Mangoes have always been a part of our life in India. I used to get a dozen of mangoes just from my aunt every summer during my childhood. When I was a teen, we moved to a rural area where there were mango groves all around and I used to get two bags full of mangoes for 20 Rupees. Yeah I was a chubby kid (Even now Haahaa)! I have planted many of those seeds in pots and gave many to my friends who had some land space to grow.
Recently I asked our followers for any plant that they struggle and promised that I will posting a post on that. A follower responded that he is struggling with growing Mango Tree. In this post let us see on How to Grow a Mango tree at home as promised. I will be covering about growing the tree in ground part and will have a separate post on How to grow then in a pot.
You too can post about the plant you are struggling the most with and I will come up with a post for that plant. Comment them below or message me in whatsapp.
Mango trees (Mangifera indica) are deep-rooted plants that may become large specimens in the land. They are evergreen with glossy, dense foliage and their leaves have a very pleasant smell. They produce very sweet fruits that are sour when young and can be eaten in both stages. Really you should try some unripen mangoes with some chilli powder and some salt.
Mangoes are a strictly tropical fruit. They love the tropics. The best climate to grow mangoes is frost free with cool, dry winters and steamy, hot summers.
How to Grow Mangoes
Selection of varieties:
Mangoes come in different colours and sizes, have different flavours, and they ripen at slightly different times.
Growing different mango tree varieties keeps things interesting, but most importantly it stretches out the harvest time of this feast or famine fruit. You can eat fresh mango for a few months instead of only a few weeks!
There are many varieties that grow well in India. Choose your favourite variety. Apart from this there is another factor to consider that is the number of fruiting spells on a year. Usually the mango trees fruit annually but there are some varieties that fruits all around the year. The later are usually not that much tastier nor bigger in size. Choose according to your need.
There are two ways to get started: you can buy mango trees at a nursery or you can grow your own from seed. The seed grown trees will take a lot longer to bear fruit.
Mango trees that were grown in a nursery are usually grafted and should fruit within three to four years. Seedling trees may take six to eight years. Though here again variety selection makes a difference. Trees that are kept small will also fruit sooner.
How to get a mango sapling from Nursery
If you buy mango trees in a nursery don’t look just for size and colour. Have you ever tasted the variety you are about to buy? Mangoes vary widely in taste! True. And we all have different likes and dislikes. Some of the commercial varieties are bred for shelf life, size and looks, but are barely edible. So, know the variety you buy!
Secondly, if you plan to grow more than one mango tree, find out if it is an early or late fruiting variety. Don’t buy three trees that all fruit at the same time.
Thirdly, if you live in a cooler, subtropical area, make sure you get a variety that flowers well in those conditions. All mangoes will grow if your climate is frost free, but flowering habits depend on temperature and vary. And without flowers there will be little fruit.
And last but not least, especially if you live in an area where it may rain during the cooler time of the year, you should also look for a variety that shows good resistance to the mango disease anthracnose.
If you buy your mango trees you can skip the next section:
How to grow mangoes from seeds
This is pretty straight forward. Eat up all the flesh and dry up the seeds for 1-2 days. Then you can plant it directly or you can slit the hard seed cover and take the bean shaped bean inside it and germinate it in tissue paper or in soil.
Once you’ve opened the pit have a good look at the mango seed to check whether it’s viable. Store-bought mangoes have often traveled large distances which can sometimes result in a rotting or shriveled seed. If this is the case you’ll unfortunately have to buy a new fruit as this seed is unlikely to be able to produce a new tree.
The only draw-back in this method is the tree that is grown from seeds take 6-8 years to start fruiting. Some of us(Most of us) don’t have the patient to wait that long. You can always go to the below method.
How to grow Mangoes from a nursery sapling
Mango saplings that are sold in nurseries are grafted varieties. I’ll post a separate post on how to do mango grafting. For now I’ll let you know the benefits of growing mango tree from a grafted plant. These plants take less time to flower and to produce fruits. As I have mentioned already, it takes only 2-3 years for a grafted plant to produce fruits.
How to plant Mango
Preparing the site
Many of us can succeed up to this step. But we don’t usually care about the site we are planting. This is a very important step that we need to look upon. This is actually the first thing that you should take care of. For all those who struggle with the survival of the saplings this the solution for you.
- These are tropical plants and require nice sunlight for growth. So select a place where the plant gets good sunlight
- Dig a pit that is 2x2x2 feet deep and let it dry out for 20-40 days.
- While digging keep the top soil separately and the bottom soil separately
- If you have a very loose draining soil and don’t have very good water facility then add a thin layer of clay soil into the pit
- Then add at least 2 kg of boosted compost mix.
- How to make boosted Manure mix: Take 2kg of nicely composted manure/other organic wastes and add any of the microorganism booster like Neem/Groundnut/Sesame Cake, azospirillum, pseudomonas, Panja gaavya. Keep the mix for 15 days and Tada the all new boosted compost mix is ready
- If this is too much atleast add 2kg of Compost to the pit
- Add some red soil if available
- Now introduce the sapling and close the plant upto the grafted point using the top soil.
- Press the soil around the sapling firmly.
- Water the sapling gently. Only little water must be given at first or it would be like suffocation to the roots.
- Give 3 liters to the new plant daily.
- Until it reaches your hip have the plant covered with a structure like tree guard. This can protect the plant from heavy harsh light and from plant eating animals.
Okay as you now know of all the steps to follow while planting a sapling, lets find out on why should you follow all these steps.
- Digging the pit breaks down the soil and makes it easy for the young plant to root easily.
- The Boosted Compost Mixture helps the plant in its young stage. Your soil might not have the right pH or there might be one nutrition over saturated in it or your water might be hard and salty or the soil that comes with the sapling and your soil might vary hugely all these issues is normalized with this Compost mix.
- Pseudomonas will protect the plant from fungus attacks.
Though it might be a little work you are going to do this only one time. This is going to help the plant that is going to be living and providing you for years to come.
As I have said before don’t water the young plant abundantly. But water it regularly. As the plant grows so does its need for water. During fruiting season it might need 20-40 liters of water regularly. I am not saying that you should give it this much water but if you do it’ll repay you in multitude.
Flowering season for the plant starts from December (Atleast here in Tamil Nadu) and continues till February. Usually if you grow a mango tree from seed, it might take from 6-8 years to flower. But, if you have planted a grafted plant this might flower within very soon.
But according to experts It is advisable to cut the flower cones down. You might think that this is absurd. I know the whole point of getting a grafted plant from a nursery which is definitely costlier than growing from a seed is to get fruits faster. But, hear me out. Usually flowering puts any plant under huge stress. In case of grafted plant, it will not be mature enough. This you can easily tell from its trunk thickness.
So cutting the flowers upto 3 years increases the strength of the plant and this will help it in long run. I have personally not grown a mango tree but if I get to grow one I would surely wait 3 years and I recommend the same.
The fruits begin to appear within a week after flowering and it matures over 2-3 months and mangoes will be available for harvest starting from April according to the variety. According to the variety the ripened fruits may be available for harvesting till June
You can get the pleasant aroma of the fruit around the tree this I have experienced in my aunt’s house. As I said you can harvest it young and unripen or you can leave it in the tree. I think I don’t need to speak about this very much. People like mangoes in different stages and I leave this to your experimentation.
I am going to wrap up this post now. I know I haven’t yet spoken about Fertilizing and some other important stuff in this post. I am sorry but this post is getting longer and longer. So I’ll come up with a fresh post on the How to fertilize and How to solve the problems in growing Mangoes separately.
Do you have another great tip to add? Mention them below in the comments. Have questions? You can contact me through contact page or by clicking the WhatsApp Icon that is on the left side of the screen.
I am getting great responses from you guys. Thank you so much for all the support! Feel free to send your critics too.
Hope this post is useful to you. If you find this interesting share it with your circle lets spread some Organic Love!
Let us plant together and grow together!
This is a bilingual post. இதனை தமிழில் படிக்க இங்கே கிளிக் செய்யவும்.