Tropical Fruit Trees


Mango trees have been cultivated and grafted for hundreds of years.  Grafting used to be a secret of royalty to compete with each other to develop the best fruit possible.  Mango trees are evergreens whose leaves make excellent mulch.  Ancient mangos tasted like turpentine and had lots of strings or fibers.  The new varieties are much superior in that regard, tasting like coconut, lemon, ice cream, vanilla, etc.  You want to get a grafted tree.  Trees grown from seed may produce junk fruit while some may be wonderful.  You’ll find out only after a few years of waiting for fruit.  The best are always grafted and you can see the scar around the trunk at the base of the tree.  Nom Doc Mai from Thailand is one ancient mango that delivers delicious fruit, one limb at a time, over the course of the year, providing long, manageable supplies rather than a bunch of fruit for 6 weeks.  Mango trees can’t take temps of freezing or below.

First planting a young tree…. water every 3 days the first month, then every week for 3 months.  Thereafter water only during extremely dry spells when the tree is NOT fruiting.  Don’t water or fertilize while in bloom or fruiting.  Do not let small trees keep any fruit to maturity for 2 or 3 years.  Let all the energy go to growth of the tree.  FERTILIZER:  For the first 3 years mix a level tablespoon of 12-5-9 or Palm Special fertilizer per foot of height should be mixed in a gallon of warm water and scattered under the tree into damp soil, not dry and not wet soil in the fall.  After age 3 start using 4-4-8 with trace elements (or the Palm Special), 1/4 cup in the same way once a year after fruit harvest, in the fall.  Mango needs less fertilizer than your lawn per square foot around the tree.  Thats right, less than your lawn.  SPRAYING:  Maybe you’ll never need spray on your mango trees.  But if you see a light gray powdery substance on the blooms, grab some sulfur or Neem Oil and spray away.  Sulfur and Neem Oil can be bought at your local garden center or ordered online at  Sulfur is going to be superior to Neem Oil, but Neem Oil is organic.  If you see black stuff all over the leaves and young fruit, spray with Liquid Copper.  Repeat these sprays every couple of weeks till you get it under control.

Copyright © The South Florida Garden Show - Produced by Universal Media Enterprises, Inc.