Garcenia Indica (Mangosteen) shedding leaves

sujeetsanzgiri(11)September 18, 2013

Hi. I have a Mangosteen (Garcenia Indica; Kokum) plant which is about a year old. I bought it from a nursery as a graft. Of late I'm noticing that the plant has started shedding seemingly healthy leaves - they don't seem to show any signs of disease. I am worried because, to begin with, the plant does not have too many leaves. I have also noticed that in spite of the falling leaves, the plant is still showing new leaf growth in several places. Is this (leaf shedding) simply a normal thing for this plant or should I be worried? I live in India and we are currently experiencing a very wet monsoon.

Thanks for your advice!

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Have you tried posting on the Tropical Fruits forum on this website? A few people in that forum have tried to grow mangosteen. I think they are all in the US so the success rate is very low.

If this monsoon season is wetter for you than last year, it could be the reason why your tree drop healthy leaves. It happens when it's too wet. As long as the ground has good drainage (not staying soggy), your tree should recover. How well it will grow depends on if it likes your local climate.

Mangosteen really likes tropical climate. Only certain part of Thailand can grow mangosteen well. India is a lot larger country. Do you have anyone growing mangosteen successfully near you? That'll be your answer. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:21AM
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Hi Mamuang,

Thanks for your note. Yes, this particular variety of Mangosteen (Kokum) is pretty popular along certain coasts of India, and grows abundantly. I am not situated along the coasts though, so I'll have to figure out how much of a difference that makes to the plant.

You seem to be right with regards to the heavy rains causing the leaf shed. Now that the rain has significantly subsided, I am seeing minimal shedding and new shoots on the plant.

I also have a separate question on another tropical plant (and I will post to that forum too). Do you have any advise on the Rose Apple plant? (they call it Jaam locally here). This one I have grown from seed, is more than 8 years old, but no fruit. I've heard it can take this long for plants grown from seed to flower, but am I being too optimistic here? Is it that some plants may or may not ever bear fruit?


    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 2:53PM
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My sister has a rose apple tree. She bought it as a small grafted tree. It is seedless rose apple. It took about 3-4 years for that tree to start flowering and producing fruit. It looks like a self-fertile tree since there are no other rose apple trees in the neighborhood.

I don't know anyone growing rose apple from seeds so I don't know how long it will take to fruit.

Mangosteen grows well along the eastern coast of Thailand. By the time you get to Bangkok, 300 kilometers later in land, it does not grow that well anymore. It needs a lot of moisture that inland cannot provide.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:24PM
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You have the ultimate tropical fruit (Mangosteen); arguably the finest fruit in the world. I don't think you can have too much rain for a Mangosteen; they do best in the realm of tropical jungle where it rains 10-11 months per year. It needs a fair amount of fertilizer and a mountain of patience.
If left alone, a Mangosteen needs 16 years before it will produce its first fruit. There are "tricks" you can play on the tree to make it think a "year" is shorter; the fact is, naturally, it flushes once per year; and it needs 16 flushes before it will produce fruit. If you are interested in the "tricks", you should consult some of the commercial growers.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 8:14PM
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Thanks Mamuang and John for your suggestions.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 10:33AM
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