How to Grow Mango Trees in Pots
Mangos (Mangifera indica) are fast-growing, erect trees that are southern Asian natives. The two distinct races of mangos are Philippine, which tolerate humid conditions, and India, which are intolerant of them. Mangos are tropical trees that grow well in areas of the United States that are frost-free; they are frost sensitive. Gardeners wanting to grow a mango tree inside a pot should consider growing dwarf varieties such as Brooks, Carrie, Irwin, Manila or Villasenor. These are smaller trees reaching approximately 10 feet in mature height and will have a shorter tap root.
Select a very large pot with drain holes and preferably with casters for ease in moving the pot. Mangos have large, expanding root systems, so select a pot that is typically four to five times larger than the tree's root ball. This will cut down on the chances of the tree getting pot bound and having to repot frequently.
Fill the pot halfway full of a well draining potting mix--mango trees will not tolerate growing in saturated soil conditions. Water the potting mix.
Remove the mango tree from the original container and inspect the root system. If they are growing in a circular direction, make two to four vertical slits through it to unbind the roots. Roots left growing in that direction will keep the tree from growing properly.
Place the mango tree inside the new container and fill the remainder of the pot with potting mix. Press down on the soil to firm it up. Be sure to plant the mango tree at the depth it was growing inside the original container. Planting too deep puts undue stress on the tree.
Water the pot until water runs out of its bottom. Continue watering the tree once per week, cutting back to once every two weeks in winter.
Situate the pot in an area outside that receives full sunlight for the majority of the day. Mango trees will have the best growth and fruit production if situated in areas receiving sunlight.
Fertilize mango trees March until August with a 6-6-6 or 8-3-9 fertilizer. Apply in three to four equally divided applications. Do not fertilize after August and be careful not to pile the fertilizer granules against the mango tree’s trunk or it will burn. Fertilize young, 1- to 2-year-old trees with fish emulsion instead of granular fertilizer. Fertilize at the same schedule as older trees.
Prune the mango tree to control its size in late winter through early spring. Prune away any dead or damaged branches throughout the year.
Use an insecticide specific for use on mango trees if insects become as problem.
Remove the mango tree to a warm area in the event of frosts or freezes in your area. Fruits and flowers suffer damage when temperatures drop to 40 degrees F.
Mango fruits are called drupes and can weigh anywhere from 2 to 3 ounces up to 5 pounds.
Mango trees will start to bear fruit in approximately three to five years. Most varieties of mangos ripen May through September.