Grow Your Own Mangoes

GardeningGrowing

Celebrate National Mango Day by planning to cultivate your own mangoes. Select the right variety for your location and property, choose the perfect planting site, and plant properly to ensure a successful life for your tree.

July 22nd is National Mango Day! Celebrate by planning to cultivate your own mangoes. It’s too hot to plant right now, but you can start thinking about placement and variety selection and finding a nursery that you trust. Enjoy future National Mango Days with your very own harvest!

Where in Florida can mangoes grow?

As a tropical plant, mangoes have no trouble growing in South Florida, safe from freezing temps. The favored place to cultivate these trees is along the southeastern and southwestern coasts. However, they can be grown along the southern coast of Lake Okeechobee and in protected locations as far north as Merritt Island.

If you live farther north, there is still some hope. Mangoes can be grown in containers but must be moved indoors in the cold. Trees, fruits, and flowers are susceptible to damage or being killed when exposed to cold or freezing temperatures for even a few hours.

Best Varieties

There are at least 500 mango varieties found around the world and likely many more! How to choose the best variety to cultivate? We suggest selecting popular types that are known to do well in your area. Look for healthy, well-developed, grafted plants from your local nursery.

Mango trees can grow 30 to even 100 feet tall. Choose a larger variety only if you have room for it; there are plenty of great dwarf and semi-dwarf options for compact spaces.

Varieties also display differences in tree vigor. Low to moderate vigor varieties are much easier to manage than high vigor types.

Smaller Spaces

Plenty of mango varieties are ideal for container growing (perhaps in an entryway or patio) or planting in a small yard. The following are compact and disease-resistant:

  • Ice Cream: Low vigor, dwarf tree; 6 feet tall; 8- to 9-ounce fruits
  • Fairchild: Low vigor; can be kept at 8 feet or less; 12- to 16-ounce fruits
  • Carrie: High vigor but small stature; produces 10- to 12-ounce fruits
  • Cogshell: Low to medium vigor, semi-dwarf tree; 8 feet tall; 10- to 16-ounce fruits

Large Trees

If a large, fast-growing tree appeals to you, choose from a few popular varieties. Haden, Palmer, and Kent are high vigor trees producing fruits ranging from 16 to 30 ounces.

Cold-Tolerance

If you are trying to grow mangoes in northern parts of Florida, chose a more cold-tolerant variety. Glenn is a solid choice, with medium vigor and fruits as large as 18 ounces! It will grow 15 feet tall but can easily be kept to 10 feet.

Site Selection

Choose a site that receives full sun, where the property does not flood after summer rains, and where the plant will not grow too close to your home, other trees, or power lines. If your property tends to remain wet after rains, consider planting on a mound.

Proper Planting

Once you have selected your planting site, prepare it for planting.

  1. Dig a hole three times as deep and 3 to 4 times as wide as the container’s diameter. This loosens the surrounding soil and will allow the roots to grow with ease. 
  2. Adding topsoil or compost to the hole is not necessary, but if you’d like to do so, mix it with the excavated soil at up to a 50:50 ratio. 
  3. Plant the tree so that the soil from the container is slightly higher or just even with the surrounding soil. This will require backfilling the hole a bit.
  4. Fill the rest of the hole, packing slightly to remove air pockets from around the roots.
  5. Water immediately. Water every other day for the first week, then a couple of times a week for the first two months.

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