Mangos are by far the easiest and one of the tastiest tropicals to grow. There are several varieties of Mangos out there each with their own unique characteristics. I recommend the Glenn Mango because of its cold hardiness and its ability to fruit even in a pot. When choosing a mango make sure the tree was not grown from seed. Mangos grown from seed are known to take 8 years or more to produce a first fruit and often the fruit can be bitter or stringy. Professional growers sell only grafted trees so that you will get mangos the first year you plant.
Direct sunlight and lots of warmth are a mangos best friend. When choosing a location, whether in a container or in the ground, try to choose a place with the most hours of sunlight possible. If the container will be indoors, place it near a window. When choosing a location in the ground, avoid low areas or areas that tend to flood. Mangos like to be on higher, drier ground for better drainage.
Once you have chosen the best spot for your tree, begin to dig a hole that’s three times as wide as the pot your tree came in, and just as deep. Take a pitchfork or shovel and loosen the soil around the sides of the hole. Remove any debris, like dirt clumps, grass, or rocks. Remove the plastic container from your tree’s roots and gently comb through the roots. Next, place your tree in the hole, and make sure that it’s level with the surrounding ground, and that it is standing straight up.
Give the tree around one to two liters of water to help it adjust to its new home. Being a tropical plant, Mangos prefer loose sandy soil that is on the acidic side. To achieve this, mix in a little sand into the hole along with a bag of acidic planting mix. The acidic planting mix will have lots of potassium to make your mangos taste more flavorful.
Mangos are rarely ever thirsty. The most common mistake gardeners make with this tree is over watering. For the first 6 weeks after planting water only once every three days. After that you can back off to once a week and then every two weeks over the winter. During the hot months of summer your tree may need a bit more water than over the spring or fall.
DON’T USE CHEMICAL FERTILIZER! Mangos are easily burnt by fertilizers high in ammonium nitrate. The best fertilizer is a natural, organic one with mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial bacteria. If you want to know a little gardening secret that the Indians used to do that works wonders on mangos, bury a fish touching the roots of your plant. The fish contains lots of nutrient crucial to a mango in its first years.
Weeds steal vital nutrients from the plants around them. The best way to keep weeds at bay and help your tree grow is with pine bark. Placing a one-inch thick layer three feet around the base of your tree will stop the weeds. Also another bonus is as the pine bark decomposes, it will raise the acidity of your soil naturally!
On a mango tree the fruit forms at the ends of the branches. Because pruning causes the tree to put on more lateral branches, pruning will give you more mangos. Mangos are very forgiving so don’t be afraid to prune them, but don’t go crazy and scalp the thing. Your goal when pruning should be to form an open crown so that light and air can penetrate to the middle of the tree. This will reduce the risk of fungus and diseases. The best time of year to prune your mango tree is right after the harvest; but in cooler areas you will be better off pruning just before the mango starts to flower.
Mangos are excellent self-pollinators and will produce fruit by themselves. If you want to double your yield it is recommended to plant a second mango and encourage bees and other pollinators to come to your trees.