We had a lovely letter from one of our readers, Noel Wormald from Sandstone Point! Please email the editor if you have any questions at all about plants, landscaping and general gardening. I will be happy to answer your questions in the next issue. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Noel writes in to explain that he planted a mango tree in a fairly large pot plant container 3 or 4 years ago. Noel was amazed when the potted mango actually produced fruit this year, some developing fruits did drop off, but he states there are still five fruits growing on his tree and he is not sure if they will mature at all. Noel also states that he has not seen before or heard of a mango tree in a pot.
Well, thanks Noel, for writing in and letting us know of your potted mango tree indeed. I can confirm though, and with the modern varieties now available, it is surely possible to have a long-term mango tree growing in a pot. I am not sure whether your tree was planted by a seed or you purchased a grafted cultivar from a nursery, but the fact you have kept it alive and healthy over the last few years and the fact it has now fruited is a real testament to you. When planting and potting up grafted mango trees, the general rule of thumb is if they flower and set fruit in the 1st year, its best to cut all the flowers off to give the tree a chance to grow and establish a stronger framework of branches. In the 2nd year of flowering, you trim some of the flowering heads off to try and limit the fruits formation, with the aim to harvest 3 full size mangos, and in the 3rd year, generally the trees tend to drop any fruits it can’t handle. In regard to your tree, Noel, it sounds like it has matured enough to sustain growing three to five- full size fruits, as its nearly 4 years in the pot. And like dwarf citrus plants, they tend to drop fruits It can’t handle naturally. There are some new dwarf and semi dwarf varieties available to purchase now and both suitable for the subtropics, one called ‘Dwarf Irwin Mango’ and another called ‘Glenn Mango’ and they are resistant to the bacterial black spot disease. These would definitely suit pot culture also. I wish you the best of luck on your anticipated harvest, and thanks for sharing your story with us- at the local, Island and Surrounds!