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Author Topic: Growing Mango trees in Southern California  (Read 79821 times)


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Re: Growing Mango trees in Southern California
« Reply #525 on: November 21, 2020, 11:19:39 AM »
I thought I would finally post some photos of a few of my mango trees after good 2020 growth. All but the Lemon Zest were grafted to Manila mango seedling. The LZ was grafted to a small Ataulfo mango seeding from seed. The trees below were grafted in late summer 2016 to late 2018. None of the Zill trees are seedlings. Only the rootstocks are seedling mango trees. I have no Turpentine rootstock trees in the ground.

Simon has been a big help over the years and first got me started grafting mangos in 2016. Thanks, Simon. Since I live in coastal So Cal (4-5 miles from the ocean) we do not receive as much heat and our growth is slower than the more inland areas with higher summer temperatures.

My coconut Cream mango tree required extensive shaping and trimming this year to keep more of the growth vertical. New growth has a strong tendency to grow sideways and downward. I cut these off to force up new vertical shoots.

The last two photos are of my young Brewster Lychee tree I just planted in July 2020 and the Molix Sapodilla planted in 2018. 

Coconut Cream Grafted in 2016.

Mallika-Nam Doc Mai. Grafted 2016-2018

Nam Doc Mai Grafted in 2016

Lemon Zest Grafted in late 2017

Sweet Tart Grafted in Late 2016

Brewster Lychee Tree

Molix Sapodilla Tree Planted in 2018

Beautiful trees. What are you currently fertilizing them with? My Alano sapodilla was about a 1.5' grafted tree when I bought it two years ago. It's grown about 6" in that time.  ;D

I've grown fond of it even though I realize it will just be an ornamental shrub and I will need to buy another larger tree to start with.

John B, if your Alano Sapodilla only grew several inches in two years, youíre probably not fertilizing or watering it enough. I got an Alano About 1.5 years ago and it was just a whip about two feet tall with side branches just starting to grow. It has consistently put on growth and although it is not a vigorous grower, it has gotten significantly larger. Itís probably around 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide now. It started out about two feet tall and maybe 6 inches wide with the new side branches when I got it.

Mass wise, itís probably 10-15 times larger than when I got it. Although Sapodillas are drought tolerant once established, they like water for growth assuming you have decent draining soil.

I believe my tree grew decently because I fertilized heavily. Sapodillas are pretty salt tolerant.

If you fertilize mangos in a greenhouse, be sure you donít get too much salt buildup in the bottom of the pot or else you can get nutrient lock.

If you grow organically, beware of fungus gnats when using organic fertilizers.

If you have a small greenhouse or tent, beware that too much fertilizer can push your tree to get too tall and it may hit the roof  before the weather gets warm enough to transition to the outside.


Johnny Eat Fruit

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Re: Growing Mango trees in Southern California
« Reply #526 on: November 21, 2020, 01:11:53 PM »
I believe Simon is correct about Sapdodilla trees. I have included (4) photos for comparison. I purchased a number of Sapodilla Trees in 2017 including an Alano and Molix. You can see for yourself the difference in growth between June of 2017 and Nov of 2019 in my Alano. I have since sold my Alano since I successfully grafted three scions from this tree onto my Tikal sapodilla which was already in the ground.

My Molix sapodilla tree has grown quite well in the three years I have had it. You can see the photo from 2017 and another one was just taken recently.


Alano Sapodilla 6-3-2017

Alano Sapodilla Tree 11-15-2019

Molix Sapodilla Tree 6-3-2017

Molix Sapodilla Tree11-18-2020

John B

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Re: Growing Mango trees in Southern California
« Reply #527 on: November 21, 2020, 11:45:16 PM »
Thank you Simon and Johnny. I certainly have neglected my plants the last couple of years! I've under ferted all of my plants as I do not have them on a schedule any more. That is now changing with the kids getting a bit older. But, I think that the main issue is my placement of the little tree.

I bought it as a recent graft from Ongs in April 2019. I did not think about sun orientation when I planted it. Even though we have a south facing house, there is significant shading from October to February at this specific area of my yard which I think is limiting growth. I will likely keep it as a decorative tree and take grafts later (thanks for the idea Johnny). You can see from the pictures the minimal growth. It still looks healthy and is consistently watered.

Also, I did amend about the top 12" of the soil with compost and pumice when I was installing my succulents, so drainage is not an issue.

Picture when I first bought it (sorry only picture I had):

Today Nov. 2020

FV Fruit Freak

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Re: Growing Mango trees in Southern California
« Reply #528 on: Today at 11:45:52 AM »
Hey Nate,

Iím the adventurous type so my personal opinion is that if you spent the time to grow out a seedling, you might as well let it fruit to see what you have. Who knows, you may chance upon a new flavor profile or just get super lucky with an amazing tasting fruit.

It is highly unlikely that you will get a super amazing fruit but there is a good possibility that you get a decent tasting fruit. My friend Margot grew out a tree from seed about 20-25 years ago and here tree is very productive with good tasting fruit. Itís not top tier but itís a good fruit in the same league as Kent, Glenn, Vp etc...

Leo Manuel also planted out many seedlings and he has made a number of selections from them. Not all the seedlings were keepers but the ones he kept are quite good and very disease resistant.

Nate, not all seedlings are the same. With Polyembryonic mangos, there is a significantly higher chance of good quality fruit from the seedling because there is a high probability of getting a clone. With Polyembryonic mango seedlings, there is also the probability of getting the zygotic seedling but the zygotic seedling may be selfed, meaning it was pollinated by itself.

This selfed seedling is Not a clone even though all of its genetic material came from itself. The zygotic seedling is the result of sexual reproduction so there were rearrangements of its genetic material. This is a possible explanation for how Lemon Zest and Orange Sherbet were selected from Po Pyu Kalay seedlings.

I highly recommend that us SoCal mango growers grow out Polyembryonic seeds from varieties like Sweet Tart, Orange Sherbet, COC and NDM as their number one choice for rootstocks. I recommend these even over Lavern Manilla.

Monoembryonic seedlings are also excellent as rootstocks but you are much less likely to get excellent fruit from them. Monoembryonic seedlings are highly variable from the research I have done. Monoembryonic seedlings usually start out as bigger plants as soon as they sprout because they get the energy fro the whole seed unlike Polyembryonic seedlings.


THANK YOU for the awesome, informative reply Simon! Hereís a pic of one of my seedlings (Kent) itís got 3 branches scaffolding out.

If I graft onto just one branch I wonder if it will slow the growth of the rest of the tree down? I do plan on growing out the other branches to see if I hit the lotto and wind up with a good tasting seedling fruit.

(ps if anyone knows how to rotate pictures please send me pm, thx)
Nate Dogg

Itís not that I donít like people...I just prefer fruit trees.


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