Subtropical fruit such as mango are huge trees that do not suit the modern garden. The recent release of dwarf forms has made these fruits more attainable for smaller gardens.

Mature mango trees can reach 15m tall and may be even wider but in recent years mangoes have become smaller as grafting onto dwarf rootstock has reduced their size and spread to be more in keeping with smaller modern suburban backyards. It is also possible to control tree size and spread with regular pruning. Dwarf trees reach about 3m in height. Mangoes crop in spring and summer but ripening may be delayed in cooler zones.

Growing conditions

Aspect Mango need a bright, sunny location with shelter from strong winds. Ideally, they should have sun from the morning onwards but can tolerate a little afternoon shade especially in summer and should be protected from cold and frost. Evening temperatures need to be over 10C for successful crop formation in mango. Windy conditions when fruit is forming can cause fruit drop and a drastic reduction in crop size.

Soil Mango grow in a wide range of soils but grow best with good drainage in deep, fertile soils. They grows best with a pH of between 5.5 and 7. Keep soil well mulched. In containers use a high quality potting mix such as Seasol Advanced Potting Mix. It’s ready to use mix means that you don’t have to add anything additional to it. Remember to water in with Seasol to help reduce transplant shock and aid plant establishment.

Climate These are subtropical plants that do best in warm, frost-free locations and are well suited to gardens in warm coastal climates. In cool areas, grow in a warm micro-climate.

General care

Watering Adequate and regular watering is critical for fruit formation and development. Lack of water can lead to loss of flowers or fruit. Deep water at least weekly especially when plants are in new growth, flowering or fruiting. Water more frequently if plants are in hot, dry or exposed conditions or if they are growing in containers. If soil or potting mix starts to repel water (pools on top or runs off the soil) then it may need a soil water such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter and Conditioner to allow the water to penetrate through the soil down to the plant’s roots.

Feeding and mulching Feed every season through the growing season (spring to autumn) with a complete fertiliser for fruiting plants such as Seasol plus Nutrients Fruit & Citrus. Additional apply a liquid fertiliser such as PowerFeed PRO SERIES Flowers, Fruit & Citrus every 2 to 4 weeks especially during flowering and fruiting. Protect the soil with a 5-7cm layer of coarse organic mulch enriched with well-rotted manure, which helps keep the soil evenly moist and weed free. Keep nearby grass well mown.

Pruning Mangoes need little pruning other than ensuring and open shape to assist fruit ripening.

Watch out Birds, bats and other animals such as rats and possums can attack fruit. Insect pests include scales, which are controlled with EarthCare Enviro Pest Oil insect spray and fruit fly, which can be prevented from attacking the crop by bagging fruit and by using organic fruit fly lures.

Poorly drained conditions can lead to root rot diseases including phytophthora so always plant these trees in well-drained soils.

Diseases that affect particularly mango fruit include anthracnose and black spot. These diseases affect fruit quality and can lead to fruit drop. Apply an organic fungicide at flowering and as fruit develops.