reasonably well under the plastic (we have had lows of up to -2º).

Earth

  • Garden: it must be fertile, with good drainage. We must avoid planting it in compact soils, otherwise its roots could end up suffocating.
  • Pot: it is not a tree to have in a pot throughout its life, but it can be grown there for several years. Fill it with mulch mixed with 30% perlite or similar.

Irrigation

Mango is a tree that wants a lot of water, but without overdoing it. Depending on the climate and location, for example in very hot and dry places, you may need watering every 2-3 days in summer, and every 6-8 days the rest of the year.

On the contrary, if it rains frequently and on a regular basis, the frequency of irrigation will be much lower since the plant receives the water it needs from said rainfall.

Likewise, it is important to bear in mind that, if it is grown in a pot, if a plate is placed under it, the excess water must be removed after each watering. Thus, the risk of root asphyxia will be reduced.

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During spring and summer it is highly advisable to fertilize it every week or fortnight with a nutrient-rich and fast-effective fertilizer such as guano (on sale here ). In autumn and winter, as it is hardly growing, you can also add a little slow-release fertilizer, such as compost or cow manure, once a month.

Multiplication

Image – Wikimedia/ Alejandro Bayer Tamayo from Armenia, Colombia

Mango is multiplied by seeds in spring, sowing them in individual pots with seedbed substrate and keeping them near a source of heat.

At a commercial level, propagation by grafting is used more because it is faster and because specimens with a higher production of high quality fruits are obtained.

Mango pests

It is fairly hardy in general, but can be attacked by mealybugs, fruit flies, and flower moths. They can be prevented by treating it with insecticidal oil in winter, or treating with potassium soap or neem oil.

Diseases

Sensitive to powdery mildew, anthracnose, fusarium and alternaria fungi ; as well as Botryodiplodia and Xanthomonas bacteria. The former are treated with fungicides, whereas for bacteria, unfortunately there is no treatment.

Symptoms of fungal diseases are:

  • Black or whitish spots on the leaves
  • Fruit rot
  • The plant does not grow
  • Root asphyxia

And of the bacteria:

  • colored mosaics in the leaves and fruits
  • yellowish spots on the leaves (not to be confused with chlorosis )
  • leaf deformation

Pruning

You don’t really need it. You just have to remove the branches that you see that are sick, weak or that have been broken for example after a strong wind gust.

Planting or transplanting time

In spring, when the temperature is 15ºC or more. If you have it in a pot, transplant it every 2-3 years.

Rusticity

It resists cold, but not frost (except for exceptions, such as the Gomera 3, which can hold up to -2ºC as long as they are specific and short-term frosts). The minimum annual temperature should not be less than 10ºC anyway.

What uses is it given?

The handle has several uses, which are:

Ornamental

It is a very decorative plant. It looks great as an isolated specimen, in large gardens.

Culinary

Without a doubt, it is its main use. The fruits, once peeled, can be eaten directly, either as a snack… or even as a dinner . It has a sweet but mild flavor, very pleasant if it is already ripe (if it is green it is more acidic).

Mango benefits

This fruit, in addition to being delicious, has many benefits for humans:

  • It is rich in vitamins A, C and E, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium
  • Take care of the eyes, thanks to vitamin A
  • It is digestive
  • It is interesting to take care of the skin in case of acne. For this, the pulp is applied and left for about 10 minutes
  • Helps to gain weight, because for every 100 grams it has about 75 calories

And you, do you have a mango?

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