What's wrong with my Mango seedlings? (Pics inside)

GreeningTheDesertJune 5, 2014

Hello everybody,

I'm trying to grow some Mangoes from seed, since NO ONE has ever tried to in my region, and there are zero production of mangoes in my country --Algeria-- hence I can't find any expert and I'm still a newbie in the field.

I'm growing all of my seedlings in my Balcony, which I covered up to 2 meters height, which means there's only partial shade that can reach them except for about 40 mins daily where the sunlight can get through directly to them.

I've had a problem with some kind of green flies or mosquitoes or whatever they were, and I applied a pesticide and got rid of them, but right after that I suffered from a lot of spider mites, which killed 2 citrus grafted trees and almost 90+ citrus seedlings grown from seeds as well. No pesticides seem to work so far for these latter, and only after I applied some water mixed with sulphur powder, they seemed to decrease dramatically. (The Sulphur trick was suggested by an old farmer. There are a lot of spider where I live though)

I also over-watered the mix of sand and potting soil for the first time of the transplantation and kept watering regularly, even though I didn't see the soil being dried and it was always moist, and I'm not sure if this is a symptom of root rot, and if it's the case, should I transplant them to something drier?

The pics:

I also wanna know if the curling of the other leaves is caused by a spider mites' infection as well? Could it be the case? What do you think guys?

By the way, the other seedlings do have some blackening spots as well at their ends, and I'm worried if they'll follow the same route. I've noticed like a scratch on one big leaf of a healthy seedling and it looks somehow transparent, as if something was suckling all the water out of it and soon gonna pierce it, though I couldn't spot any mites on board :/

Do you think it's a good idea to remove the blackening leaves?

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It looks like powder mildew issue, and painting the infected areas with sulphur water should work. You mentioned sulphur was already used but I can't see the egg yoke yellow color powder on the leaves.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 2:34PM
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Just for clarification. The whitey material you see on top of the leaves is just dust. It sand-storms here and it did just 2 days before I took the pics and the dust settled on the leaves afterwards. If I wash them they'll look shinier again, so the problem is with the blackening phenomenon which eats the rest of the leaves.

You didn't see the yellowish sulphur, because I sprayed it over and got only the water out of the bottle/sprayer, but if you recommend that I should use it as powder then I will. I was just concerned that it may change the pH of the soil and exterminate the root system or something.

How often can I apply Sulphur? How much is considered safe? Should I mix it with water or just scatter it all over as powder?

Thanks for the response, very much appreciated indeed.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 3:05PM
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Anybody has an idea what's going plz?

Check out the actual photos from here?

Pics From My Blog

What am I doing wrong? Help me save these little beauties.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 7:31PM
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Hi Greening - I'm in the desert too - the Southern Californian desert here in Palm Springs....

I've never used sulfur and am not sure what's causing your leaves to curl, but they don't seem curled all that badly to me. I would turn the leaf over and use a magnifying glass to see what you might see......I mean they do naturally curl somewhat.

And how often did you say you water...and what kind of soil do you have....many factors of course....

Just trying to help see if there is something in my experience with growing them that might help you...

And I forgot - are any of your mangoes in the ground or in pots.

What are you average temperatures for summer and winter - I'd like to see how they compare to mine....

Thanks, M.A.Dog

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 3:20PM
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I'd live with the curling just fine, the burning of leaves is my problem, because they fell afterwards. You can see the top 2 pics and how the green color is turning to black.

I'm almost pretty sure now it's spiders. We have plenty of them here, and I've crashed at least 5 tiny ones today, I've found them hanging from the leaves with their strings or whatever that thing is called.

I've used all sorts of soil. Sandy one and I mean just sand taken from clean sand-dunes, sand plus potting soil, pure Ukrainian potting soil alone, and sand plus clay plus potting soil...etc

I've started to give them an organic fertilizer and spray them with a pack of minerals.

At the beginning I made their pots drench with water just to fill in any air in the soil, as I used to do with the citrus seedlings, but it seemed that it was a huge mistake.

So far everything is in pots and not in the ground, because I live in an apartment, and the piece of land to be a little farm for my experiments is still a barren land and has no wind cover, which will be deadly during the summer and the coming autumn.

The temp hits 45-48ðC in the summer, and 12-18ðC in winter. At night in winter it drops to 0ðC sometimes but not for long, and if it's a barren land than a -2ðC has been recorded. Also, winter is really dry here, and even the summer of the last couple of years had been dry as well.

The pots right now are in the shaded balcony, and the temp there is around 27ðC, and I don't think they're hardened enough to be fully exposed to our harsh weather.

Looking forward to hear from you and your experience.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 8:25PM
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Yep, your summers are very similar to mine and winter's too....well, I plant mine in the sandy soil (90% sand I suppose) but do add some fertilizer to the top of the soil occasionally. You do know fertilizers can burn them, yes?
I tend to do VERY diluted fertilizer, both via hand watering and foliar spraying, every 2-3 weeks. The foliar spraying seems to get nice results this year so far.

But you bring up a very good point for us desert mango growers. To plant anything in the middle of a sandy field is most likely death to a plant. I've found they need a certain amount of shade - especially after noon, whether its from the house, nearby trees, a wall, whatever, cuz it simply will fry them. I'm lucky that I have a lot of palm trees and other trees around, a pool and a pond also, where I can kind of tuck in my mango trees....

ANyway, not sure any of that helps....maybe it has been over fertilizing but I didn't sense that in your message.....

good luck....myamberwoofie

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 5:35PM
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Would love to see a pic of the beautiful place of yours you've just described! Let alone to see your mangoes :)

Love the ponds so much man!

I didn't fertilize them back then, only now, and it looks it might work.

Thanks for responding anyway.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 10:00PM
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