This summary was prepared from publications by
Chia, C. L. et. al. and Wanitprapha, K., et. al..
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Mangifera indica L.
ORIGIN: South and Southeast Asia
Mango trees are deep-rooted, symmetrical evergreens that attain heights of 90 feet and widths of 80 feet. Mango trees have simple alternate lanceolate leaves that are 12 to 16 inches in length and yellow-green, purple, or copper in color when young. Mature leaves are leathery, glossy, and deep green in color. New leaves arise in terminal growth flushes that occur several times a year. Mature terminal branches bear pyramidal flower panicles that have several hundred white flowers that are about a 1/4 inch wide when open. Most of the flowers function as males by providing pollen, but some are bisexual and set fruit. Pollination is by flies, wasps, and bees.
The fruit weighs about 1/4 pound to 3 pounds. Fruit may be round, ovate, or obovate depending on the variety. The immature fruit has green skin that gradually turns yellow, orange, purple, red, or combinations of these colors as the fruit matures. Mature fruit has a characteristic fragrance and a smooth, thin, tough skin. The flesh of ripe mangos is pale yellow to orange. The flesh is juicy, sweet, and sometimes fibrous. Some undesirable seedlings or varieties are described as possessing a turpentine-like off-taste. The fruit has one seed that is flattened and sticks to the flesh. The seed contains one or more embryos depending on the variety or type.
‘Ah Ping’, ‘Fairchild’, ‘Gouveia’, ‘Harders’, ‘Keitt’, ‘Momi K’, ‘Pope’, and ‘Rapoza’ are recommended mango varieties for Hawaii. All the listed varieties are productive and have superior quality fruit. They have less pronounced alternate-year bearing qualities than the more common ‘Haden’ and ‘Pirie’ varieties. All these varieties, including ‘Haden’ and ‘Pirie’, are monoembryonic and do not come true from seed. Flowering occurs from December to April, but offseason flowering is common, resulting in variable harvest times. ‘Fairchild’ is considered somewhat resistant to anthracnose and is favored for humid areas.
‘Exel’ is a high quality mango cultivar developed by the Department of Horticulture, University of Hawaii. It was selected from an open-pollinated population of ‘Irwin’ seedlings. Young ‘Exel’ trees begin to bear three to four years after transplanting into the orchard. ‘Exel’ bears fruit regularly, sets well and frequently flowers during the off season. Fruits usually mature in July and August but in some years, may mature as late as October. ‘Exel’ trees should be planted in sunny, dry areas to prevent anthracnose damage to immature fruit and flowers.
‘Exel’ fruits are ovate, 4 to 5.6 inches in length by 2.8 to 3.6 inches in width, with a short, rounded beak. The average fruit weight ranges from 14.1 to 17.6 ounces. The penduncle is set at the top of the fruit. Immature fruits are green with a purple blush. Mature fruits are yellow with a red over color on about half of the surface of the fruit. The flesh is firm, orange-yellow, juicy, sweet, and fiberless. The fruit has 18% total soluble solids. More than 90% of the fruit is edible flesh, because the fruit has a thin, flat seed.
Mango can be eaten raw as a dessert fruit or processed to various products. Ripe fruits can be sliced and canned or processed to juice, jams, jellies, nectars and preserves. Eastern and Asian cultures use unripe mangos for pickles, chutney and relishes. In India, unripe mangos are sliced, dried, and made into powder for amchoor, a traditional Indian preparation used for cooking.
In India, flour is made from mango seeds. Seeds are also eaten during periods of food shortages. The timber is used for boats, flooring, furniture and other applications.
Raw mango consists of about 81.7% water, 17% carbohydrate, 0.5% protein, 0.3% fat, and 0.5% ash. A 100 g (3.5 oz) serving of raw mango has 65 calories and about half the vitamin C found in oranges. Mango contains more vitamin A than most fruits.
Monoembryonic mango varieties, like the varieties recommended for Hawaii, have single embryos of hybrid origin and do not produce true from seed. They are propagated by grafting onto seedling rootstocks. Polyembryonic mango varieties, like the so-called common or Hawaiian mango varieties, produce two or more plants of nucellar (maternal) origin from each seed. These plants are predominantly true to type, and may be grown from seed without the necessity of grafting.
Grafted trees grow more slowly than seedling trees and are often smaller. Grafted trees usually produce fruit in 3 to 5 years in dry areas, while seedling trees usually take at least five years to come into bearing. Mango trees can remain in production for 40 years or more. Inarching is sometimes done to propagate mango varieties, and older trees may be topworked. Mangos are not propagated from cuttings or by air layering because the resulting trees are weak rooted.
SOIL TYPES and LOCATION
Mangos can be grown on a wide range of soil types, from light sandy loams to red clay soils. Soil pH of 5.5 to 7.5 is preferred. Deep rich soils give the best production and fruit quality. Well drained soils are recommended. Moderately sloping sites are also recommended to prevent waterlogging. Deep soils without impermeable layers permits the development of deep taproots that aids in drought tolerance and wind resistance.
Mangos will grow from sea level to an elevation of about 1,500 feet in Hawaii, but mangos are most productive below 1,200 feet. Mango is best adapted to hot, dry leeward areas that receive less than 60 inches of rainfall annually, but supplemental irrigation is desirable for highest yields in those areas. Anthracnose disease often destroys both flowers and developing fruits in humid, high-rainfall areas.
Dry weather during the flowering period is best for fruit production. Wind can damage flowers and reduce yields. Mango trees should be protected from strong winds, but windbreaks that shade or compete with them should be avoided.
Transplant container-grown plants promptly, before they become pot-bound, to permit good root development. Avoid transplanting plants that are flushing. Treble superphosphate (0-45-0) fertilizer should be mixed with the soil in the planting hole, but other fertilizers should not be applied until after the plants recover from transplanting shock.
Mangos are large trees and should be planted 35 to 40 feet apart. For increased early production, an extra tree may be planted in the center of a 40-foot square to be removed later. Unfortunately, however, this extra tree is seldom removed, which leads to overcrowding. Developing trees should be trained to eliminate low branches less than 2 feet from the ground, leaving three to four main branches on the trunk at different heights. The few fruits set in a tree’s first years of fruiting should be removed to speed up tree development. Pruning of well-formed older trees is usually confined to removal of dead branches. Pruning is preferably done after fruiting, before a growth flush occurs. Pruning can also be done to restrict tree size for small yards or when more than 35 trees per acre are planted. Some delay in flowering can be expected from new growth produced in response to pruning.
Young mango trees should not lack water. If rainfall is limited, irrigation water should be applied about once every two weeks during the first year, every three weeks during the second year, and once a month thereafter. Mature trees are more productive if irrigation water is withheld for at least two months before flowering. Although hot, dry weather is favorable to fruit development, supplementary irrigation between flowering and harvest is advisable for good yields.
Fertilizer may be a 1:1:1 or 1:2:2 N-P-K ratio formulation, such as 16-16-16 or 10-20-20 N-P-K. During tree establishment, phosphorus (P) is important for root development. Nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) are needed by bearing trees for good yields. Young trees should receive 0.1 to 0.2 pound of N (e.g., 1 to 2 pounds of 10-20-20 fertilizer) per year during the first year and 0.15 to 0.3 pound of N (e.g., 1.5 to 3 pounds of 10-20-20) during years two and three. The total annual amount of fertilizer should be divided into three or four applications, preferably applied before growth flushes are anticipated.
In general, bearing mango trees should receive about 1 pound of a complete fertilizer (containing N, P, and K) annually for each inch of trunk diameter measured 4 to 5 feet above ground level. Half of the fertilizer should be applied just before flowering and the rest applied after the crop is harvested. Supplemental N should be applied just before flowering rather than during fall and winter, when vegetative growth flushes rather than flowering occur. Slow-release fertilizer formulations are preferred, except for supplemental N applications, which should have rapid release. Fertilizers should be spread in a zone directly beneath the leaf drip line and, if possible, application should be followed by irrigation.
HARVEST and POSTHARVEST
Mango trees may remain in production for 40 years or more. Fruits are usually picked after they develop some red, orange, or yellow color. Mangos will ripen and may be picked when the flesh inside has turned yellow, regardless of exterior color. The harvest season is usually between June and September in Hawaii, depending on variety. Fruit matures three to five months after flowering.
Mangos should be picked before they are fully ripe, at which time they soften and fall. The fruit bruises easily and must be handled carefully to avoid damage. They are ripened at room temperature and then refrigerated. Mature mangos keep fairly well under refrigeration for two to three weeks at 50 to 55°F
Anthracnose, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (flowers, fruits)
Stem-end rot (fruits)
Sooty mold (leaves and fruits)
Powdery mildew, Oidium mungiferae (flowers, leaves, young fruit)
Tip burn (leaves; associated with potassium deficiency, water stress)
INSECTS Back To: Menu Bar
Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata
Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis
Mango weevil, Cryptorhynchus mangiferae
Scales, including Ceroplastes rubens, Pseudaulacaspis cockerelli
Red-banded thrips, Selenothrips rubrocinctus
Mango blossom midge, Dasineura mangiferae
Southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula
Mango shoot caterpillar, Penicellaria jocosatrix
Black twig borer, Xylosandrus cornpactus
India is the world’s largest producer of mangoes. It has been estimated that there are over 1000 commercial varieties in India, where mangos are often called the “king of fruits”.
According to FAO estimates, world mango production was 33.1 billion lb in 1989. India produced 63% of the total production. Other major producers were Mexico, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Brazil and the Philippines.
Mangos are available year-round in various import markets. Countries such as Brazil, Peru and Venezuela are major suppliers during winter while Mexico, Haiti, India and the Philippines are major suppliers during the spring and summer seasons.
Mangos are consumed primarily in the producing countries. However, mango imports in European and North American markets have increased ten-fold since 1975. Demand has also steadily increased in other areas, such as the Middle East and Japan.
Florida is the main producer of mangos in the United States. In 1990, 2800 ac of mangos were planted in Florida, of which 2500 ac were harvested. The farm value of the 19.2 million lb produced was $4.7 million. Mangos are also produced in Hawaii and Southern California.
In one decade, US imports of fresh mangos increased from 42.4 million lb in 1981 to 139.8 million lb in 1990.
In 1990, the CIF (cost, insurance and freight) value of fresh mangos imported to the US was $65.2 million. Mexico was the largest supplier, accounting for 86.3% of the volume imported, followed by Haiti (13.2%). Sixty-one percent of the fresh mango imports entered the US between June and August in 1990.
The US also imported various processed mango products at a CIF value (including guava and mangosteen) of $11.8 million in 1990. Mexico supplied about 42% of the mangos, prepared or preserved. Brazil and the Philippines together supplied more than 52% of the mango and guava pastes and purees, cooked.
American consumers seem to prefer mangos with strong red color. Color can be increased by treating mangos with ethylene in banana ripening rooms.
In 1990, the US exported 15.8 million lb of mangos, guavas and mangosteens at an FAS (free alongside ship) value of $12.2 million. The Netherlands (49% of the quantity exported), Canada (27%) and the United Kingdom ( 20%) were the major destinations.
Mangos are popular as a backyard tree in Hawaii. For commercial production, it was estimated that there were 15 bearing acres of mango trees in 1989 and an additional 15 nonbearing acres. The bearing acres are on Maui (6 acres), Kauai (6 acres) and Oahu (3 acres).
Honolulu is the major market for mangos in Hawaii. In 1989, Honolulu arrivals of fresh mangos amounted to 42,000 lb, 79% of which came from Oahu. The other 21% were from Kauai and Maui. Most of the supply arrived in Honolulu from July to October. The supply of mangos available is even larger when backyard production is considered.
In 1991, there were 40 farms that produced mango for commercial sale. On these farms, there were 2,750 trees on 65 acres of land. There were 810 trees that produced 63,900 pounds of mangos that sold for 73 cents per pound. The total value of sales for mango in 1991 was $46,600.
Fresh mangos from Hawaii are not permitted in the US mainland, Japan and various other countries due to quarantine restrictions related to fruit flies and mango seed weevil.
Neal, Marie C. In Gardens of Hawaii. Hawaii: Bishop Museum Press, 1965.
Wanitprapha, Kulavit, Kevin M. Yokoyama, Stuart T. Nakamoto and C.L. Chia. 1991. Mango Economic Fact Sheet #16. Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, CTAHR, University of Hawaii.
Statistic of Hawaiian Agriculture 1991. Prepared by: Hawaii Agricultural Statistics Service, P.O. Box 22159, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96823-2159. December 1992. 105 pages.