Plants

Problems in growing Mango and how to solve them

Problems in growing Mango and how to solve them
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First of all thanks for the huge response for the first post on How to grow mango organically. I also received some questions and requests that are answered in this post. This post is about the common problems faced in growing mangoes and how to solve them. I have also mentioned that I will be sharing all the extra content in this post about caring and maintaining Mango Trees.

Mango varieties

“What does mango varieties have to do with this post?” you might wonder. This is yet another request from our blog fan as I left the selection up to you people in the last post. So let us cover this as well. Here are some well-known varieties that you may have a crush upon.

Mango stall 1
Pic by: P. L. Tandon
  • Senthura
  • Karutha kozhunban
  • Vellai Kozhumban
  • Banganapalli
  • Malgova
  • Rumani
  • Thirukuni
  • Vilatu
  • Ambalavi
  • Sembattaan
  • Selam
  • Paandi
  • Kalaikatti
  • Pachathinni
  • Kodi maa
  • Mathala kaaichi
  • Nadu Saalai
  • Sindu
  • Themaa
  • Pulimaa
  • Keththamaar
  • Maavil niilam
  • Bengaloora
  • Alphonsa
  • Paththar
  • Mallika
  • Rathnaa
  • Seemennai Puttikaai
  • Thothaburi

Among these varieties like Sindu and Maliga are seedless. In Tamil Nadu varieties like Alphonsa, Banganapalli and Thothaburi are widely grown in Pondicherry, Vizhupuram and Kanichipuram.

What is your favorite variety? Have I left any variety out? Let me know in it comments.

Common Problems in Mango trees

Now let us dig in to our main topic. We can categorize these problems in to two major divisions. First one would be the pests and diseases and the other one would be the problems related to flowering, fruiting and growth.

Pests

Hoppers (Idioscopus clypealis, Idioscopus nitidulus and Amritodus atkinson)

These little buggers sit on the flowers and suck out the sap from them. This results in falling of the flowers. This can be solved by spraying a mix of neem oil and water in the ratio of 100ml:10 Litres. Spray this mix on leaves, branches, trunk and flowers for best results using a sprayer.

Mango Planthopper - Colgaroides acuminata
Hopper
pic by: Rundstedt B. Rovillos

Spraying time: Spray it during flowering season twice with a 15 day gap.

Aphids, Scales and Mealy Bugs

You can follow the same procedure as above for these too

Mealybug on the undersurface of mango leaves
Mealy bugs
Pic by: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

Inflorescence Midge (Erosomyia indica)

The midge infests and damages the crop in three different stages. The first attack is at the floral bud burst stage. The eggs are laid on newly emerging inflorescence; the larvae tunnel the axis and thus destroy the inflorescence completely. The mature larvae make small exit holes in the axis of the inflorescence and slip down into the soil for pupation. When the tender fruits are attacked they slowly turn yellow and finally drop. The third attack is on tender new leaves encircling the inflorescence. The most damaging one is the first attack in which the entire inflorescence is destroyed even before flowering and fruiting. The inflorescence shows stunted growth and its axis bends at the entrance point of the larvae.

The best way to control this is to cut of the highly infested areas and to spray neem oil. The azadiractin in neem oil helps in getting rid of these pests for good.

FruitFlies:

Fruitfly (Daccus dorsalis;, D. zonatus and D. correctus): The oriental fruitfly is one of the most serious pests of mango in the country, which has created problem in the export of fresh fruits. The female punctures the outer wall of the mature fruits with the help of its pointed ovipositor and insert eggs in small clusters inside the mesocarp of mature fruits. After hatching, the larva feeds on the pulp of fruit which appears normal from outside, but drops down finally. The mature maggots fall down into the soil for pupation. The emergence of fruitfly starts from April onwards and the maximum population is recorded during May- July, which coincides with fruit maturity. The population declines slowly from August to September after that it is non-existent up to March.

Control: Collect the fruits that fall under the tree that are infested and burn them. Spray neem cake mixed in water every 15 days (Twice)starting from the beginning of the fruiting season.

Shoot Borer (Chlumetia transversa): 

This pest is found all over the country. Larvae of this moth bore into the young shoot resulting in dropping of leaves and wilting of shoots. Larvae also bore into the inflorescence stalk. Female moths lay egg on tender leaves. After hatching, young larvae enter the midrib of leaves and then enter into young shoots through the growing points by tunneling downwards.

Control: Remove parts of bark up to 1m from ground and paint some neem oil mix in the trunk. fix the bark and close the wound with clay.

Diseases

Powdery Mildew:

The symptoms of this disease is the leaves trun to grayish color. You can control it by spraying Arappu Mor Karaisal

Mango powdery mildew 1b
Pic by: Scot Nelson

Spots on Leaves:

The symptoms include formation of black spots on leaves. To control this you can spray Themor Karaisal thrice in 15 days interval before harvesting.

Sooty Mould:

The symptoms include formation of a black layer on leaves surfaces. Spraying neem oil can help to control this disease

leaf spot fungal disease on mango
Black spots on leaves
pic by: Paula Diaz

Problems related to flowering, fruiting and growth

Now let us enter into our second category and see the solutions for them

Falling of Flowers:

Mango trees shed flowers all the time. It is just a natural process so there is no need for you to worry if your tree does the same. In average only 4-6 flowers set fruits all other will fall eventually. But you know it is a problem when there are no flowers left in the tree or the tree does not set flowers at all.

The reason for this is the lack of nutrition in trees. The tree sucks the nurtrition from ground through roots which then is transported through the trunk and branches and then to the flowers. There might not be enough strength in the tree for the whole process.

Solution:

  • You can mix 20ml EM solution/ Arappu Mor karaisal/ Panchagaavyam in 1l water.
  • Spray this mix once in every 6-8 days in such a way that it drips of the leaves
  • Spray this only at evening so that it may soak up the whole night.

Is your tree not producing any fruits for a long time? Or only one section of tree flowers and other parts don’t flower or fruit? You can try spraying this and then share the result with me(here).

Falling of Fruits:

The reason for this is the same as above : the lack of nutrition. For this you can spray the above mentioned mix until the mango grows to a size of a pea.

Once the mango is thicker than your fingers you can spray panchagavya/Fish Amino and EM in between them. This helps in proper growth of mango and to save it from diseases.

How do these solution work?

As I mentioned earlier the tree spends enormous amount of energy to suck up the nutrients from soil and to transport them to the flowers. These spray encourages the leaves to boost their photosynthesis, thereby producing and distributing the needed energy for the flowers then and there.

Nutrition through soil:

All the methods that we have seen till now is how to provide nutrition through leaves. That process is a bit tedious so you can alternate it with providing the nutrition through soil. This can be done in 2:1 ratio(Through soil: through Leaves)

Mix Fish Amino/Panchagaavya/Jeevaamirtham/EM solution (whatever that is readily available to you) with water and use that water to water the platns. Do this twice a day in morning and in evening.

This helps in production of extra mangoes. While doing this you can cut the weeds that grow by the sides and use it as mulch. This helps in water management as well as in boosting beneficial microbes.

Pruning:

For the tree to be healthy and productive you have to do yet another thing for it. Yes you guessed it its PRUIING. The best time for pruning is September when there is rain. The tree must have produced a harvest the previous March-May and will be exhausted.

Now it will prepare itself for the next harvest by producing more new leaves and branches. During this process the tree takes huge amount of stress.

So find out the branches that have produced fruits the previous season and prune them as they won’t be producing fruits thereafter. In mango trees the trunk will split into three branches and those will again split into three more branches and this goes on. The idea is to have only 1-2 branches out of three.

Plan it in such a way that the branch that is cut must provide gap for air circulation and for sunlight. You can decide this by looking from inside the canopy.

The important thing you must do after pruning is to water the tree. Then fertilize it with natural compost at least once in four weeks. This helps in growth of new branches. You can prune only the tree that are older than 5 years. You can prune them annually for better yield and health of the tree.

That is all I had to say and that is all what you requested. I hope I have covered all of your doubts and requests. Do you have some other doubts? Tell it in the comments or WhatsApp me by clicking the WhatsApp icon on the left side. Do you have another great tip to add? Mention them below in the comments

I am getting great responses from you guys. Thank you so much for all the support!

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.

2 thoughts on “Problems in growing Mango and how to solve them

  1. I have a mango tree it’s Himayat every year when we pick the fruit to eat it is full of worms and we are unable to eat. Kindly help me find a solution for it.

    1. Hi Kavita. Worms in mangoes are mostly maggots of fruit flies. If the mangoes are formed then, pick them well before ripening and use them in some dishes. To prevent fruit flies follow the solution mentioned in the post. I hope this is useful and all the very best! You will be doing great don’t worry.

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