fertilizer and flowering mango trees

marinfla(10 South Florida)January 10, 2011

Up until the first cold snap we had the first week of December I was feeding my trees with half strength miracle grow 2 to 4 times a month. I have not since the cold snap. I started wondering if this was the right idea. My Glenn, Cogshall, Pickering, Po Pyu Kalay, and Carrie are all in full bloom. My Lancetilla has lots of buds so I will have to wait til it pushes either more growth or blooms. (The Keitt I dont have much expectation to bloom since it is young-only 1-2 yrs)

I have been fully soaking my potted trees once a week and lightly watering once in between. Please share thoughts or experience as to whether I should have continued the weak fertilizing or wait? and if wait--when should I resume the weak fertilizing? I will post some pics over the coming weekend. Thanks.

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zands(10b Fl)

Related to your question--
What kind of fertilizing can stimulate panicle production? I have a Glenn mango tree that had this problem last year and this year has no panicles or panicle buds.Even though my other mango trees show panicles or have buds waiting to bust out into panicles

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 12:31PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Marin, I've cut back on my fertilizing as well since the cold snap, but just today I watered my potted mango tree with a 1/3 the recommended dosage of MG...1 tsp of MG to one gallon water in which I added a 1/2 tsp. of Epsom salts for Magnesium. It is pushing out something (just not positive if its pannicles or new growths?) I usually will resume my normal fertilizing once the mango fruits have completed fruiting.

In spring I sprinkle Vigoro Citrus fertilizer which is also recommended for potted trees...about 3 tablespoons on my 24" pot, less if your pot is smaller and water it in...it is a slow release fertilizer so I never worry about fertilizer burn...I then apply it once more in the middle of summer. Vigoro is one of the few fertilizers out there that is safe for Container growing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vigoro Citrus and Avocado Fertilizer

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 1:22PM
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swrancher

What kind of fertilizing can stimulate panicle production?

Many commercial Mango growers in Florida add additional Potash fertilizer in the fall in order to stimulate a good productive winter bloom.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 1:27PM
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mango_kush

phosphorous stimulates blooming. fertilizers marketed towards making plants like azaleas and bougavilleas bloom heavy are phosphorous biased (the middle number in N-P-K)

I wouldnt use it on Mango though, Id just stick with a balanced slow release fertilizer in the spring like Osmocote.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 1:31PM
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zands(10b Fl)

swRancher
mangoK

Many thanks for the advice.
I also have Vigro citrus& avocado fertilizer. It says it has polymer coated urea so that must be slow release nitrogen? It is 12-5-8. Will use it on my problem mango with the poor panicle production. It grows great but not enough blooming panicles. Vigro has minor elements

Kush...How much do you fertilize your young mango trees? Can you name an amount and how many times a year? thanks

Will look at the azalea/bougainvillea bloom promoting fertilizer. Will use sparingly on my problem mango tree and on my bougainvillea that is not blooming much though it used to

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 2:49PM
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mango_kush

I use fertilizer very sparingly, I throw a handful of Osmocote right before the rainy spring begins around the drip lines of each of my trees.

how old is your tree? Fairchild recommends using potash only to help promote root growth for the first few years then not fertilizing at all

*FROM THE LINK BELOW*
Do not burn a mango tree with fertilizer. We recommend that no nitrogen fertilizers be given to the young tree until fruiting begins. Nitrogen is the first of the three numbers that appear on the fertilizer label. You should use instead a potassium fertilizer. Potassium is the last of the three numbers on the label. We use a 0-0-50 formulation, sprinkled lightly below the drip-line of the canopy three times per year. Take care not to apply the fertilizer to the trunk. The ultimate in green care for your tree is to supply all your nitrogen in the form of an organic plant mulch or properly composted manure.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.fairchildgarden.org/livingcollections/tropicalfruitprogram/jackfruit/growing-a-mango-tree/

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 3:01PM
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zands(10b Fl)

Thanks mangoK

When you describe your fertilization are you sprinkling a few handfuls on the grass or do you have mulch at the drip line? Do you tuck a few handfuls under the mulch?

I have read that Fairchild page before and it seems prejudiced towards slow growing condo mangoes and keeping mango trees small in general. Thus-- no nitrogen

I have trees that have been in the ground from 1-3 years

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 4:00PM
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mango_kush

the philosophy behind Fairchilds method is too focus on root development the first few years with potassium (potash) and not divert the trees energy with too much vegetative growth inducing nitrogen or bloom and fruit inducing phosphorous.

Mangos grow readily down here. one could plant one out in a yard during rainy season and forget about it and it will mature and fruit within a few years. as long as it doenst dry out when young or get over fertilized, it will grow.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 5:40PM
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zands(10b Fl)

MK
Good luck finding and using that 100% potash fertilizer Fairchild recommends. Do you mulch around your trees? Some do and some don't

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 9:42PM
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jfernandez(10B)

MK -

I think you are right! I'm going to fertize my mangos once or twice a year. My soil is sandy and rich I'm not going to even mulch them any more. I took so bad advice from a famous nursery in San Diego last year and he recommended blooming fertilizer 10-52-10 every three weeks.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 10:07PM
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jeffhagen(10B)

The typical recommendation for root development is triple super phosphate (0-45-0). For blooming, use something like muriate of potash (0-0-46) or sulfate of potash (0-0-51).

I wouldn't give up hope on the glenn just yet. There's still a couple of months of bloom season to go :-).

Jeff

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 10:27PM
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zands(10b Fl)

Jeff
That Glenn mango bloomed reluctantly (few panicles) and late last year and so far I see a repeat this year

Jeff said: "The typical recommendation for root development is triple super phosphate (0-45-0). For blooming, use something like muriate of potash (0-0-46) or sulfate of potash (0-0-51)."

I thought potassium was for mango root development according to Fairchild. The sulfate of potassium has more gentle action than the chloride

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 3:09AM
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marinfla(10 South Florida)

Hi
Nancy I also have that Vigoro Citrus and Avocado and use as you have twice a year. I was doing the half strength MG in a gallon of water 2 - 4 times a month and stopped when the cold snap hit . My trees are covered with blooms but I was concerned whether the MG fertilizer would cause any weird thing to the fruit that are forming. So I wasn't sure when to resume the MG.

I corresponded with someone that was very knowledgeable and experienced about avocado and he suggested the bloom promoter high phosphorus fertilizer like Sunniland along with putting some galvanized steel nails into the trunk to promote blossoms/fruiting on seedling grown trees. That will be my next thing to try. When do avocado normally start to bloom?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 7:59AM
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mango_kush

Zands, phosphorous and potassium both contribute to root growth in separate ways when combined with nitrogen. Fairchilds method of just potassium will create a deficiency in nitrogen so there will be very little vegatative growth. the opposite, a potassium deficiency from an imbalance nitrogen would result vegetative growth and a less developed root system

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 11:16AM
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jeffhagen(10B)

zands, that fairchild article doesn't indicate that 0-0-50 is for root development. Realizing that their goal is to produce a dwarf mango bush, we could easily postulate that the reasoning behind recommending 0-0-50 is to induce early blooming (ie, precocity) which would obviously retard growth. Triple superphosphate would have the opposite effect - causing the tree to grow like a race horse after laying down a strong root system.

University of Hawaii recommends 1.5 pounds of triple super phosphate at the time of planting... but then they aren't concerned with producing mango 'bushes' :-).

Jeff

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 11:20AM
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mango_kush

I can never find potash or slow release potassium. I just stick with light sprinkle of osmocote and some compost manure every year

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 12:07PM
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adiel

mango_kush, where do you stay at? I know a place in Homestead, Florida where you can get the 0-0-51 potassium fertilizer (in sulfate of potash granular form).

Adiel

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 3:39PM
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swrancher

I bought a 50 pound bag of Potash 0-0-50 at a farm suupply store in Homestead last summer. Used it in the fall on my mango trees, guess we'll see the results on my trees soon one way or the other.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 4:29PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Don't forget about the minors... Trees need more then just NPK. On my fruit trees that are in large containers, I use a fertilizer with everything.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micronutrient

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 5:10PM
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