Mangosteen Light Recommendations

mikesidNovember 19, 2009

So as some of you know I recently picked up a mangosteen. Murahilin, you asked what my plans were with this. To be honest I had planned to just keep it potted and go from there. After reading a lot of culture requirements I know they need good shade while young but good light when mature. So how is this normally done. Do you have to wait to plant this out. How is this hardened off??? I have a shady area I can plant this in but what happens when it matures. I certainly won't transplant it. Should I just cut back other vegetative growth at that point??? At what height should this be kept for us home gardeners. That's saying it survives this long...Should this be topped??? And how many hours of sunlight would I need. The spot I picked is growing on the west side of my house shaded by several different trees.

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I would put it in a spot that gets full sun, but build something around it that you could use to hold a shade cloth. That way when it gets a bit larger it will be in the spot you want it. You could also use the frame to cover it during cool nights. I would cover it on any nights below 60 degrees at least until it gets quite a bit bigger.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 10:14AM
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How slow growing are these guys? I got one seed out of many to sprout but it is still at the two first leaves stage after 5 months. Its a pretty plant so I will probably grow it even if it never sets fruit.

I also have a Mamey Sapote that is going on its second winter and without knowing any better I broke all the rules and yet it survives and looks fine. I only have a hoophouse for winter protection and sometimes the heaters fail. I have lost other tropicals in the past but this plant keeps going.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 10:41AM
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Mangosteens take forever. I had a seedling stuck at the two leaf mark for about 6 months, but once it finally did put out a few leaves it started growing better. I would put the whole pot you have the mangosteen in inside a plastic bag with only a small opening for a little ventilation. This really seemed to speed up mine until I killed it doing an approach graft. I had grafted a lemon drop mangosteen to it as a second rootstock. It healed over perfectly but when I was trying to decapitate the top of the lemondrop I slipped and cut both both of them. That really pissed me off.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 2:00PM
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rayandgwenn(z11 Puerto Rico)

Mangosteens are slow. Mine is older and grafted and grown in the tropics and still I only get a growth spurt of about 6 inches (though now they are about 1 ft each time) about every 6 months.
The other garcinias give me a growth spurt a little more often, but still are slow.
I am still waiting for flowers......

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 5:49PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH) John pointed out, I would put in full sun but keep a light shade cloth on it for a little bit. Although my first question would be...was it in full sun at Excalibur? That seedling looks old enough to handle full sun if you go slow at it. As for topping? Nothing to top! All you have is top growth. Better hope for some branching to peek out a little lower. I would also loosen up your ties on the stake. Let that trunk start to take on some of it's own weight or it will never support itself.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 7:50PM
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I think I'm just nervous of putting it in the ground. I like the idea of picking it up and moving it around. maybe I'll see how well that Freeze-Pruf stuff works on my younger Mangosteen, and, as far as the top growth goes, I didn't see any plants at the nursery that had side growth... They all looked pretty much the same. The only reason I want to put it in the ground is I've heard only grafted plants will fruit in a pot...Is this true? I've read these are ok on a wide variety of I shouldn't add anything special to the whole if I plant this out right??

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 6:59AM
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Mangosteen do require acidic soil. If you have limestone or alkaline soil, it must be removed with a backhoe or similar device and replaced with acidic soil/organic matter. The area removed should be at least 4 feet x 4 feet x 4 feet where the tree will be planted.


Morton, J. 1987. Mangosteen. p. 301-304. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 8:52AM
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I have 4 seedlings, one I planted in a larger pot the other three are still in their plastic baggie things.

the one I transplanted into the larger 3 gallon container, was the first to sprout a second set of leaves.

I allow 3 of these seedlings to get some direct sunlight for about an hour or two in the morning. the other is in full shade as a "test"

read a mangsteen cultivation article that ran test on seedlings, and allowing them to get a bit of direct sunlight, speeds them along. also these plants have a tap root, and they suggest a minimum container depths of 12 inches to start with.

my seedlings are surrounded by other plants, and have plenty of humidity.

So far so good.

I also have a few Garcinia xanthochymus, ( they make a good juice ) the seedlings are in similar light conditions as the mangostana, one older plant, about 4 years old, is now about 5 ft tall, and is in full sun. doing well in its container, 20 gal? .

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 2:25AM
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