Fish Emulsion for tropical fruit trees

bananafanFebruary 24, 2008

Since I have killed a couple of my tropical fruit trees, I've been very cautious when it comes to fertilizing them. So, I've been thinking if using fish emulsion is a better and safer way to go? Right now I need to fertilize a couple of my mango trees--one of them is a Carrie Mango. It has been in the ground for more than half a year and it's infact flowering now. The other mango is a Cogshell which I plan to keep it in a pot. Then I have a longan and a couple of lychee trees to fertlize too. I rather not do anything until I'm sure it will do them good. If fish emulsion is suitable, how much and how often should I use them? Would appreciate any feedback you may have.

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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi bananafan,

I use Alaska brand fish fertilizer. I have been using it for all my mango and lychee trees since I planted them between (March-May '07). I have a couple planted in containers and the rest in the ground. I fertilize the container mangos (Carrie and Glenn), one Tablespoon per gallon of water. I use 2 Tablespoon Fish per gallon of water for the ones planted in the ground. I use it every 3 to 4 weeks (per direction) on my bottle, between March throught Oct. I don't use it at all for Nov-Feb. I also use a slow release fertilizer once a year, I buy it at home depot. It is "Dynamite" (red) container, it is good for 9 months. I apply this at the last week of Feb. or early March. Then I don't apply this again till next year. The dynamite brand also has micro nutrients,which is good. You apply it once a year and that's it. This works for me, but I'm sure there are others that use something different and has good results and will share their methods. For me I like it because I never have burnt leaf tips from fertilizer burn because it is slow release.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:49AM
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Thanks puglvr1 for the tips. This sounds safe to me. I just bought a big bottle of Alaskan fish emulsion and I think I have the Oscomote slow release somewhere. I will try your recommendations. My Carrie mango is flowering now. It's now about 5 ft in the ground. I planted it last year. Last year it bloomed, but the bloomed dropped off. I hope this year some will stay. I have three lychees now. Mauritius is flowering, but Brewster is doing nothing for quite a while. Whenever, some new shoots show up, they dry off. The sweetheart is in the pot waiting to be transplanted. My longan is showing some new growth after I chopped off some of its dead branches. I'll try to follow through with the fertlizing and hope to see some healthy growth in the warmer months. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 8:51PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

You're welcome bananafan,

It's funny how certain trees seem to grow faster than others. It's complete opposite for me. My brewster is growing pretty well, but not a single flower at all. My sweetheart not growing as fast but has a few flower spikes. All my mango trees ( all young also, planted all of these last spring) they also have new growths but no flowers. Go figure??

Here's some pics of my brewster and sweetheart. As you can see I have a makeshift fencing trying to protect them from the occasional windy conditions as I was told they hate high winds. The plus is when we get a frost it makes covering them up very easily, LOL... It is outgrowing the protective fence quickly. Good luck with yours and post some pics, I'd love to see them...

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 11:22AM
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Dynamite fertilizer has a number of formulas. Two were for sale at Home Depot today: the green All-Purpose formula is 18-6-9, and the red Flowers and Vegetables is 13-13-13. It seems like the green formula would be better for younger trees that need to grow more than they need to bloom. The red formula might be better for older trees ready to produce. I need to get my mango trees to stop blooming and grow more.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 11:00PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi altadenamara,

I use the the red formula, I actually spoke to the company that makes Dynamite (they have an office here in Sarasota, Florida) a couple of hours away from me. I made sure I spoke to them before I used it since I wasn't sure which of their formula would be better suited for my young, newly planted mango and lychee trees. They told me to use the Red forumula, 13-13-13, and apply it once around the end of Feb or early March (my zone). He said that the red formula is for anything that flowers or fruits. Since I wanted these trees to do well, I researched several fertilizers and decided to go with this one and supplement with Fish and Kelp for an added boost.

Here's a pic of what my Glenn Mango looked like when I first planted it March '07 and what it looks like a year later.I guess the fact that it has put out new growths and not flowers, that's probably a good thing, since it is very young. I am very happy with this fertilizer. Like you, I prefer to let my trees get some size before I let it fruit.

If you want to chek them out and maybe ask some them which might be a better formula for your zone (CA),I think their website is or

Thanks and good luck with your trees also.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 10:57AM
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pug- how much land do you have- on the second pic it looks like you have acres-
very envious here! i have to plant my fruit trees about 12 inches from each other

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 4:58PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi lycheeluva,

The pictures are deceiving, there are three different lots, with three houses.All of our backyards kind of comes together. I only have a little over one half acre. Actually we had a lot of the "natural" florida landscape when we bought the house a year and a half ago. We had most of that bulldozed a year ago so that I could have room to plant all my fruit trees, LOL... I have a Pineapple Guava, 2 Lychees, and 4 mangos planted in the ground (1) is in the front yard. I also have two mangos in containers just because. I love your trees, I have seen many beautiful pictures.

12 inches, pretty funny!!!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 5:34PM
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pug- u realize the 12 inches is not a joke right?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 9:54PM
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Those are great pics, puglvr1. I love the volume on all of them. My trees; although growing well under current conditions, look like stick figures by comparison! Hence the difference between potted, and in-ground plantings. Once again, fantastic trees!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 12:15AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks north tree man,

You guys are actually my hero, all of you that grow tropical fruit trees in containers especially up north. It's so much easier to have them in the ground in florida. Believe me we have our own issues, bugs, fungus, hurricanes, etc...but you people defy the odds. Contianer growing is so much harder. My two mango trees are nowhere in comparison to the ones I have in the ground as far as growth and vigor. You have gorgeous trees also NTM. I certainly wouldn't say stick figures at all. They are very healthy and loaded with fruits. I LOVE looking at your pictures and success that you are having...

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 8:00AM
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Wow...thanks for the compliments, Puglvr. The differences between your in-ground trees, and my potted ones highlight the reason I'll be investing in a greenhouse pretty soon. Hopefully, then, I'll have big bushy trees like yours. I also have something cooking on the back burner, with regard to lychees, but you'll have to wait a while until those pics come together. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 11:51AM
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