How to Grow Mango Tree in Pot

planting mango tree

Mango is tart, spicy and sweet in flavor. Also called as king of fruits, it’s a fruit of tropical plant called mango tree, which is not frost tolerant and dies easily if temperature drops below 30 F. It needs lot of space to grow, too. If you’re short of space or live in colder zone then growing a mango tree on ground is impossible. Good news is that you can grow mango tree in pot.

USDA Zones — 9 to 11, *can be grown in zone 7 & 8, too with care
Difficulty — Moderate
Botanical Name — Mangifera Indica

Growing Method

Propagating it from seed is a bad idea because it may take up to 8 year to produce fruit and even after that there’s no guarantee if it’ll ever produce fruit or not and of which variety. The smart idea is to buy a plant. There are lots of varieties of mangoes so it’s best to ask in local nursery for the dwarf variety that does well in container.

Choosing right variety & Planting

A dwarf mango tree grows up to 2-4 m. tall and is suitable for container. There’re some specific dwarf varieties of mango tree that you can grow in container— Irwin and Nam doc mai are best. Some other varieties you may try are King Thai, carrie, cogshall, glenn and Palmer.

Plant it in a planter according to the size of plant and regularly update the planter as the plant gets bigger. If you live in colder region, use dark colored pot because mangoes loves heat and black color has tendency to absorb it. Make sure your pot has good drainage holes; a mango tree doesn’t like moist soil. You’ll need too move your mango tree pot indoors in winter if you don’t live in frost free area so make sure you can move your container easily.

*The best time to plant it is spring, however it depends on variety.

Growing Habit

A Mango tree grown on its native place can grow huge, up to 32 meters tall, although it depends on the variety. There’re more than 500+ varieties of mangoes grown widely. A typical mango tree, if rightly cared may live up to 100 of years.
A grafted mango tree takes at least 3 years to fruit. In its first 3 to 5 years it grows larger and produce less flowers and fruits. More productive fruiting starts after the fifth year of planting.

Requirements

Soil

It needs well drained soil, rich in organic matter that’ll dry out easily, of pH level around 5- 6.5. Use high quality potting mix and add compost or manure and perlite in it for a healthy growth of plant.

Sunlight

Mango tree needs lots of sun and heat to thrive. Almost 8-10 hours of full sun is required for optimum growth and productivity of plant. Place container in South faced spot of your garden as south faced spots receive more intense and proper sunlight than other directions.

Watering

Mango trees grown on ground don’t require much watering but container grown plants are different. You need to water your mango plant regularly in its first year. After that, start to water it when top 2 inch of soil becomes dry. Increase watering when it’s flowering and producing fruits.

Mango Tree Care

Fertilizergrowing mango tree in pot

Feed it with balanced fertilizer when actively growing. In the beginning of blooming season decrease the amount of nitrogen and feed with high in potassium and phosphorus fertilizer.

Pinching and Pruning

Continuous pinching encourages bushier growth. Mango tree doesn’t require lot of pruning however it’s necessary to prune dead and diseased branches and control its shape. Heavy pruning can decrease amount of fruits in following year.

Pests

Common pests that attack mango tree are Hoppers, Mealybugs, Scale, and Spider Mites. They reduce the vigor of tree, which causes less fruits. These must be controlled as early as possible using organic pesticides.

Care in Winters

If you live in colder climate and still want to grow mango tree in container then you’ll need to care it very much in winters: Move it indoors when temperature falls below the freezing point. Place it in a room near a window which receive at least a meager sunlight in day. Try to warm up the room, using grow light and special temperature raising halogen lights. You can also cover up your plant to insulate it from cold.

Harvesting

After flowering, mango fruits ripen within next 2-4 month, depends on the weather and variety you’re growing. In hot and humid climate fruits ripen fast. Pluck fruits when their scent become sweet and tempting.  You can harvest unripe fruits too, these’re used in making sherbet, pickles and chutneys.



35 COMMENTS

  1. I have a mango tree that the children in my class planted several years ago. I have since retired and taken it home with me. It is about 3′ high, seem healthy, but has never flowered. Do all mango trees flower? I can’t remember exactly when we planted it, but it was close to 7 or 8 years ago. Should I put it in a larger pot?

    • Your tree is old enough to bloom and produce fruit. There are several reasons why a mango tree in pot may not be flowering.
      1. It can be due to insufficient sunlight – calculate how much sun your potted mango plant is getting.
      2. Due to nutrient deficiency – Check the leaves to identify the sign of lack of nutrition and deficiency. This might be helpful.
      3. Root bound – Check if the plant is root bound. To check, dig top inch layer of soil and see if their are roots growing upwards or clutered. *If you’ve never pruned it before, try to prune it this will encourage blooms.
      4. A mango may not bloom due to bad quality seed – It was sowed from seed or you bought it from nursery? If it was grown from seed you can do grafting to it to increase its productivity.

      Besides this, there could be many other reasons– pests and diseases, weather, fertilizer and overcast.

  2. kindly advise i just threw a mango seed ,last year and a tree pop up next to my jazmin tree .how do i remove and replant, will it be a problem kindly advise . thank you

    • Hello Fatima, most of the times the mango tree germinates from seed won’t grow healthy or true, besides this it takes lot of years to set fruits. If you really want to grow mango it is better to buy a grafted tree from nursery.

    • Hi Michelle, Pinching is a kind of pruning that is done to encourage branching.

      To pinch a plant, just pinch at the end of branch (tip) with your fingers or sharp scissor. This will stop the growth of that branch and make it produce new branches.

      To learn more, read this.

  3. Hi I have a mango tree this is the 2 nd time it has flowers and fruit and within 3 weeks the fruit drys up and falls off can you tell me what I am doing wrong

    • Hi Debbie,
      There can be a number of reasons of fruit drop in mango tree. Most commonly it is due to lack of nutrients, make sure you are applying right amount of fertilizer at correct time. Other causes might be temperature, diseases and under or over watering.

      If you are “Growing Mango Tree in Pot”, also checkout that it isn’t root bound, which can be a reason too.

      • I have the same problem. Our mango tree is in the grown I live in San Diego which the weather changes ofren. Out mango tree always gives flowers and fruit but it drys and falls out. I do see alot of spider webs I do water it not often since it’s never given fruit but lately I have been since I replanted an angles trumpet. I shop at home Depot what should I look for to nurture it? Oh one other thing our mango tree is 30yrs old and we have never been able to enjoy its fruit. Please help!! Thank you!!!! :)

  4. I got a Mango tree in a pot which as self rooted into the garden, Can you cut back the roots without damaging the tree groth or fruit bearing. Mywife seems to think it is not a dwaft type

  5. Hi i bought a mango tree an it seemed like it died last year during winter but it started growing again below the garth will it ever bear fruit

  6. Hi
    Very useful topic and I’m planning to do the above method.

    Can you please explain how to remove white fungus from hibiscus and tomato plant ?

    S K Nair

    • Mr. Nair, for the fungus in hibiscus and tomato or on any other plant you can mix two teaspoon of baking soda (not baking powder) in three cups of water mix well and spray on your plants, it will keep those bugs out. You can also make a fine paste of few garlic cloves and mix it with the same water with baking soda and spray, this will keep most of the insects away.

  7. Kindly help me, my mango plant growing good before but starting monsoon is badly affect the plant. It’s new leaves are started shrinking….. water is filled around the plant is that is a problem? Tell me the suitable remedy pls

    • Hi Farhan, If water is filled around the plant continuously, roots will rot. Common symptons includes wilting leaves with both new and old foliage drooping and dying. If the plant is in a pot, bring it to a place protected from rain and let the soil to dry out to one inch from top before you water it again. Another thing you can do is to repot the plant into sterile potting mix to prevent further fungal attacks on the root system.

  8. Hi I planted pomegranate seeds about 8yrs ago. The plant is healthy, i trim & feed it on a regular basis. I bring it inside for winter months, it stays healthy & happy in my all glass sunroom but no fruit yet. Is there any thing I could do to encourage to produce, please advice. Best reguards.tanjila

    • Tanjila Ahmed, my grandfather always told me to have two different pomegranate plants for cross pollination. Perhaps this is your problem.

  9. Hey,I really love your mango tree pictures and passage although I have never planted mango tree before because I live in Beijing where it is not suitable for mango growing.Can you recommend me some kinds of plants to grow in Beijing?谢谢(Thank you very much!)?

  10. I’am in St cloud central fl. the oldest mango tree have survive 2 frost and came and survive now with the weather so warn it grown out of proportion and small amount of fruit the second one did the contrary a lot of fruits and very large just like the guavas tree it have so large crop that the branches are touching the ground i use compost most of time on all the plants,about 20 of them i share most of it with the neighbors.

  11. I would like to try a dwarf variety that produces a fleshy mango. I don’t enjoy the hairy, stringy varieties. Can you suggest a suitable option for me?

  12. I had mango tree plant in indoor,the problem is Sunlight was not direct to tree, can grow but grow slow. How do improve plant grow or maintained it?

  13. I once had an indian mango tree in my front yard. It was a lot of work maintaining it but it gave me and the neighborhood kids delicious afternoons when it was blooming. I had to remove it when I needed to renovate my home. Good times. Thanks for this!

  14. Hi, sorry my question is not from this topic but it’s about mango tree… in my land i have a mango tree and its almost 60years old and is it safety if we build a house near to it or should we cut the tree. Thank you

  15. In ground……in spring…spread compost around tree and out underneath canopy…….muclch with lucerne or lupin……keep a circle of around 6 inches around the trunk free from both compost and mulch…….Dont water every day….sandy low fertile soil is the best for drainage………folar spray every two weeks when growing with a combination of fish emulsion/seaweed………dramatic results……..Try to shape the tree from a young age……when its 60 to 80 cm high….cut the top off……just above a brown collar……this will encourage it to grow shoots from around that collar……select 3 or 4 shoots…..forming a triangle ……..my one has three branches at the moment….when 30 to 40 cm long……cut down to just above collar….remove weaker branches or any growth facing inwards….try to create an open space in the centre of the tree to allow air/light into it……do the same all around the tree……you will create a large canopy with many branches and keep the height down…so its easy to reach the fruit…..compost and mulch …spring/autumn……..Dont water every day……..when they flower…..they will only grow what the plant can sustain……it will decide……….if you provide organics via the compost/mulch that will help…….when it flowers…..feed with a food similar to strawbs.tomatoes……..not high in nitrogen but more towards Phosphourous and potassium….this will encourage blooms and fruit…….Yates flower and fruit is good….Remove flowers on first attempt of tree to grow fruit…let it grow bigger ….Nitrogen is good at this time………The next year it will have a big strong canopy to support more fruit……Its best to remove all fruits the first time as it takes a lot of energy to grow fruit….get the roots and canopy strong before you let it fruit.

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