Mango Leaves Turning SOLID Brown!

Willpower_October 7, 2012

I have some mango leaves that are turning brown. Or rather, it is a color between maroon and brown. And the pigment is a good degree darker than my camera illustrates.

They start to quickly and softly fade from green to brown until they become a solid brown color. No patches or anything. Just solid brown. Most of the brown leaves still appear otherwise healthy. Other brown leaves appear somewhat contorted and crumpled. A minority of my green leaves also appear somewhat contorted and crumpled. What might be causing this. What is a possible solution? Roughly 8% of my mango leaves are brown.

The plant has been there since the beginning of the year. This problem dates back as far as I can remember (in other words, I don't remember when it started). I've tried a variety of watering patterns. I recently used SuperThrive twice, as well as installed some fertilizer stakes. There hasn't been much change at all. It is planted in an area which has full sun. I've posted pictures of the plant as well as the ground on which it is planted.

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Willpower_

Here are additional images of my mango tree. One of the whole tree, one of a "fading" leaf, and one of some other contorted/crumpled green leaves.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 12:59AM
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Doglips(8b/9a)

mmm, you need to pay closer attention to the tree, it just got bigger. You have a flush of new leaves, it is normal, it is good. Congratulations.

The leaves will slowly fade to green as they "harden off".

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:15AM
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Doglips(8b/9a)

The crumpled leaves are not exactly right but the issue is not everywhere on the tree. I don't think that you have anything to worry about, the tree looks healthy.
Others should be able to better help you what causes the crumpling.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:22AM
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tropicbreezent

As the others have said, the colour is normal for a flush of new leaves. The odd bit of leaf crumpling/distortion isn't unusual. More extreme cases of it can happen with herbicide overspray or too much fertiliser/salt build up in soil.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 3:26AM
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Willpower_

If there is too much fertilizer in the soil, is there anything I can do to remedy that?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 4:24AM
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Doglips(8b/9a)

You could pull any fertilizer stakes that are still around, and slow your fertilizing schedule. Most anything else would probably do more damage than good.
Don't be rash with anything you do. Plants grow slowly you have time to monitor and make choices, the only thing plants do quickly is die. I bet that you can find a thread in every forum on this website that should be called "loved to death."
The leaves are not showing any signs of burnt tips, it is flushing (growing). It looks like a fine tree, have patience.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 5:44AM
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tropicbreezent

Make sure there's good drainage, then you can just flush it with clean water. That's enough to get excess salts out. But yours doesn't seem to have that problem.

Mangos are a tough plant, you only have to look where they come from amd where they grow best - poor soil, hot dry intense sun dry season, hot humid soggy wet season. And that's what they love. A bit of extra calcium in their diet is good, just depends on what your local soil is like in that respect. And not too much nitrogen, it makes them tall, lanky and brittle, with few fruit. And cold wet is a pet hate.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:48AM
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Willpower_

Thank you for all your responses. Should I be "pruning" my mango tree, or simply let it grow as is natural? I'm not exactly sure how pruning works. Is pruning just choosing a few random branch tips, and cutting them off, so that they re-heal bigger(stimulate their growth) or something? ....

Signed,
Clueless Garden Noob

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 6:38AM
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Willpower_

Also, tropicbreezent: Your garden and your mango tree looks really really good, and really really healthy. How often &how much do you water the mango tree? ...How do you make it so gorgeous?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 6:41AM
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tropicbreezent

Willpower, I was growing mangos commercially (small scale though, under 600 trees), but finally realised there were much more pleasant ways to lose money. Still have over 500 trees but don't water or fertilise any more. And reducing trees to a more 'personal' (family/friends/wildlife) number.

Mangos are "tip pruned" during harvest which encourages more flowering the following year on the new shoots. The trees are also shaped, 1. to allow more air and light inside the tree (like with other fruit trees), and 2. to keep the trees lower and more easy for harvest.

They like a dry winter season, but when flowering commences you start watering them. Once flowering reaches about 80% you stop the watering. Continued watering will cause more flower/fruit drop while you gain only little. Now this works for my climate, as around fruiting the first rains/storms come so there is some water being input (surface of the ground where the feeder roots are) and humidity is high. Too much rain though can cause split fruit, and also outbreaks of anthracnose. Don't water from above, only at ground level.

If they're in the ground, get a soil test done. They like a good helping of calcium, and also a bit of zinc. Soil testing will show if these are already in sufficient supply. If they're in pots make sure any fertiliser has these. Other things like more potassium and less nitrogen are also important for fruiting.

There's a saying here in mango circles, "If you want to make a little bit of money from mangos, first start off with a lot of money and soon you'll have a little money", LOL.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 4:27AM
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Willpower_

One thing that I notices is that your mango tree branches are broad and wide, whereas mine are bunched up. If I were to cut off some of the branches, would that encourage them to grow broader as opposed to clustered? Or would that action be a non-factor (breadth only comes with age?)

Also, what do you mean when you say, "Don't water from above, only at ground level." Are you saying that I should only trickle water onto the plant (hose on the floor)? Is there some danger to just using the "shower" feature on my hose and showering in a few gallons from above? --Is there a special technique? And I'm still curious to how often you water the tree when there is no raining. Every other day, twice a week, or how often?

Based on the appearance of my mango tree, any other tips?

I would like to take a moment to thank you greatly for all of your assistance, tropicbreezent.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 2:50AM
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tropicbreezent

Willpower, my trees are at least 10 to 15 years old, so they've had time to spread out. Also, as preferred here, the trees are all grafted. This keeps them naturally shorter, but they're cut to be no more than 4.5 metres tall. Mine need pruning, but I have a "day job" that demands a lot of my time and I'm not doing mangos commercially any more.

Your tree is still young so I wouldn't worry too much about pruning yet. More leaves means more photosynthesis and so more food for growth. What you could do is what they do for bonsai. They use wire to train branches into forms they want. You could do it to shape your tree without loss of leaves. Once the tree is larger you can then remove any branches that just won't conform to what you want.

Too much water on the leaves and wood encourages anthracnose, a fungal disease. The spores of it are around every where anyway, but those wet conditions just give it a boost. It's worst in humid climates but even in drier climates it's good practice to have water on leaves at a minumum. If you have automatic irrigation, set it so it waters the base of the tree. It's a way of avoiding or reducing possibility of problems

Our dry season (winter) there's no rain at all, no fogs, etc. The temperatures are still 32C to 33C every day, cloudless skies and dry winds. The mangos don't get watered until mid dry season when flowering has started. Then they get it every day until about 80% of flowering is done. The ground isn't saturated, though. Just enough to be wet. Most of the feeder roots are close to the surface.

The first lot of storms come at roughly fortnightly intervals and in between it's still hot and dry. So the trees are still getting very little. As someone else mentioned, they're more likely to die of "over loving" than of neglect. So if you can avoid the temptation to micro-manage it, you should end up with a very good tree.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Doglips(8b/9a)

I would look at it, "where do you see this mighty tree being in 10 years? Is that branch still there?", or does it get pruned. It is a bit like building frankensteins monster, you got a torso now work on the upper arms, then forearms, etc. Prune for the long game. Remember that mangos flower from the terminal so less pruing now means less branching and less fruit. But you have a whip, which will produce little if any anyways (for now). Better pruning practices now....

Baby steps in whatever you do, patience.

What is the cultivar of the child?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 8:22AM
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jimco9

I have a keit mango in the ground 3 years old and the ends of the leaves are browning and turning brittle but the leave close to branch is not. Ideas?? Help

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:02AM
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myamberdog

a picture, jimco, would help.....

M-Dog

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:10AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Without a photo I can I'll venture a guess and say it might be from hard water and or fertilizer (salt) burn? Photos will help like M-Dog mentioned :o)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 11:36AM
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Pantherkat(7)

I have a small potted mango sapling that recently lost nearly all of it's leaves to browning. It only had one leaf that was unaffected, now that one is also browning off and drying out. Is this Anthracnose Fungus, and what can I do to save my mango sapling if it is? There are still new leaf buds starting to grow, but if it keeps browning off like this there will be no leaves at all soon.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2015 at 12:29PM
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Pantherkat(7)

Here are some more images.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2015 at 12:30PM
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Pantherkat(7)

Another image.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2015 at 12:32PM
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Pantherkat(7)

And another.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2015 at 12:33PM
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Pantherkat(7)

And one of the trunk.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2015 at 12:34PM
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