Caring for a new, skinny mango tree !

jofus(9b/10a Englewood, Fl)February 19, 2013

I just last week purchased a small Maha Chinook mango tree in a 7 gal pot. I promptly replanted it into a big clay pot that must be 15 gal or so. ( See pic )
My goal is to keep this tender tree healthy in that pot for at least 4 months.
Am new at trying to keep small trees, plants healthy for long periods while in a pot. Last year had a disaster with crotons,..after 4 in a row died, I gave up.
So, as far as this young mango tree is concerned, - how often to water it ? How often to fertilize it ? Only 4 months, but with my track record, am apprehensive . Thanks !

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Mangoes don't like to dry out. Keep the soil moist (but not wet). They appreciate being spritzed with water as they normally thrive in warm, humid conditions. They do well in pots and are not heavy feeders.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:24PM
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jofus(9b/10a Englewood, Fl)

Tradition : Thanks for the advise, will do as you suggest. Have to believe small mango trees in pots are not as sensitive as crotons,..hope so anyway ! ( smile )

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 1:22PM
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It will be fine. I have one (of unknown parentage) that's about 6 feet tall. It has been in the same 15 gallon pot for 5 years now. Is only just beginning to show a few tiny mangoes.
I got it from a co-worker who stuck some seeds into the pots and got them to grow. He had too many, and his wife made him dump a few.
I did not want to put in in the ground without knowing how big it gets, and it has stayed in the pot since.
It has been totally neglected, rarely getting any water and, so far, no fertilizer. Despite that, its trunk has slowly thickened.
Since I got interested in mango trees some months ago, I plan to take better care of it and see what it produces. Don't expect the little mangoes to grow enough to eat, but do plan to prune its leggy limbs to produce more branches. Also to water and fertilize it more regularly!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 3:36PM
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alys_esmond(9b Orlando)

Looks great!

Just keep in mind that if you have an emotional attachment to that pot you're not likely to be able to remove the tree without smashing the pot if the tree ever becomes root-bound.

And if today's mango transplanting is anything to go by, you're going to want to break the pot FIRST without even trying to move the tree's roots. My husband was very helpful carrying the 50lb tree potted tree that I've grown from a pit to its new home in the garden. He dug the hole too! Then, as I was taking a breath to say "let me loosen it from the pot!" he grabbed it by its (admittedly, very stout) trunk and heaved it from the pot with a RRRRRIPPPP! I now have a very droopy looking tree in the ground. We will have to wait and see to what degree he's root-pruned the poor thing.

I do disagree with keeping the soil moist. Mine was thriving in its pot with very little soil watering, weekly if it was lucky. It did receive a daily leaf-misting catching the aerosolized water and humidity from the flowerbed's misters, but little or none of that moisture got to its soil.

You can see the mango in its glory days to the right between the blue planter and yellow daisies. .

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 8:45PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I too have to agree with alys about mango trees not liking its roots/soil moist all the time...especially if you use potting soil that's heavy and has a lot of peat that holds a lot of water...they prefer porous and fast draining soil... I only water mine about once a week or so. I let it "slightly" get dry (not bone dry)...but I don't keep it wet/moist all the time. I've lost a couple of potted mango trees to root rot because the soil stayed too wet/moist. Just my personal experience with mine.

Alys, love your mango tree, nice a bushy and what a good looking dog!

I hope your mango tree makes it hubby did that once to a tree when he was helping me transplant it,lol...good intentions with not so good results...good luck!

Jofus, may I ask why you're waiting 4 months to plant it?

I wish I could plant my Maha in the ground too...but I think I'll try and keep this one in a pot for a while. I have too many planted out already,lol...

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 8:19AM
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jofus(9b/10a Englewood, Fl)

StPete, Alys & Puglvr, thanks for your informative comments. Have to agree, my entire focus was somehow diverted to that healthy, great looking dog. What kind is it ? Age ?
Where was I ? Oh yeah, my Maha Chanook mango tree. The reason i was going to leave it in a pot for 4 months was because I intended to plant it where my last Tropic Beauty peach is now. Was going to let that tree have its promising-looking harvest in May/June, then dig it up and plant the Maha there,..tossing the Tropic Beauty out. Just getting a bit crowded back there is all !
However, all that has changed since reading the last two blurbs. I do like that pot and never thought about messing up the Maha's rootball. Soooo, have scrutinized the backyard carefully just now, and will plant the Maha immediately in a raised bed I was saving for some future Goldfinger banana plants.
Am so glad I ventured this question awhile ago,..all youse guys have saved me some grief I didn't need. Will keep the Tropic Beauty, have to start looking for a nice, frienfly dog ! ( smile )

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:14AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Jofus,

I'm glad you found the perfect spot for your Maha...I will be so envious once yours starts to grow. It will grow much faster planted in the ground than my potted one will. But, just to let you know I've read a couple of Maha owners that say it took theirs a while to show signs of new growths after they planted it (comment was made about it looking like a plastic plant for while,lol...)...something about it concentrating on roots first then a few months later new growths started...just wanted to let you know so you don't wonder why its just "sitting" there looking pretty and not doing anything,lol...BUT, you never know, yours might start growing a few weeks after you plant it, after all its Spring, the best time to plant a tree :o) They do have a mind of their own.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 1:14PM
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jofus(9b/10a Englewood, Fl)

Hey puglvr, thanks for the tip,..haven't noticed any growth whatsoever on my Maha Chinook, - nice to know thats not abnormal. I read somewhere that their mature height is around 15 ft, and a width the same.
By the way, did that bulge in your new Maha Chinook, that looked like a possible fruiting, turn out to be anything interesting ?
My Maha is planted, now just to sit back and watch what happens. The other, older mango trees will no doubt be keeping me on my toes this spring and summer. Hope your Glenn produces lots of tasty fruits as well.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 7:56PM
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alys_esmond(9b Orlando)

Isn't it amazing how it is always possible to find room in a garden that doesn't have any room for anything else? (evil grin). My lawn keeps getting smaller and smaller as the beds/plantings expand.

Rayne is a 4 year old fawn sable German Shepherd Dog we rescued from the Orange County SPCA. She is, unfortunately, our special needs child; she is hyperphobic, and hyperaggressive, but we've managed to get her to the point that she'll listen to us and trust us to deal with the scary things. The picture was of our poor, neglected dog who is forced to use a hand-towel as her only cushion (her doggy bed, her love seat, her sun lounger and the guest bed that's now Rayne's bed notwithstanding)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:08PM
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jofus(9b/10a Englewood, Fl)

Hey, That's puglvrs favorite saying,..." There's always room for one more ! "
Alys, such a gorgeous doggie, sorry to hear of his problems. However, I think a thief would be ill-advised
to go sneaking around in your backyard at 2 A.M., right ? lol

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:55AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Definitely a cute the story of his favorite hand towel as his bed and cushion,lol...too funny!

Jofus... as of right now...nothing is going on with what "might" be new growth or possible blooms? I now understand what they are talking about looking/acting like a plastic mango tree, Ha! It has done absolutely nothing since I repotted it...but I won't complain at least its still alive :o) I will keep you updated "if" it ever decides to show me what it actually will be continued!

Glad you got it all planted...maybe I should bring this one to your property (never hurts to have 2 Maha's) and you can care for it for me and we can split the mangoes 50/50...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Alys, so true ....
"Isn't it amazing how it is always possible to find room in a garden that doesn't have any room for anything else? (evil grin). My lawn keeps getting smaller and smaller as the beds/plantings expand."

These days I look at my back yard and wonder, "do I really need that stretch of grass?" !!!

You'd think 6 mangos, a mandarin, a lychee, a lemon, 6 variegated gingers, 8 ti plants, 8 crape myrtles and dozens of hibiscus, crotons and scheffleras are enough ...

But no, the itch to plant more things remains.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 1:21PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Lol...SO very true! If my weather was more like yours Stpete...I would plant at least 10 more Lychee and Mango trees, I would also add a Jackfruit too :o)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 2:05PM
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