Mango watering advice

sapote(10a)July 17, 2013

Can I accidentally kill a small mango tree, þâ dia trunk still in pot by watering every day, even in 90F hot summer with mid 60 at night? Mine are fine, just concerned a bit.

Sapote

This post was edited by sapote on Wed, Jul 17, 13 at 21:06

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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Yes you can "if" your soil is water retentive (has too much Peat) in the potting mix. I've killed a couple of mango trees from over-watering (mostly) due to our heavy summer rains here in FL...do you live in a very dry (low) humidity area?

My mangoes grow in very Hot/very humid Florida upper 80's to upper 90's at least 5-6 months a year and the soil doesn't dry out as quickly due to the very high 80+ percent humidity for many months a year...I only water my mango trees about 2x a week or every 5 days depending on how rain and sun we have for the week...and I have them in VERY porous quick draining mix...mostly small pieces of Pine bark, perlite or very coarse sand/or grit and a little potting soil and Turface.

Having said that "if" you live in a desert type climate...Very low humidity with 95+ temperatures you Might need to water daily?

When in doubt...very carefully remove the root ball from the pot and check to see if the roots on the very bottom of the pot is moist or soaking wet...Mango trees prefer the roots to slightly dry out before watering it well again...unlike lychee trees that LOVE water...

As a side note...I've added a "wick" to my Container because we've had over 11" of rain since July 1st and I don't have a covered porch to shelter it from rain :o(

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:37AM
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mangodog(palm springs 9B)

I believe Puglvr is become a mango sage! Everything she says is spot on (in my book). Yes, in the desert, you can water every day, but it sounds like sapote (if he is indeed in California) is closer to the coast than I am. We never get 60's at night. In mid summer its always 80's and above.

So...where do you live?

mangomutt

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 12:42PM
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sapote(10a)

I live in Burbank, CA91501. There is no rain here in summer, but I have no idea what humidity level in the area.
The pots have soilless potting soil. The trees are doing great, but I just want to push (optimize) them a little hard with everything I could during our short growing season. I recently had a few young seedling mangos died from root rot in the same medium and condition. I think the young tender seedling -- 12" tall 2 years old -- is more sensitive than the grafting bought from Pine nursery.

Thanks,
Sapote

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 3:45PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

According to today's forecast for your zipcode, you're humidity today is from going to be between 43%-67%...definitely a lot less than my typical 80%+ percent...its been in the mid 90% humidity since midnight last night and its just now coming down a little in the upper 70's percent range...its steaming and sweating here,lol... Typical FL late spring to mid fall weather :o(

Here is a link that might be useful: Weather.com

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 12:01PM
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sapote(10a)

"Yes you can "if" your soil is water retentive (has too much Peat) in the potting mix. I've killed a couple of mango trees from over-watering (mostly) due to our heavy summer rains here in FL...do you live in a very dry (low) humidity area?"

Interesting that mango tree (small?) can die in Florida warm summer rain. I never thought this could happen -- When I visited Hawaii islands, seeing vigorous mangoes every where, I never thought mango could die by heavy rain as long as it's not under flood water for long. The top forest compost soil is water tentative I would think, and mangoes are fluorous in the condition. Difference between Hawaii vs Florida?

Sapote

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 1:57PM
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mangodog(palm springs 9B)

Burbank - ok....well yes you are generally hot in the summers, and dry too. The current humidity is a bit of an anomaly (yes?) as we're getting some humidity out here in the desert too, today, from some moisture coming up from Mexico.....

Back to this watering thing. Why not go old school and stick your finger (or a moisture meter) a few inches into the top of the soil and you'll see how retentive the soilless mix is? That's what I would do if had a concern about that......

MDog

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 2:58PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

"Interesting that mango tree (small?) can die in Florida warm summer rain. I never thought this could happen --

Sapote, I was mainly talking about potted/container mango trees...I've never had any mango planted in the ground die from root rot before...only potted plants... I'm sure if planted in a flooded low lying area young newly planted trees could die from sitting in water for days at a time in the ground, but I'm sure that is rare...but I'm lucky my back yard is mostly sand...so NO issue of that happening in my back yard fortunately :o)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 4:01PM
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sapote(10a)

Currently all 4 mango plants from Pine are in 5-gal black nursery pots ��" too busy to plant them out this year and itâÂÂs easy to move them in/out during this coming winter. With such a not big pot, I hesitate to dig around, with figure, worry hurting the root. My cheap moist-pH-light meter (green with two long electrodes) quitted working, leaves me with guess work, although I can tell the top 1â is dry to the touch after 1 day in the sun after every watering. I never forget when a vigorous Babaco plant (look like papaya) full with green fruits, suddenly died during warm summer growing season ��" root rot was the cause. It was growing so strong in rich soil, in ground, that I pushed it hard with every day watering. I didnâÂÂt have the chance to taste the strange fruit, not even to date yet. No early warning, no complaining, no crying, no yellow leaves, just dropped death one day. I believe loving a plant too much can kill it.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 6:03PM
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tropicbreezent

A note on the water toleramce of mangos here. Some photos of my neighbours mangos during a normal wet season (summer).

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 8:14AM
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tropicbreezent

There's a swamp that runs through part of my neighbours and my place. For about 3 months of the year it's flooded, about 2 months either side of that the ground is waterlogged, and the rest of the year the ground is damp to dry (winter time). They planted some of their mangos right down into the swamp.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 8:22AM
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tropicbreezent

So the mangos are standing in water for about 3 months, in waterlogged ground about 4 months, and on dry ground for about 5 months out of each year. And they still bear fruit really well, in fact no big difference to the trees on higher ground. The flowering and fruiting is during the drier time.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 8:31AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Wow...those are amazing pictures...appreciate you posting them! Very glad to hear that they can survive in such "water logged" and very flooded conditions for months on end, although I'm sure this is not an ideal situation for them to grow in its nice to know they can survive...I guess as long as the blooming takes place in a "dry" season the tree will bloom and fruit!

Thanks for your post!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 8:54AM
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bananafan

If I had to guess, could it be that the mature and more established mango trees can withstand some level of harsh growing conditions than the younger ones like most fruit trees do endure the cold better when older? Not sure if it works this way though, but it's amazing to see how these mango trees can adapt to such strange growing situations.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 5:20PM
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mangodog(palm springs 9B)

yes, I believe more mature trees have more stability against, cold, heat and flooding.....in general of course....

mangoD

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 4:21PM
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tropicbreezent

These plants were grafted but still would have been around the usual half metre tall when planted. At most they would have got 5 months growth before waterlogging/flooding.

In another area I saw the ground cleared and then get flooded during the wet season. In the dry they mounded the soil and planted a few hundred Nam Doc Mai, on individual mounds. Over the years they've grown and the mounds are insignificant in relation to the size of the trees now. I've seen photos of this done in Thailand too, not only with mangos.

I've spoken about this with people in the business and many of them say that mangos that get long term flooding are usually earlier in fruiting and flowering.

Mangos come from a monsoonal climate which means they've evolved with a very dry and hot dry season and a very wet and hot wet season. So waterlogging and flooding are pretty normal for them. Once the climate gets colder it becomes a different matter.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 11:51PM
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sapote(10a)

The pics are unbelievable!!!

So why some of us had our mangoes killed by over watering, even in warm/hot summer?

Mature vs young tree: these mature trees in standing water must had been in the same condition when they were young also, and obviously the young trees had survived the long flood period.

As for the weather where I live, CA91501, even though day time temperature is above 85 during summer, but night time is 60 to 65F, and I think this low night temp could be the big factor in root root in this case.

Sapote

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 3:15PM
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mangodog(palm springs 9B)

So, Sapote, you have an easy solution if you think that root rot is going to be a problem because of the cool nights - just water every other day!

MangoD

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 5:33PM
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tropicbreezent

I think another factor that's often overlooked is local pathogens. In a cooler climate the pathogens are geared to do their thing at lower temperatures. The local flora is geared to be defensive at those temperatures. When you bring in a tropical plant it's less likely to be active enough at lower temperatures to fend off pathogens for which that temp is optimum.

If you put those same pathogens into a tropical environment/climate they wouldn't be at their optimum and probably be quickly wiped out by the local (tropical) pathogens.

Everything is more likely to be a survivor in it's own environment. Take it out side of that environment and it becomes a roll of the dice.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 11:57PM
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sapote(10a)

I total agreed with Tropicbreezent about the cooler climate pathogens, which the foreign mango plants have not adapted to it yet -- give them a few million years and with the trend of global warming, mangoes will be replacing oranges in southern California.

Sapote

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 2:01PM
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Dexter_FTG

A couple of months ago my yard was under about a foot of water due to heavy rains. The young mango trees I planted less than a year ago were under water for several days (almost a week). Surprisingly, no obvious damage to any tree. All of them have had several growth flushes since then and seem to be doing alright.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 9:53AM
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