How To Easily Grow A Mango Tree Indoors
Who doesn’t like to eat a nice ripe juicy mango?
Well, they taste even better when you have grown them in your house or apartment, everyone will be amazed to see you have a dwarf mango tree growing inside.
It is incredibly satisfying and it really is not difficult to grow a mango tree indoors so read on and i’ll tell you exactly how you can grow one, it’s so simple everyone should try it.
To grow a mango tree indoors i recommend you choose a dwarf variety as they are more manageable. Use as big a pot as possible, i use a 20×20 inch pot. Put your pot somewhere that gets 6-12 hours direct sunlight. Periodically use a fertilizer and give it a water when the top 2 inches of soil become dry.
Watch this guide on growing a mango tree indoors:
Click here to check out the price of the 23 fruit trees I recommend for growing indoors.
What variety of mango tree is best for growing indoors?
Mango trees that grow in the wild can grow up to a massive 32 meters tall and that is obviously not ideal for an indoor plant. There are over 500 varieties of mango that you could choose to grow however most are not suitable for growing indoors.
I would recommend you choose a dwarf mango variety for growing indoors as they only grow to 2-4 meters tall.
The dwarf mango varieties I recommend for growing in a pot include the Irwin, Nam Doc Mai, King Thai, Carrie, Cogshall, Glen, Neelam and Palmer although there also many others you could choose.
Any variety of mango tree can be kept small with pruning.
Should I grow a mango tree from seed or buy a young tree?
If you want to grow a mango tree from a seed, most seeds from a store bought mango will not sprout so you would be better buying mango seeds from a store.
If you grow a mango tree from seed it can take 5-8 years for it to actually bear fruit whereas if you buy a young seedling from a nursery it could produce fruit between 2-4 years or sooner.
When I grow a fruit tree it is for the purpose of eating homegrown fruits so I normally buy a young seedling to speed things up.
How to germinate mango seeds
First, you need to get your mango seed so eat a mango and remove all the pulp. Next, wash the seed and dry it with a towel to remove any remaining pulp.
Now cut open the hard outer shell along the side of it which will enable you to remove the soft seed inside.
Take the soft inner seed and wrap it in a damp paper towel and put it all in a sealable plastic bag then put the bag somewhere dark and warm.
If you keep it warm enough, you should be able to remove it in 3 or 4 days and it should have roots that have sprouted. Now take this sprouted mango seed and plant it in soil with the root end at the bottom and the top sticking out the soil.
Watch this video on how to sprout a mango seed:
What is the best pot size for a mango tree?
Whatever pot you decide to use, make sure it has drainage holes in the bottom as mangos don’t like to be in standing water and it may kill them if they are waterlogged.
For my dwarf mango tree, I use a pot that is 20 inches wide and 20 inches deep which is fairly large but it means I won’t be re-potting it as it gets larger.
If indoor fruit trees become root bound and stop growing larger I normally don’t re-pot them into a larger pot, I find this helps keep my indoor trees small and more manageable.
If you want your tree to grow larger you should re-pot it every year into a pot that is double in size.
What is the best soil for a mango tree?
Mango trees are not fussy about soil type and will grow in practically any soil type as long as it has good drainage.
I put a layer of stones at the bottom of the pot for drainage then use a high-quality potting soil that has a high organic content ratio and you want the pH level to be around 5.5-7.5.
Never use soil from your garden in a pot for any plant you grow as it will quickly become solidified which is bad for drainage and therefore bad for plants.
How much light does a mango Tree need?
Mango trees do love the sun so the more direct sunlight you can get your tree the better.
If you can get your mango tree 6-8 hours direct sunlight it will survive but if you want it to produce fruit it will need closer to 8-12 hours direct sunlight.
Assuming that you have a south-facing window or a conservatory it should be easy enough to get enough light to grow a thriving mango tree, however, if you think you will struggle to get enough light you could always use an LED grow light on a 12-hour timer.
you should check out my full articles on Led grow light strips and the best Led lights for more Led info.
How often to water a mango tree in a pot?
When you grow a mango tree in a pot it will need regular watering, especially during the first year of your plant.
When your tree is settled you can water it less often and should use the finger method to judge when your tree needs water. That is stick your finger in the soil and if the top 2 inches are dry it is time to give your tree water.
I normally water my mango tree every 2 days during the hot summer months and only once per month during the cold winter months.
What is the best climate for a mango tree?
Mango trees grow in a tropical climate in the wild so are more tolerant of hot temperatures than they are of cold temperatures.
If your mango tree is ever in frosty conditions it will likely kill any flowers and fruits that are growing and could even kill the whole tree.
Your mango tree should be fine however hot it gets as long as it has water but you should make sure it never gets below 28-32 degrees Fahrenheit (-2-0C) otherwise damage may occur.
What is the best fertilizer for a mango tree in a pot?
Mango trees are heavy feeders so you will definitely have to use a fertilizer, especially when you are growing one in a pot. You should normally avoid a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and choose a more balanced variety.
I use a fertilizer that has equal parts of phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, something with a ratio of 6-6-6, most of the time. When my mango tree starts to fruit I change to a fertilizer that has more phosphorus and potassium as this seems to help with fruiting.
In general a tomato fertilizer in normally suitable to use with mango trees.
Click here for my full article on the best fertilizer for fruit trees in containers.
How to prune an indoor mango tree in a pot
You will definitely have to prune your mango tree to keep it in the shape you want, keep it healthy and small enough to be grown as an indoor houseplant.
I normally prune my mango tree once per year with the main focus being on pinching the top growth as doing this encourages it to grow out like a bush rather than up as a big tree.
You should avoid taking too much off when you are pruning as it may affect fruit production the following season.
I simply remove any dead or unhealthy branches and trim and pinch the top and only remove branches that I have to because of space restrictions.
How to pollinate a mango tree?
Most varieties of mango tree are self-fertile and this means you only need one tree and it can pollinate itself.
In the wild, the bees and the wind will pollinate a mango tree but if you are growing one indoors you will have to give your tree a helping hand.
The first thing I do to help pollinate my mango tree is point a big fan at it so that the wind will blow it about and help with pollination.
The second thing I do is the paintbrush method, that is use a small paint brush to brush the flowers and this should move some pollen from the male stamen into the female stigma and pollinate your tree.
How to thin fruit on a mango tree?
Thinning fruit on a mango tree is not essential and it there are too many mangoes on the tree they should drop off by themselves.
The only time I would consider thinning fruit on my mango tree is if the weight of the mangoes looked like it was going to damage the tree, although, some people just add supports to the branches instead of prematurely removing fruits.
How to know when to pick mangoes from a tree
Mangoes will not all mature and become ripe at the same time so you will be able to pick them throughout the season when you want to eat them.
You cannot rely on the color to tell if your mangoes are ripe enough for harvest because most turn from green to yellow not all will do that, it depends on the variety you have grown.
The best way to tell if your mango is ripe to be picked is to squeeze it and if it’s ripe it should be soft and when you give it a smell it should smell of mango.
Mangoes will ripen off the tree so if you pick and it is not ripe simply leave it on a countertop and it should become ripe in a few days.
This video shows how to tell if a mango is ripe:
How to store mangoes at home
Mangoes ripen when they are off the tree, ripe mangos are soft and have a fruity smell.
If you have unripe mangoes you should store them at room temperature until they become ripe, it can take up to 8 days for mangoes to become fully ripe.
When you have ripe mangoes you should store them in the refrigerator and they will stay fresh for up to 6 days.
To store your mangoes long term the only option is to freeze them.
Before freezing you should peel your mangoes and cut them into cubes as this helps them freeze and defrost faster.
Put your mangoes in a sealable bag and lay them flat in your freezer to freeze them. Mangoes frozen like this will keep good for up to 6 months.
How to grow a mango tree outdoors
To grow a mango tree outdoors pick an area that has well-draining soil and the more sunlight the better.
Dig a hole then sprinkle some Mycorrhizae on the roots of your tree, this powder will help the roots grow and get your mango tree settled in the soil.
Next, fill in the soil and give your tree a good soaking with water.
Cover the soil around your tree with a layer of mulch such as bark chips, wood chips, grass or leaves, this will improve the quality of the soil and prevent weeds from growing so easily.
Common mango tree problems and how to solve them
Mangoes are relatively easy to grow but like all plants, they can be affected by various diseases, funguses of infestations.
Here are some common mango tree problems you may encounter:
Athracnose Disease – Athracnose Disease is one of the most serious diseases that could affect your mango tree. You will notice this disease by the dark brown spots that appear on the leaves that could cause whole branches to become infected and die.
Brown spots could even appear on the flowers and cause devastating fruit rot. To prevent this disease you should keep the soil around the base of your plant clear of leaves. You should treat your tree with a copper fungicide to try and cure it if it has become infected.
Sooty Mold – Sooty mold will look like a layer of soot on your mango tree but it is actually a sign of an infestation of tiny insects on your plant. In severe cases, you may have to prune back your tree to remove the worst infected areas.
Most of the time if you simply treat your tree with insecticidal soap or even just use a mild water and dishwashing soap mix to wash it off the leaves.
Mango Malformation Disease – Mango malformation disease is a rare disease for mango trees and is spread through grafts and contaminated pruning tools so always use sterile pruning tools.
You will notice this disease because the fruit will fail to develop and the flowers will dry up, turn black and die. If you notice this disease affecting your tree you should prune off any infected areas as soon as you notice it and spray your tree with a copper fungicide to cure it.
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