AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
MANGO GROWING IN FLORIDA
By GEO. D. RUEHLE and R. BRUCE LEDIN
Grown in Florida
INTRODUCTION ........................ ---. ------- -----------... .-- 3
H ISTORY ........................... ..-...... ........ .. ------- 3
DISTRIBUTION OF THE MANGO IN FLORIDA ..................-... .......-- .....--- 6
Distribution by counties, soils and sites, climatic requirements
USES AND FOOD VALUE .--.....-- ........... ................ ............... ........--.-- 7
BOTANY ---................. ..- --... .... ..... -.- .- -- .......... -- --...... ... .. 9
Relationships and races, floral characteristics, pollination and
VARIETIES .............-...... .. ..........----- -----.------- -- ..---.-...-- ...... 15
Classification, Florida mango varieties, commercial varieties,
varieties for home planting, classification according to season,
development of new varieties
PROPAGATION ................. ..-.... ...............-.... ....--. .. ..- .. .....-.....--- ..-- 30
Rootstocks, preparing and planting the seed, grafting, budding,
CULTURAL PRACTICES ...................................... ..... ............. .. .... .... 42
Land preparation, planting distances, time of planting, plant-
ing techniques, fertilization, minor elements, cultivation and
cover crops, pruning, windbreaks, cold protection
PRODUCTION AND MARKETING .......................... ............- -....... ...... 56
Typical yields, harvesting, packing, marketing, storage
D ISEA SES ...........-..... -... ...- ....... .. -. .. .......- ..-..- ... ..-...-.... ...........- 62
Anthracnose and its control, mango scab, powdery mildew, red
rust, stem end rot, non-parasitic diseases
INSECTS AND OTHER PESTS ...................................... ...-. ........ 78
Scale insects, thrips, mites, other insects
MANGO DERMATITIS .................. ... ..... ... ......... 83
LITERATURE CITED .
MANGO GROWING IN FLORIDA
By GEO. D. RUEHLE and R. BRUCE LEDIN 1
The mango is an important fruit in tropical countries through-
out the world. It is probably of more importance to the people
of the tropics than the apple and peach are to people in temperate
countries. The mango, along with many other tropical and sub-
tropical fruits, can be grown successfully in the United States
only in peninsular Florida. It is well known to many Floridians
and has been planted for many years as a dooryard fruit tree
and in commercial groves. In recent years commercial plant-
ings have greatly increased and the fruit is beginning to take on
importance in Northern markets. As better varieties become
known and better marketing procedures are developed, the man-
go will become even more popular throughout the United States.
This bulletin has been prepared to bring together the infor-
mation available from observations and experiments made in
Florida and pertinent cultural data reported from other countries.
Invaluable assistance was received from County Agents in sup-
plying estimates of mango plantings in Florida and from J. C.
Noonan in supplying and preparing many of the photographs.
Dr. D. O. Wolfenbarger read the section on insects.
The mango is native to southeastern Asia from India to the
Philippines. It has been cultivated in India for at least 4,000
years and over 1,000 varieties are recognized there today (33).
Its culture gradually spread to tropical and subtropical countries
throughout the world, most areas having developed varieties that
are adapted to their particular growing conditions. The Portu-
guese carried it to Africa during the 16th Century, then to
Brazil by 1700. It was growing in Barbados in 1742 and in
Jamaica in 1782 (44).
The first successful introduction of the mango to the Florida
east coast was in the 1860's (72) and to the west coast in the
1870's (47). Previous to 1900 only seedling mangos of Turpen-
tine and Number 11 were grown. The USDA Division of Po-
SRuehle, Vice-Director in Charge, Ledin, formerly Associate Horticul-
turist, both at Subtropical Experiment Station, Homestead, Fla. This is
a revision of Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 574.
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Fig. 1.-Map of peninsula Florida on which is recorded the number of
mango trees by counties as of February 1954.
Mango Growing in Florida
mology in 1889 made the first successful introductions of grafted
Indian varieties (72), the Mulgoba being one of these. Many
Indian mangos have been introduced subsequently but none has
proven worthwhile as a commercial variety in Florida. A seed-
ling of Mulgoba fruiting in Coconut Grove in 1910 was named
the "Haden" (Fig. 2) (14). It at once became a popular variety.
Before 1900 mangos were propagated mostly by seed. In
Fig. 2.-The original Haden tree photographed in 1934 when it was 32
years old. The tree is still standing in Coconut Grove.
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
1900 George B. Cellon used the patch bud successfully. He es-
tablished a nursery in Miami and in 1912 published a catalog
offering budded Haden and other mangos for sale (4). His efforts
contributed much to the success of the Haden mango.
The Florida Mango Forum, organized in 1938, has done much
for the development and advancement of the mango in Florida,
particularly in the search for varieties better adapted to com-
DISTRIBUTION OF THE MANGO IN FLORIDA
The mango is grown throughout South and Central Florida
(21), with plantings concentrated mainly along the east coast
from Brevard to Dade County, and along the west coast from
Pinellas to Lee County (Fig. 1). Commercial production cen-
ters mainly in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Lee and Manatee
counties, with Dade alone accounting for 60 percent of all plant-
ings. Small plantings are in Brevard (on Merritt Island), Mar-
tin, St. Lucie, Charlotte, and Sarasota counties. Plantings in
other counties, particularly in the central part of the state, con-
sist mainly of dooryard plants but few commercial groves.
Nearly 350,000 trees are recorded in Florida, amounting to
approximately 7,000 acres. More than half of the trees, or about
4,000 acres, are in commercial plantings, with a little over 2,000
of these acres being planted since 1950.
Soils and Sites.-Mangos will grow successfully on soils of
widely diverse types. Although the tree thrives best on deep
loam containing a high percentage of humus, it will flourish on
light, acid sands as well as on alkaline limestone soils if properly
fertilized. The mango is less affected by soil quality than any
other fruit tree, but it is not thrifty nor prolific in low, poorly
drained lands, such as the flatwoods, or on higher grounds where
the subdrainage is poor. Although mango trees have been known
to survive six weeks of flooding without apparent ill effects,
plantings should be made where the elevation is sufficient to
avoid flooding and at the same time give good soil drainage.
Air drainage also is important, particularly in hilly areas
where cold air settles in depressions. In South Florida where the
terrain is flat, air drainage is not an important factor; but a
difference of a few feet is important, for cold air will settle in
Climatic Requirements.-The mango is a subtropical plant
and grows best in areas known as the "dry tropics" where frost
Mango Growing in Florida
is absent but where there is a definite alternation of dry and
wet seasons. The dry season should occur several months previ-
ous to flowering in order to induce a rest period and should ex-
tend through the time of flowering and fruit development to
discourage anthracnose. A wet season after fruit production
is desirable to encourage vegetative growth. Rainfall can be
as low as 20 inches a year, but it can be as high as 100 inches
provided it is followed by a timely dry season.
The rainfall and alternation of dry and wet seasons in Florida
are favorable for mango growing, but the limiting factor is the
minimum temperature during the winter months. The mango
is more sensitive to cold than citrus and some other subtropical
fruits. Severe prolonged cold spells with below freezing tem-
perature in the past have killed large trees. Cold of short du-
ration has not harmed mature trees but new flushes of growth
and flower clusters may be injured. Young trees are more sensi-
tive to cold and can be killed outright at temperatures below
330 F. unless protected.
Plantings on any large scale should be along the coastal coun-
ties where the proximity to the ocean helps to modify the cold
spells. Mangos may be grown as far north as Ocala in Central
Florida if planted in areas protected from cold, such as along
lake shores, river banks, and near dwellings.
USES AND FOOD VALUE
The mango has many uses. It can be eaten as a fresh fruit
and it can also be cooked, frozen and dried. It can be used when
green, half ripe or fully ripe. Recipes regularly appear in local
papers during the mango season, and several publications which
describe the uses of the fruit are available (25, 34).
As a fresh fruit, ripe, chilled mangos can be peeled and sliced
and served as a salad or a dessert. Mango blends well with ice
cream and there are many ways of serving it in this manner,
the most popular being as a sundae. The slices also mix well
with other fruit, such as oranges, grapefruit, and papaya. The
unpeeled fruits can be cut lengthwise or crosswise and the two
halves twisted to pull them apart from the stone; they are served
on the half shell and eaten with a spoon (Fig. 3). In some
countries a special mango fork is used in which the center prong
pierces the stone. The fruit is held with the fork while it is
peeled and eaten. A fresh puree can be made with sugar added
to serve over ice cream.
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Fig. 3.-Half mango on plate.
In cooking, green or half-ripe fruit as well as ripe fruit may
be used. Such dishes as pies, tarts, shortcakes, brown Betty
and nutbread can be made. Mango chutney, jam, jelly, preserves,
sauce, pickles and butter also can be made. Mangos can be pre-
served by canning, the process being similar to that used for
other fruit. Occasionally canned mangos appear in the local
markets. For home canning, almost any variety can be used,
some preferring large mangos such as Anderson and Springfels.
Mangos may be frozen. They have appeared from time to time
in the market prepared in this manner. For this purpose, the
fruits must be ripe, peeled, and sliced, and a sugar syrup with
or without lime juice may be added. Whole, unpeeled mangos
do not freeze well. Edward, Florigon, Kent and Zill are more
satisfactory for freezing than Haden. A new injection method
of making ice cream has been described (19, 20).
A survey of the literature (10, 11, 33, 35, 37, 67) shows that
mango compares favorably in food value with both temperate
and tropical fruits. Indeed, in tropical countries no other well
known fruit contributes as much toward an adequate diet. A
high amount of total solids is present in the fresh fruit. Starch
is present in the green fruit but changes to sugar as the fruit
Mango Growing in Florida
ripens. The sugar content is high compared to other fruits,
varying from 6 to 20 percent. The protein content is generally
a little higher than that found in other fruits.
The mango is considered a good to excellent source of vitamin
A. Vitamin C content varies with the variety, but the majority
of Florida mangos are good to excellent sources of this vitamin.
Mangos are also considered as fair sources of thiamin and niacin,
but they contain only a small amount of riboflavin. The mango
contains a fair amount of calcium and iron, but is a poor source
of other minerals.
The mango, Mangifera indica L., is a member of the cashew
family, Anacardiaceae. The members of this family are trees
or shrubs with inconspicuous flowers often produced in large
clusters, the fruit frequently being attractive and edible.
Fig. 4.-A six-year-old Kent tree showing the characteristic upright
growth of this variety.
10 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
According to Mukherjee (32), there are 41 species of Mangi-
fera distributed throughout the Indo-Malaysian area from India
to New Guinea and the Philippines, 17 of these bearing edible
The mango tree is evergreen, the height and shape varying
considerably among seedlings and varieties (Figs. 4, 5, and 6).
The thick and leathery, short-pointed leaves are elliptic-oblong
or lanceolate in shape and are relatively long and narrow, often
becoming 12 inches or more in length; they are usually deep
green in color when mature but in varying shades of brownish-
red in new flushes. The leaves are borne on short petioles swollen
at the base. The stem contains a milky or watery sap which is
more prominent in some varieties than others.
The growth of the mango tree occurs in cycles or vegetative
flushes and takes place mainly in the spring and summer months
when from one to three or more flushes will develop. Flushes
do not appear on all branches at one time; rather, only part of the
tree or often a few branches will be in active state of growth
during one period.
Fig. 5.-A five-year-old Zill tree showing the characteristic spreading and
open type of growth.
Mango Growing in Florida
Flowers are produced from December to March, depending
mostly on weather conditions. It is not too uncommon to find
individual trees flowering as early as October and November and
as late as April and May. If fruit did not set on the first bloom,
a second and even a third bloom might occur. The very late
bloom seldom sets fruit. There seems to be little difference in
time of bloom in most varieties, but the Edward and Haden
usually are the first mangos to come into bloom in a given season.
The inflorescence is a pyramidal terminal panicle (Fig. 7) to
24 inches or more in length. The nearly sessile flowers, 1/ to
/8 inch in diameter, are produced in small groups on the lateral
branches. The number of flowers produced in one panicle will
vary from a few hundred to over 7,000. The flowers are either
staminate or perfect, both occurring in the same inflorescence.
Both types have five small, green, hairy sepals and five small,
spreading petals which are red, orange, pink, greenish or yellow
in color. A five-parted fleshy nectary disk is located inside at
the base of the petals. The staminate flower has one functional
Fig. 6.-A five-year-old Edward tree showing the characteristic
compact type of growth.
12 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
stamen with one or more staminodes. The perfect flower pos-
sesses a unicarpellate pistil which consists of a nearly globular
green ovary and a unilateral style. The perfect flowers tend to
be produced in largest numbers on the terminal portion of the
Fig. 7.-Mango bloom panicle.
The fruit (Fig. 8), which matures from late May to Septem-
ber in the different varieties, is produced singly or in clusters.
Botanically it is a drupe consisting of an outer skin, a fleshy
Mango Growing in Florida
edible portion and a stone inclosing a single seed. Fibers at-
tached to the stone extend into the flesh, the number varying
from few to many and the character from fine non-objectionable
to long and coarse. Mango fruits are quite variable in size,
shape, color, and other characters; varying in size from 2 to
10 inches or more in length and in weight from a few ounces
to 4 or 5 pounds.
The seed consists of either one embryo resulting from the
sexual process of union of a sperm with the egg, or two to five
or more embryos, one of which is produced sexually and the
others developed from the nucellar tissue. Mangos with only
one embryo, characteristic of the Indian types, are called mono-
embryonic and those with more than one, as in the West Indian
and Saigon types, are polyembryonic.
Pollination and Fruit Set.-One of the worst defects of the
mango is the pronounced tendency to produce a light crop even
though the tree flowers profusely. A number of studies in Flor-
ida and India have brought out many factors regarding this.
Fig. 8.-Fruiting habit of the Haden mango.
.ANL1 Ilr, rAW
14 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
A mango tree produces a large number of flowers per panicle,
but only a small percentage of these flowers are perfect and
capable of producing fruit, the portion varying with the variety.
It has been shown (39, 61) that varieties with the highest per-
centage of perfect flowers usually are more prolific. Studies in
India have indicated this variation may range from a low of
0.74 percent flowers for one variety to as high as 68 percent for
another variety (61). In Florida the Saigon mango may have
55 to 75 percent perfect flowers, while the Pettigrew, although
flowering profusely, produces less than 1 percent perfect flowers.
Cobin (6) studied the proportion of perfect flowers of five varie-
ties in 1950 and 1951 and found variation between varieties and
from year to year. The percent of perfect flowers varied from
3 in Edward to 30 in Zill the first year. A higher percentage
of perfect flowers was found in each variety the second year.
Mango flowers open from about 8 A. M. to noon. Pollen is
shed by noon and remains viable up to 48 hours (62). Although
only one stamen in each flower produces pollen, the large num-
ber of flowers in a panicle insures a supply of pollen more than
adequate for pollination. The stigmas are generally receptive
18 hours before the flowers open (61) and remain receptive up
to 48 hours or more after the flowers have opened.
The mango flower is adapted for insect pollination. Unfor-
tunately, bees are not attracted in large numbers to the mango
flower. Rather, such insects as thrips and various flies, includ-
ing the common housefly and carrion flies, frequent mango flow-
ers. The lack of efficient pollinators may be responsible in part
for the low yields experienced in some varieties. In India (61)
it was found that only 3 to 35 percent of the flowers were polli-
nated. Weather factors such as wind and rain might also affect
pollination directly and also indirectly by restricting the activi-
ties of pollinating insects. The effect of temperature on pollen
viability, growth of the pollen tube and fruit set is not entirely
clear. Popenoe (43) found that Haden pollen would not germ-
inate on artificial medium below 60 F. On the other hand,
Young (79), reporting on a study of 13 varieties of Florida
mangos, found that the pollen held in the anthers at 32-400 F.
for several hours germinated well at room temperature. But he
also found that growth of the pollen tube was inhibited when
the cultures were incubated at 600 F. or less. It should be noted
that neither of these studies duplicates the conditions which
would occur in pollination and fertilization in the flowers.
Mango Growing in Florida
In the mango there is a large amount of post-fertilization
fruit drop. In some varieties only 1 out of 150 apparently fer-
tilized flowers will develop fruit to maturity (32). Fruit drop
may be a result of inadequate soil fertility, insufficient water or
disease. Some mangos, particularly Haden, tend in some years
to produce small fruit in which the embryo is aborted. Pollina-
tion apparently takes place but fertilization is not completed.
Possibly because of the stimulus of the pollen tube the ovary
grows and forms a fruit without embryo formation. Many of
these embryoless fruits are shed before they become very large.
Some varieties, like Edward and Earlygold, produce a certain
percentage of fruit with aborted seeds, but unlike the Haden
the fruit of these two varieties will develop to its full size.
The mangos grown in Florida are conveniently classified
into four groups, as follows:
1. Varieties Introduced from India.-These are known as
the Indian mangos and include the Mulgoba, Amini, Paheri, Sand-
ersha, Alphonso, Ameeri, Bennett, Bombay Yellow, Borsha, Gola,
Rajpuri and Totapari. The plants or grafting material were
originally brought to this country many years ago by the United
States Department of Agriculture. These typically monoembry-
onic varieties have never performed well in commercial plant-
ings. Today they are found mostly in collections but they have
served as parents for several of the Florida varieties.
2. Varieties or Types Introduced Either Directly or Indi-
rectly from the Philippines and French Indo-China. They are
referred to as Philippine and Saigon mangos. Some, like the
Carabao and Pico, are well-known varieties in the Philippines.
Others, like the Manila, Cecil, Cambodiana, and Saigon, were
introduced to Florida as seeds-the Manila from Mexico, Cecil
from Cuba, and Cambodiana and Saigon from Indo-China. Poly-
embryonic and frequently propagated from seed, they are gen-
erally referred to as types rather than varieties. The Cambodi-
ana and Cecil, however, are horticultural varieties and are propa-
The Philippine mangos are principally found in collections
and as dooryard plants. The fruit is fiberless, sweet tasting, rich
in flavor and without the turpentine flavor which to a certain
extent is found in Indian mangos. They lack attractive colora-
TABLE 1.-FLORIDA MANGO VARIETIES.
Cecil ... .............
Dixon .......... .........
Glenn ...- ..... .............
Golden Brooks ......
* Plant patent number 451, 1941.
** Plant patent number 119, 1934.
Propagated Year Name First
Lynch & Mustard
Lynch & Krome
Wolfe & Lynch
Lynch & Mustard
Lynch & Krome
Sturrock & Wolfe
Wolfe & Lynch
Wolfe & Lynch
Lynch & Mustard
Lincoln & Cobin
Lynch & Krome
Lincoln & Cobin
Seed from Saigon
Seed from Cuba
Mutation of Haden
Haden X Carabao
I i I
TABLE 1.-FLORIDA MANGO VARIETIES (Continued).
Palmer ..... .........
Saigon (type) ........
Springfels .............. -
Z ill ...........................
Year Name First
Lynch & Krome
Lynch & Krome
Lincoln & Cobin
Lynch & Krome
Sturrock & Wolfe
Wolfe & Lynch
Lynch & Krome
Wolfe & Lynch
Seed from Saigon
Saigon X Amini
Haden X Carabao
W. Palm Beach
18 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
tion and have not found favor commercially. They are generally
better producers than the Indian mangos and some, like the Sai-
gon types, are regular bearers and appear to be somewhat re-
sistant to anthracnose.
3. Varieties or Types Introduced from the West Indies and
South America.-Two of these types are known as Turpentine
and Number 11. Seedlings of these have been designated as
apple, peach, apricot, pineapple, etc. Turpentine and Number
11 were the first mangos brought into Florida nearly a century
ago and, although they are not planted commercially, there are
a large number of trees scattered throughout South and Central
Florida. They are polyembryonic and because they usually pro-
duce an abundance of fruit, they serve as a source of seed for
rootstock. The fruit of these seedlings is generally turpentine
in flavor and contains a considerable amount of fiber. Other
varieties propagated vegetatively and quite unlike the Turpen-
tine and Number 11 are included in this group because they
came from the West Indies or South America. Three of these
are Julie from Trinidad, Madame Francis from Haiti, and Ita-
maraca from Brazil.
4. Varieties Originating in Florida as First-generation Seed-
lings of Indian Varieties (such as Brooks, Haden, Keitt), or as
Second-generation Seedlings (such as Eldon, Fascell, Kent, Lip-
pens, Smith, Stringfels and Zill), or as Third-generation Seed-
lings (such as Carrie and Irwin).-This group also includes three
varieties (Edward, Samini and Simmonds) considered to be
crosses between Indian and Philippine mangos, made by Edward
Simmonds of Miami in the 1920's and named by Sturrock, and
one (Davis-Haden) considered a mutation or sport of the Haden.
Thirty-nine of these varieties have been officially named and de-
scribed (see Table 1). The old varieties, such as Haden, Brooks
and Springfels, have been planted commercially for several dec-
ades. But during the past 15 years many new varieties have
appeared which tend to bear with more regularity and produce
good yields of fruit of high quality and good eye appeal. It is
considered that from this group of new varieties originating in
Florida will come mangos that will hold more promise for the
future of Florida's mango industry.
For many years Haden was the only variety planted com-
mercially. But because of its irregular bearing in commercial
Mango Growing in Florida
plantings, it has lost favor and is being replaced by some of
the newer varieties that have shown promise of bearing crops
nearly every year. Of the named varieties originating in Florida
(Table 1), only a few appear to have the characteristics desirable
in commercial varieties. Some have not been grown long enough
to determine their commercial possibilities; others, though they
may bear well, either do not have quality or eye appeal or do
not ship well.
In judging a mango for its commercial possibilities, the fol-
lowing should be considered:
1. Under favorable conditions, it should bear good crops every
2. A high percentage of flowers should be perfect and there
should be little tendency to produce embryoless fruit.
3. The fruit should be attractively colored.
4. The fruit should hold well when shipped and ripen with
good quality as much as 10-14 days after harvest.
5. The variety should be sufficiently resistant to anthrac-
nose so that commercial control is practicable.
6. The flavor should be satisfactory with flesh free of ob-
jectionable fibers and the stone should be 10 percent or less of
the weight of the whole fruit.
Varieties that seem to meet most of these requirements,
especially in bearing good crops, and that are being planted
commercially include Zill, Irwin, Kent, Palmer, and Keitt. These,
listed according to time of maturity from early to late, are
briefly described below.
Zill (54) (Fig. 9).-Fruit small to medium-small, to 4 inches
long, averaging 8 to 12 ounces in weight; shape ovate; ground
color yellowish with a light to dark crimson blush and a lavender
bloom, lenticels many, small and yellow. Flesh juicy, fiberless
with flavor rich and sweet and quality good to very good. Stone
makes up about 8 percent of the weight of the fruit. Season
early, sometimes as early as May 15, and extending through
June and sometimes into early July. Packs well and holds up
well in shipping, and can be picked at mature-green stage and
will ripen satisfactorily with good quality. Tree becomes fairly
large but relatively open with leaves yellow-green in color.
Irwin (25) (Fig. 9).-Fruit medium size, to 5 inches long,
weighing up to 16 ounces, averaging about 12; shape rather
elongate or narrow-ovate; ground color orange-yellow with a
20 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
bright red blush, lenticels small and white. Flesh fiberless with
mild flavor and quality good to very good. Stone relatively
small. Season June and July. Fruit holds up well in shipping.
Tree somewhat dwarf; fruits produced in clusters.
Fig. 9.-Zill above; Irwin below.
Kent (53) (Fig. 10).-Fruit large, becoming 5 inches or
more in length, averaging about 24 ounces in weight; shape
ovate and rather thick and plump; ground color greenish-yellow
with a dark red blush and gray bloom, lenticels numerous, small,
Mango Growing in Florida
and yellow. Flesh juicy and fiberless, rich and sweet and quality
very good to excellent. Stone makes up 9 percent of the weight
of the fruit. Season is July and August and sometimes early
September. Fruit ships well and is one of the better late man-
gos. Growth habit is upright with ascending branches.
Palmer (24) (Fig. 11).-Fruit large, to 6 inches long and to
2 pounds in weight, averaging about 25 ounces; shape elongated
but full; ground color orange-yellow with a red blush and pale
bloom, lenticels large and numerous. Flesh firm and with only a
small amount of fiber, quality fair to good. Stone long and of
medium size. Season July and August. Tree of moderate vigor
and open in growth.
Keitt (54) (Fig. 11).-Fruit large, to 43/4 inches long and
to 24 ounces in weight; shape oval, plump and thick; ground
color yellow with a light pink blush and with a lavender bloom,
lenticels numerous, small and yellow to red in color. Flesh juicy,
fiberless, except near the seed, flavor rich and sweet, and quality
very good. Stone small, 7 to 8.5 percent of the weight of the
fruit. Season is August and September. Fruit ships well and
is considered the best of the very late mangos. Tree has a very
peculiar habit of growth, producing long arching branches and
a scraggly open appearance.
22 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Fig. 11.-Palmer above; Keitt below.
Other varieties that are being planted commercially but on
a smaller scale, include Davis-Haden, Fascell, Lippens, Haden,
Smith, Springfels, and Brooks, although the last named four
are not being planted as extensively as in previous years.
Mango Growing in Florida 23
Davis-Haden (24).-Fruit large, to 6 inches long and to 2
pounds in weight; shape ovate and full; ground color orange-
yellow with a dark red to purple-red blush, lenticels large, white.
Flesh with only a few fine fibers; quality considered fair to good.
Season July and August.
Fascell (74) (Plant Patent No. 451, 1941).-Fruit medium
size, to 41/ inches long and to 16 ounces in weight; shape ovate
and somewhat flattened; ground color pale yellow with a pink,
red or old rose blush, lenticels large, white to yellow. Flesh
nearly fiberless, with flavor tart to sub-acid and quality rated
as fair to good. Season middle of June through July. Tree of
moderate vigor with a rather open growth.
Lippens (54).-Fruit medium size, to 41/3 inches long and
16 ounces in weight; shape ovate-oblong; ground color deep yel-
low with a bright crimson blush and lavender bloom speckled
with rose; lenticels many, small, and yellow. Flesh juicy, fiber-
less, with flavor rich and sweet, and very good quality. Season
is June and July. Tree of moderate vigor with compact growth.
Haden (49) (Fig. 12).-Fruit large, to 51/2 inches long and
to 24 ounces in weight; shape oval and plump; ground color
yellow with a crimson blush and with numerous white lenticels
and a heavy bloom, producing an attractive variegated appear-
ance. Flesh juicy, nearly fiberless with sub-acid flavor and good
quality. Season June and early July. Tree becomes quite large
and spreading. Formerly much planted in commercial groves
Smith (24).-Fruit large, to 6 inches long and to 2 pounds
in weight; shape elongated and full; ground color orange-yellow
with a deep maroon to scarlet blush, lenticels large and white.
Flesh nearly fiberless, quality rated as fair to good. Season
July and August. Tree is upright and open and rather asym-
metrical in growth.
Springfels (74).-Fruit large, to 9 inches long and to 3 pounds
in weight; shape oblong; ground color orange-yellow with a
deep maroon blush, lenticels numerous, white. Flesh contains
only a small amount of fibers. Quality rated as fair to good.
Season is July and August. Tree tends to remain dwarf.
Brooks (74).-Fruit medium-large, to 6 inches long and to
24 ounces in weight; shape oval to oblong and plump; color
greenish-yellow, sometimes with a pale red blush; lenticels large
and white. Flesh moderately free of fibers, quality fair to good.
24 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Season August and September and sometimes early October.
Somewhat dwarf and open in growth. Valued as a late variety,
but because of the lack of eye appeal, has lost favor as a com-
Fig. 12.-Haden above; Sensation below.
Several new varieties have been under test at the Subtropical
Experiment Station for a number of years. Their commercial
possibilities have not been thoroughly tested, but they seem
desirable either because of their early season (Earlygold) or
because of their small fruit (Adams, Ruby, Sensation, Sunset).
Mango Growing in Florida
Adams (22).-Fruit small, to 33/4 inches long and to 10 ounces
in weight; shape oval to oblong; ground color bright yellow with
a crimson blush, lenticels small and yellow. Flesh juicy, rich,
sweet, fiberless; quality very good. Tree of moderate vigor,
upright and only slightly spreading. Season June and July.
Earlygold (22).-Fruit medium size, to 51/ inches long and
to 12 ounces in weight; shape oblong; ground color orange-
yellow with an orange-red or orange-pink blush, lenticels small,
yellow to white. Flesh juicy, sweet, and fiberless; quality very
good to excellent. Stone often contains aborted seeds but the
fruit matures to its full size. Tree upright and of moderate
vigor. Season is May and June.
Eldon (22).-Fruit medium size, to 41/2 inches long and to
18 ounces in weight; shape oval; ground color pale yellow with
a bright tomato-red blush, lenticels medium-large, yellow in
color. Flesh juicy, sweet, and fiberless; quality good to very
good. Tree of moderate vigor, upright and with a dense crown.
Season July and early August.
Ruby (22).-Fruit small, to 5 inches long and to 8 ounces
in weight; shape long and slender; ground color yellow-orange
with a dark red to crimson blush, lenticels yellow and numerous.
Flesh sweet and fiberless; quality good to very good. Fruit
often produced in clusters. Tree of moderate vigor, upright
and somewhat open. Season July and early August.
Sensation (22) (Fig. 12).-Fruit medium-small, to 41/ inches
long and averaging 10-12 ounces, but individual fruits weigh
to 20 ounces; shape oval; ground color bright yellow to yellow-
orange with a dark plum-red blush, lenticels numerous, small
and pale yellow. Flesh slightly sweet and of a distinctive mild
flavor and with scanty fibers; quality good. Tree vigorous, mod-
erately open, and symmetrical in growth. Season August and
Sunset (22).-Fruit medium-small, to 4/2 inches long and
to 12 ounces in weight; shape oval to oblong; ground color yel-
low-orange with a bright orange-red blush, lenticels small and
yellow. Flesh is juicy, fiberless, sweet to somewhat acidulous;
quality good to very good. Tree vigorous grower, upright and
somewhat spreading. Season June and July.
VARIETIES FOR HOME PLANTING
All of the commercial varieties mentioned above are satis-
factory for home planting. In addition, a number of other
26 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
varieties that produce fruit of very good to excellent quality
are recommended for dooryard planting. They are not com-
mercial varieties because they are either low yielding or pro-
duce fruit that lacks eye appeal. Some of these are the following:
Fig. 13.-Carrie above; Edward below.
re": .. k
Mango Growing in Florida
Carrie (25) (Fig. 13).-Fruit medium size, to 4 inches long
and 12 ounces in weight; shape oblong; color greenish-yellow,
lenticels small and white. Flesh very juicy, very rich, aromatic
and fiberless; quality excellent. Tree somewhat dwarf with a
very dense crown, making this variety a very attractive one for
dooryard planting. Season June and July.
Edward (68) (Fig. 13).-Fruit medium-large, to 6 inches
long and 16-20 ounces in weight; shape oval to oblong, usually
thick and plump; ground color yellow-orange with a pink or
bright red blush, lenticels numerous, pale green. Flesh firm,
fiberless, moderately juicy; flavor rich and melting; quality ex-
cellent. Stone small and sometimes contains aborted seeds.
Season June and July. Tree somewhat dwarf with a very dense
crown, making a handsome tree. Edward is highly recom-
mended for dooryard planting.
Florigon (54) (Fig. 14).-Fruit medium size, to 5 inches
long and to 16 ounces in weight; shape ovate and plump; color is
greenish-yellow to deep yellow, lenticels numerous, small and
yellow. Flesh juicy, fiberless; flavor rich and sweet; quality
very good to excellent. Season June and July, sometimes late
May. It is highly recommended for home planting.
Jacquelin (22).-Fruit large; to 51/2 inches long and to 22
ounces in weight; shape round to reniform, thick and plump
and rather asymmetrical; ground color greenish-yellow to yel-
low-orange, with a dark red blush and usually when mature vari-
egated with several pastel shades; lenticels numerous, large and
28 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
yellow. Flesh juicy, sweet, fiberless; quality very good to ex-
cellent. Season June and early July. Tree is a vigorous grower,
upright and with a spreading dense head.
The polyembryonic Philippine mangos are desirable dooryard
mangos and are certainly far superior in quality to the common
Turpentine and Number 11 mangos that are so frequently found
in South Florida. The Philippine mangos can be propagated
from seed and come reasonably true to type. They are reliable
bearers and generally produce heavy yields, often fruiting in
clusters, and are rather resistant to anthracnose. Cambodiana
and Cecil are named varieties, while the Saigon is considered a
race or type.
Cambodiana (49) (Fig. 15).-Fruit medium size, to 41/2
inches long, and to 10 ounces in weight; oblong-ovate, ground
color yellow-green. Flesh juicy, fiberless, mildly sub-acid, and
quality good. Season June and July.
Cecil (69).-Fruit small to medium size, to 6 inches long and
12 ounces in weight; shape oblong-elongate; color yellow to pale
orange. Flesh fiberless, juicy and of mild flavor and quality
good. Season is June and July.
Saigon (65).-Fruit generally medium-small to medium, to
3 or 4 inches long and 12 ounces in weight; shape oval and plump;
Mango Growing in Florida
color pale green to yellow. Flesh juicy and fiberless, flavor mild,
sweet, quality generally very good. Season June and July.
CLASSIFICATION OF VARIETIES ACCORDING TO SEASON
The time of fruit maturity varies in different years; in some
years the crop may be early with the early varieties beginning
to ripen in May and the late varieties in August or even earlier.
In other years the season may be late with no variety maturing
fruit until June and the late varieties in September and even
October. Some varieties, like Edward, will ripen over a period
of four to eight weeks and the longer the fruit is left on the
tree, the larger it becomes. Sometimes fruit matures from two
separate blooms and this results in variations in the mango
season. The following chart will aid the mango grower and the
home owner to choose a number of varieties of mangos in order
to have fruit maturing through the season.
Zill -... -
Early Midseason Varieties:
Jacquelin ..----....---- June
Edward... -- -...-- .... June
Fascell... ---......----. Late
Sunset ....-.. -- Late
Eldon----.. -----......... July
Ruby-----........ ...---. July
Springfels --...- .----- July
Smith.. .-----.....---.. July
June, sometimes May
June and early July, sometimes May
June and July, sometimes May
June and early July, sometimes May
June and early July, sometimes May
June and early July, sometimes May
June and early July, sometimes May
June and early July
June and July
June and July
June and July
June and July, sometimes August
30 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Late Midseason Varieties:
Kent--.....--...---..--... July and August, sometimes September
Palmer..--------. July and August, sometimes September
Sensation -.......---- .. August and September
Keitt.......------......-.. August and September
Brooks--...-----............ August and September, sometimes Oct.
DEVELOPMENT OF NEW VARIETIES
It would be desirable to develop new varieties of mangos by
hand-crossing two parents with several desirable qualities with
the purpose of incorporating the desired characters of each
parent in the offspring. However, in actual practice hand-cross-
ing is very difficult (80). Because of the inherent nature of
the mango, thousands of pollinations must be made to obtain
only a few fruit. Young (78) made 12,703 hand crosses and
obtained only 45 fruit. Fourteen years later 43 of these "hy-
brids" were studied and not one was found that was worthwhile.
Similar results have been reported from India (45, 46). A few
good varieties, such as Edward, have been obtained by purpose-
ful breeding. However, the labor involved and the small number
of fruit obtained makes this method of producing new varieties
Most mango varieties have come into being as chance seed-
lings. This method is essentially one of planting seeds of choice
fruits and allowing the seedlings to bear fruit. Only a very small
portion of such seedlings will produce acceptable mangos. The
Experiment Station, commercial nurseries, growers, and inter-
ested individuals plant many seeds each year but the chances
of finding a superior mango are very small. If a superior mango
is found it can be described and propagated as a new variety.
Mangos are propagated vegetatively and by seed. Seedlings
are grown sometimes to produce new varieties but mainly for
use as rootstocks. When grown from seed mangos vary con-
siderably in vigor, disease resistance and fruit characters. Veg-
etative propagation is used to perpetuate the desired variety or
clone and is accomplished in Florida by grafting and budding.
Propagation by cuttings and air layers have been reported by
Mango Growing in Florida
many investigators (3, 8, 12, 42, 49, 60, 63, 70), but in general
these methods are mainly of academic interest and have not
proven practical for general use.
There has been very little study of the best rootstock to use
for propagation and most nurserymen will utilize whatever seeds
they can obtain in quantity. Of the polyembryonic forms the
Turpentine is the one most often used, since the seedlings gen-
erally are sturdy and because the trees bear well to supply a
sufficient quantity of seed. Number 11 is generally not desirable
because the bark is rough and uneven for grafting (65). Saigon
and other Philippine types are generally not favored, as some
propagators think the root system is rather weak and the trees
are not very drought tolerant (65). The monoembryonic types
(Fig. 16) are preferred by some nurserymen, as the sprout is
vigorous when young. The monoembryonic seedlings will show
considerable variation and weak plants should be discarded.
Fig. 16.-Mango seedlings. Left, polyembryonic type showing five shoots;
right, monoembryonic type with one shoot.
4 5 6
32 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Fig. 17.-Mango rootstocks-seedlings 10 months old ready for grafting.
PREPARING AND PLANTING THE SEED
Mango seeds remain viable for only a short period. If more
than two weeks old the percentage of germination will be very
low, and seeds more than four weeks old usually will not germi-
nate. In preparing the seed for planting, the husk is removed
Mango Growing in Florida
with clippers or a sharp knife, taking care not to injure the
seed inside. If the husk is allowed to dry out for a day or two
it will be less slippery and easier to handle.
The seeds should be planted with the convex side up with
a small portion exposed above the ground. The seeds will sprout
in one to two weeks and can be grafted the following spring
when six to nine months old, or budded sometime during the
summer months when only two to six weeks old. The seeds may
be planted in individual containers and budded or grafted with-
out repotting. They may also be germinated in beds of saw-
dust or coconut fiber and the healthiest seedlings then potted.
Mango seeds can be planted directly in the nursery or seed-
lings can be transplanted to the nursery row after germination
in beds of sawdust or coconut fiber with the spacing usually one
to two feet apart. The seedlings can be budded when only a few
weeks old, or they can be grafted when four to nine months or
older. This method of grafting mangos in the nursery is adapted
only to areas with two feet or more of loose soil. The rocky soil
of South Dade County is hardly suitable for this purpose unless
a layer of sand of sufficient thickness is laid down over the rock.
Fig. 18.-Veneer graft. a, Scion (between fingers) and stock properly
cut; b, scion in place; c, scion wrapped with rubber budding strip; d, scion
wrapped with vinyl film.
a b c
I I I I
34 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Mangos may be grafted at any time of the year. The ideal
time is probably April through August if the buds and stocks are
in the right stage. The winter months are generally too cold
and it is difficult to find material in the right stage. Some
months, like September, are too wet and the scions show a tend-
ency to rot unless special precautions are taken.
The use of plastic vinyl film in recent years (13, 40) has
greatly facilitated grafting of mangos. This film allows the in-
terchange of gasses but prevents moisture loss from the scion.
Special rubber budding strips are available and are much su-
perior to raffia and other material formerly used for wrapping
the grafts. Paraffin and beeswax may be used, but the plastic
vinyl film has largely replaced these materials.
The side veneer graft (7, 23) is the method most commonly
used in Florida for propagating mangos (Fig. 18). Other types
of grafts used include inarching (Fig. 19 left), bottle (Fig. 19
right), side tongue, whip, cleft, side and root grafting. Only
the side veneer graft will be described here.
Fig. 19.-Left, Inarching mangos; right, bottle grafting.
U- ii ^
Mango Growing in Florida
The stock should be in an actively growing condition and
free of anthracnose, scab and zinc deficiency symptoms. During
the grafting operations the grafting knife should always be kept
razor sharp. The scions should be clean and free of disease and
insects. Best results will be had in using scions in which the
terminal bud is just beginning to swell. If there are no scions
in this condition, they can be preconditioned by either of two
methods. One is to ring or girdle the stem about 12 inches below
the apex. The other is to sever the leaves on the terminal shoot
for a distance of 6 to 8 inches from the apex, leaving a short
petiole stub about 1/4 inch long. In about two weeks the terminal
buds will begin to swell and the scions are then ready for graft-
ing. The scions may be used at once or they can be stored for
several days if wrapped in plastic film, moist peat-moss or
sphagnum moss and stored in a cool place.
Stocks 6 to 12 months old with stem diameters of 1/4 to 1 inch
are used in commercial nurseries for side veneer grafting (Fig.
17). A site is selected for the graft where the stock is straight
and one foot or less from the ground level. The cut is made
tangentially into and through the bark and just into the wood
for a length of two to three inches, cutting downward in one
motion parallel to the wood (Fig. 18a) ; a notch is formed at the
base of the cut in which the base of the scion will be placed. A
scion 2-4 inches long, equal to the diameter of the stock or
smaller, is used. A slanting cut on one side of the scion is made,
starting just below the terminal bud and continuing all the way
to the base in one downward motion (Fig. 18a). On the opposite
side of the scion a small wedge at the base is made which will
fit into the notch of the stock.
The scion is then placed in position (Fig. 18b) so that the
cambium of each piece joins. The cut surfaces should match as
perfectly as possible. A rubber budding strip is wrapped se-
curely around the stock and scion, starting from the bottom and
working upwards (Fig. 18c). A sheet of plastic vinylite, 0.004
inch thick and cut about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide, is then
tied to the stock 1 inch or so above and below the graft with
rubber budding strips. During wet periods, to prevent excessive
moisture accumulating beneath the wrap, vinylite may be tied
only at the upper end, leaving the lower part open (Fig. 18d).
If the graft union is successful, new growth on the scion
will begin in two or three weeks. The stock just above the graft
may be nicked to encourage the springing of the scions. After
36 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
the first flush of growth has occurred, the rubber band may be
removed and the stock partially cut back. After the second
flush, the stock may be cut off completely (Fig. 20). It should
be trimmed with a sharp knife in such a way as to leave no part
of the stock remaining above the union and a water emulsion of
Fig. 20.-Veneer graft several months old; stock cut back to the graft union.
Mango Growing in Florida
asphalt should be applied to the cut surface (Fig. 21). Buds and
new growth on the stock should be removed as they appear.
Zinc deficiency, mango scab and anthracnose should be prevented
by periodic applications of appropriate sprays to the new growth.
Fig. 21.-Left, stock cut back properly and growing over the cut sur-
face; right, stock cut back improperly, with the portion above the graft
beginning to rot.
Budding differs from grafting in that only a single lateral
bud is used instead of a portion of a stem with several lateral
buds as well as a terminal bud. The principal advantage in bud-
ding is that one terminal scion will furnish five or more buds for
as many trees. According to Nelson's method (26, 27), plants
only a few weeks old may be budded and thus help to shorten
the time for developing grafted plants. The main disadvantage
38 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
in budding is the difficulty in getting the buds to spring, which
sometimes takes six months or more. Preconditioning the buds
by girdling the branches on the tree and removing all leaves but
three or four at the apex two to three weeks before the buds
are needed helps to avoid this difficulty. Plump buds which are
gray-green in color from branches of the first to third cycles of
growth are used. Budding can be done anytime of the year but
the months April through August are probably the best.
Shield or inverted-T, chip, Forkert, and patch methods of
budding have been used successfully. Only the first two will
be described here.
Shield or inverted-T budding involves the use of a bud that
is shield-shaped and an inverted-T cut in the stock. A vertical
cut 11/ to 3 inches long is made on the stock and a second hori-
zontal cut is made at the bottom of the vertical cut (Fig. 22a).
The bud is prepared by cutting into the scion 1/ inch or more
above the bud and cutting downward, going under the bud and
Fig. 22.-Shield or inverted-T budding. a, Shield bud on right, cut in
stock on left; b, bud in place; c, bud wrapped with vinyl film and a rubber
a b c
? ** -<-i
&. ~~l M-'
Mango Growing in Florida
coming out well below it, leaving a long handle on the lower part
which is cut off after the bud is inserted. The shield can be 1/4
to 1/ inch or more in diameter and 11/ to 3 inches long, the bud
being located in the center. The bark of the inverted-T cut is
raised at the corners and along the vertical slit to admit the
shield. The bud is forced into the cut and under the edges of
the bark, being careful not to split the bark (Fig. 22b). After
it has been inserted, the handle is cut off with a horizontal cut
at the bottom so the shield will slide completely into the cut
made in the stock (Fig. 22c).
Chip budding is similar to a veneer graft but only a part of
the scion with one bud is used. The chip can be 11/ to 2 inches
long and is prepared by cutting into the scion above the bud and
coming out well below the bud. A second slanting cut is made
immediately below the bud to produce a wedge-shaped base. A
slanting cut (Fig. 23a) for 2 inches in the stock is made and
a notch is formed in which the base of the chip is placed (Fig.
Fig. 23.-Chip budding. a, Chip bud on left, cut in stock on right; b, bud in
place; c, bud wrapped with vinyl film and a rubber budding strip.
a b c
40 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Buds are tied with rubber budding strips after insertion and
wrapped with 0.004 inch vinyl film or they may be wrapped
directly with vinyl film, using half-inch-wide strips of 0.0035
inch and covering the bud completely (Fig. 23c). In two or
three weeks the buds should be examined; if they are still green,
part of the wrap may be removed and the stem above the bud
should be nicked to encourage the buds to spring. After the
bud has sprung, the top of the stock can be cut back gradually.
All new growth on the stock during this time should be removed.
After the second flush the stock should be cut back to the bud
Several methods may be used for top-working trees in the
field (41). The method selected depends mostly on the size of
the plant to be top-worked. The techniques of grafting and bud-
ding are the same as those that have been described.
Young trees in the field with trunk diameters of 1 to 7 or 8
inches can be veneer grafted on the main trunk from 1 to 2 feet
from the ground (Fig. 24a, b, c). If the trunk is too large and
Fig. 24.-Propagation in the field of a seedling tree with trunk 2 inches
in diameter by side veneer graft. The seedling tree was 3% years old
from seed and had been growing in the field for 2% years. a, The scion in
place with the cambium matched on one side; b, the scion wrapped with
rubber budding strips; c, the scion covered with a piece of vinyl film.
Mango Growing in Florida
too difficult to graft, the veneer graft may be used on two or
more of the lowermost branches, especially those that are form-
ing the main branch system of the plant. In both cases, after
the graft has taken and produced growth, the stock is gradually
cut back to the graft union. This method of grafting seedlings
in situ has many advantages and sometimes produces better re-
sults than grafting plants in containers. Seedlings used for this
purpose are planted in the location where the tree is desired.
The tree may be cut back to the main trunk or branches and
veneer grafted, using only one scion if the diameter is only two
or three inches. Several scions may be placed around the stump
if it is larger than three inches in diameter (Fig. 25). Trees
20 to 30 years old and with branches 6 to 10 inches in diameter
may be grafted in this manner. In working old stems with thick
bark, a portion of the outer bark is shaved off before the final
cut to the wood is made in which the scion is placed. All cut
surfaces should be painted with paraffin or a water emulsion of
asphalt and the trunk can be whitewashed to prevent sunburn.
Fig. 25.-An old tree that has been top-worked.
42 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Instead of grafting the stumps of a tree that has been cut
back, new shoots may be allowed to grow from the stumps and
veneer grafted or budded when they are of sufficient size and
hardiness. It is advisable to leave some of the new branches
on the tree to furnish shade for the grafts.
Top-working of mangos can be done any time of the year but
probably the best time is spring and early summer, from April
through June. The new growth should be supported for several
months to avoid breaking at the union. When the graft has
grown to 8 or 10 inches long, the terminal bud should be cut off
to encourage branching. All suckers on the trunks and stumps
of the rootstock should be removed.
PREPARATION OF LAND FOR PLANTING
The site chosen for planting mangos should be cleared and
prepared six months or more in advance of planting.
Preparation of land for planting on the Miami rock ridge in
Dade County usually involves scarification of the oolite. At the
northern end of the ridge sand often overlies the rock to a
depth which permits planting with little disturbance of the rock.
Farther south the oolite crops out over the surface so that there
is no tillable soil except in potholes. Until comparatively recent
years, dynamite was used to blast holes for planting after the
land was cleared and leveled. The usual practice after dyna-
miting was to remove the large fragments of rock and fill the
hole with a mixture of surface soil and manure compost. In
recent years it has become the practice to scarify the land with
heavy machinery. The scarifier breaks up the rock to a depth
of four to six inches and leaves a surface layer of broken rock
and soil in which tree roots can spread and feed. It usually is
necessary to scarify the land four times to get it into this condi-
tion. Dynamiting holes where the trees are to go is still prac-
ticed to some extent in connection with this shallow scarification,
but has been discarded by most growers in favor of plowing
out the tree rows. By means of a heavy narrow scarifier the
rock is plowed out by repeated passage one way down the pro-
posed tree rows until a depth of 12 to 18 inches is achieved. The
larger rock particles moved out by the plow are ground further
beneath the treads of the tractor (Fig. 26). When the field is
leveled there is ample depth of loose material in the tree rows
to plant without blasting.
Mango Growing in Florida
In the deeper, well-drained sandy soils, land preparation after
clearing and before planting consists of plowing, disking or har-
rowing, and grading to remove small abrupt elevations that
would later interfere with many types of orchard work. On
poorly drained flatwoods sandy soils it is advisable to prepare
beds 30 to 40 feet apart, leaving a deep water furrow for drain-
age between the beds. In some cases wider beds with water
furrows every 60 to 70 feet may be used. These wider beds
allow the planting of two rows of trees per bed and provide bet-
ter roadways for sprayers and automotive equipment used in
One of the common errors in planting a mango orchard is
spacing the trees too closely. Most of the fruit is borne on the
outside of the canopy of branches. When the side branches
meet due to overcrowding there is a tendency for them to pro-
duce few fruits which are apt to be poorly colored and infected
by the anthracnose fungus. Over-crowding not only creates con-
Fig. 26.-Rockdale rockland in southern Dade County prepared for
planting mango trees without dynamiting.
44 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
editions more favorable for disease fungi but also increases the
difficulty in spraying thoroughly enough to control diseases of
fruit and foliage.
Planting closer than 30 by 30 feet is undesirable on the thin
limestone soils of the Miami rock ridge and 35 feet is recom-
mended for all but semi-dwarf varieties such as Brooks, Cecil
and Julie. On deep soils a minimum spacing of 40 feet with the
square system should be adhered to for the varieties now grown
commercially, and a spacing of 45 feet would not be too wide
under the best growing conditions.
Closer planting increases the volume of fruit per acre during
the early years but when over-crowding begins to occur it will
be necessary either to remove alternate trees or to prune rather
severely in order to tailor the trees to fit the space without
crowding. Wider spacing need not mean waste of land, since
the young mango trees may be inter-cropped with short-lived
fruit trees such as Tahiti lime or papayas or with annual crops.
TIME OF PLANTING
It is possible to plant well hardened nursery-grown mango
trees successfully at any time of the year in Florida, provided
the weather is warm, the trees are not in active growth and pre-
cautions are taken against certain weather conditions which
follow the setting of the trees. Much more expense, however,
attends the planting in some seasons than in others.
The best season for setting mangos is during the spring
and summer months, from early April to October. Temperatures
favor growth during this period and the amount of watering
necessary is likely to be small. Planting small mango trees from
cans in midsummer without resorting to shading is not hazardous
if the roots are not disturbed in setting and the trees are not in
active growth. The cost of watering trees planted from Novem-
ber to April during the drier months usually is considerable.
Protection from cold and from drying winds also is more difficult
for trees planted during this period than for trees that have had
a longer time to become established.
A few mango orchards are started in Florida by planting
young seedlings directly in the field to be top-worked later to the
desired varieties, but grafted or budded trees usually are planted.
Florida growers may now purchase in quantity grafted or
Mango Growing in Florida
budded trees of several sizes. Some prefer to plant grafts of
about one year of age, grown and top-worked in gallon or No. 10
cans. Trees of this size can be purchased for as little as $1.25
each, and if well grown and not seriously pot bound will grow
satisfactorily when given good care. Others prefer to plant two-
to four-year-old grafted trees grown in five-gallon or larger
containers. Trees of this size cost two to several times as much
as the year-old grafts but the cost of caring for the small trees
an extra year or two in the orchard usually more than offsets
the higher price paid for the larger trees. Some commercial
nurseries are still propagating mango trees in nursery rows
rather than in containers. Such trees usually are root-pruned
some weeks prior to moving. When moved, they are lifted with
a ball of soil which is tightly wrapped with burlap, the top is
defoliated, and all tender growth is removed by pruning.
The method of planting the mango is essentially the same
as that used with other fruit trees. Trees removed from cans
or other containers may be planted without defoliating or cut-
ting back the top, provided the roots are not disturbed when
removed from the container. The roots of the trees should
never be allowed to dry out and it is a good plan to protect them
while preparing for planting by wrapping them in wet burlap or
by standing them in water in a bucket.
A planting hole must be prepared large enough to easily ac-
commodate the root system. Before placing the trees it is ad-
visable to mix some topsil fortified either with an ounce or two
of commercial fertilizer, a like amount of dried sheep manure
or steamed bone meal, or a shovelful of well-rotted compost or
barnyard manure with the soil in the bottom of the hole. It
is not advisable to place large amounts of loose compost, manure,
muck or peat under the trees, since these materials will disinte-
grate over a period of years, leaving undesirable airpockets in
the root zone. It is important to have the crown roots no deeper
than they were in the nursery or plant container. The soil should
be very firmly packed around the roots and water should be used
liberally to avoid air pockets. When the hole is completely filled
a shallow basin should be formed around the tree for water.
After the trees are planted they should be thoroughly watered
and the ground about them covered with a mulch made of weeds,
hay or other litter which will keep the soil surface moist and cool.
If large nursery trees are transplanted with only a compara-
tively small part of the root system, it is necessary to defoliate
46 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
the tree or even prune back some of the branches. In this case
it is advisable to protect the limbs from sunburning by apply-
ing whitewash or to provide shade for the tree until a new flush
of leaves has matured. It has not been found necessary to pro-
vide shade for smaller trees planted at the recommended season
in accordance with the method outlined above.
FERTILIZATION GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS
It is known generally that mango trees respond to fertiliza-
tion with nitrogen by exhibiting increased vegetative growth.
It has not been possible, however, to force trees of some common-
ly planted varieties into regular fruit bearing by fertilization.
An understanding of the relationship of shoot development
to flowering and fruiting will aid the grower in planning his fer-
tilizer schedule to encourage shoot development favorable to
fruiting. Studies in India and in Florida have thrown light on
growth habits and bud differentiation and their effect on the
amount of bloom.
Mango fruits are borne on flower panicles from the terminals
of shoots that have matured during the preceding season. Usual-
ly there are several irregular flushes during the year and the
timing of these flushes has considerable to do with determin-
ing the amount of bloom. Singh and Khan (59) and Sen (56)
agree that growth and fruiting in the Punjab are at the expense
of each other during the growing season. Highest yield obtained
on the Langra variety was from flushes initiated early (April-
May) which stopped growth early in the previous season. Poor
flowering in "off" fruit years resulted from poor growth in "on"
years and heavy flowering in "on" years resulted from heavy
and early shoot development in "off" years. Annual flowering
was considered possible if the tree could be induced to flush an-
nually in spring or early summer on Langra in India. Sen states
that it was shown experimentally that summer growth can be
obtained, even in the "on" year, by additional nitrogen fertili-
Cobin (6) studied shoot development and its relation to flow-
ering on Haden at Homestead from 1949 to 1951. In 1949, half
the summer shoots produced bloom. In these trees, which re-
ceived complete fertilizers in both summer and fall, more than
a third of July shoots produced one or two additional flushes
prior to blooming in 1950. Shoots appearing in August of both
years produced the highest percentage of bloom panicles.
Mango Growing in Florida
The somewhat different behavior of the Langra in India and
the Haden in Florida may be due to variety, soil, or cultural
practices, especially differences in methods of fertilization.
It seems obvious that to obtain bloom, shoots of the previous
season must mature early enough to allow time for flower bud
differentiation. In varieties under study by Sen and Mallik (57)
in Sabour, India, October and November were reported as the
critical months for flower-bud differentiation. Mustard and
Lynch (36) reported that flower-bud differentiation in Haden
and three other varieties took place in September and October
in 1943 and 1944 at Homestead, Florida. There is evidence that
in some seasons differentiation may occur as late as January.
There is agreement among writers on mango culture that a
check in growth after summer shoot development favors flower-
ing, presumably by promoting flower bud differentiation. With-
holding nitrogen fertilizers in the fall will tend to supply such a
check to vegetative growth. A frost or a severe drought in late
fall or early winter will do the same. The fact that a check in
growth may come from factors other than withholding nitrogen
may account for cases where a heavy bloom sometimes occurs al-
though the trees have received considerable nitrogen in the fall.
Nitrogen-Phosphoric Acid-Potash Ratios.-Considerable work
on nutrition of the mango has been reported in recent years from
India. Mallik and De (29) and Roy (50) report that nitrogen
determines growth and influences the intake of phosphoric acid
and potash. The best ratio of nitrogen-phosphoric acid-potash
was found to be 1.1-0.27-1.0 in a soil that showed deficiency in
nitrogen and organic matter, when the dose of nitrogen was 1.6
pounds per tree of about 12 years of age. Nitrogen in the form
of ammonium sulfate was most effective in increasing flowering
and the best time for its application was the month of June on
the Langra variety. For the "on" fruit years doubling the dose
of ammonium sulfate (up to 10 pounds per tree in split applica-
tions) in June to force July-August vegetative shoots is recom-
mended. It is recommended also that the annual doses of nitro-
gen-phosphoric acid-potash fertilizers be divided into two parts:
one containing ammonium sulfate and half the potash for June,
and the other consisting of farmyard manure and phosphorus
with the remaining half of the potash in October.
Comparatively little is known concerning nitrogen-phosphoric
acid-potash ratios required by bearing mango trees in Florida.
Early tests with Haden on limestone soils yielded little conclusive
48 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
data as to nitrogen-phosphoric acid-potash requirements. In
these tests little consideration was given to time of shoot devel-
opment and bud differentiation in timing of fertilizer applica-
tions. Fertilizer tests are now in progress on both limestone
and sand soils with several varieties of mango.
Fertilizer practice in commercial groves has tended to follow
that employed on other tree crops, especially citrus and avocado.
This procedure is, in general, successful and safe on young non-
bearing trees, but observations and experience suggest that the
nitrogen requirements of bearing mango trees are somewhat
lower than requirements of bearing citrus and avocado trees of
the same age. Instances have been observed where heavy nitro-
gen fertilization was harmful. Wolfe (73) reported that Haden
trees given very heavy nitrogen applications in field tests in a
commercial grove became steadily less healthy, with the pro-
duction of small leaves and dying back of branches.
On Pine Island the result of over-fertilization was observed in
a large block of recently top-worked trees. The overstimulated
growth of the grafts developed long S-shaped branches with very
large leaves followed by flushes of progressively smaller leaves
and finally by die-back. The condition was corrected by with-
holding fertilizer and by applying to the foliage a spray contain-
ing copper, zinc, manganese and boron.
It is not uncommon for well-fed Haden trees with dark green,
dense foliage to produce less fruit than trees of approximately
the same age of this variety receiving less nitrogen and having
less luxuriant foliage. Fruits from the well-fed trees usually
are larger in size but tend to be less highly colored than those
from trees receiving less nitrogen. This tends to confirm the
observation by a number of Indian writers that the addition of
nitrogenous fertilizers in excess encourages extensive vegeta-
tive growth at the expense of fruiting. It is probable that varie-
tal differences exist with respect to nitrogen requirements, be-
cause some varieties grow much less luxuriantly than others
under the same fertilizer program.
Secondary Elements.-There is evidence that the mango tree
benefits from application of certain of the secondary elements
when grown in Florida soils deficient in these elements. It is
possible that further research will show that requirements for
these elements in the mango will not differ widely from require-
ments in citrus.
Zinc and copper deficiencies may be serious on young mango
Mango Growing in Florida
trees, and in advanced cases may be mistaken for pathological
troubles. They are discussed under diseases.
Smith and Scudder (63) described symptoms of magnesium
deficiency on young mango trees grown in sand cultures as re-
duced tree growth and premature defoliation, accompanied by a
distinctive yellowish brown chlorosis intruding into the leaf blade
from the margins. Symptoms of manganese deficiency were
observed also by Smith and Scudder on young trees in sand cul-
tures. Tree size was reduced and leaves about one month old
showed yellow-green blades with green veins. The leaf symp-
toms tended to disappear within a few weeks.
Occasionally chlorosis of young mango trees has occurred in
the limestone area, and some improvement has followed the use
of an iron chelate soil drench. Boron deficiency has not been
recognized to date on the mango.
On the alkaline soils of Dade County, copper, zinc and man-
ganese are best supplied through foliage sprays. Usually one
application or at most two, per year will meet requirements for
maintenance of healthy growth under most conditions. A form-
ula containing 3 pounds of copper sulfate, 3 pounds of zinc sul-
fate, 3 pounds of manganese sulfate and 3 pounds of hydrated
lime per 100 gallons of water is sufficient for maintenance. If
foliage diseases caused by fungi are evident the copper content
of the spray should be doubled, with the lime content increased
to 4.5 pounds for neutralization. Neutral copper, zinc and man-
ganese compounds may be substituted in the spray at comparable
amounts based on mineral content. No lime is required if neu-
tral compounds are used. On bearing trees, where copper is used
in the disease control program, zinc and manganese may be
added to one of the fungicidal sprays. Magnesium is supplied
in water-soluble form with the fertilizer.
In acid sandy soils it is suggested that the pH be maintained
between 5.5 and 6.0 by the addition of liming materials as rec-
ommended for citrus (48). The amount to be applied will vary
with the acidity to be modified. If dolomitic limestone is used
for liming, part of the requirements for magnesium will be sup-
plied from this source and less water-soluble magnesium need be
supplied with the fertilizer.
Fertilizer recommendations are offered as tentative pending
the establishment of definite trends regarding fertilizer needs
50 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
for mangos on the soil types where field tests are now in progress.
They are based on observations in commercial groves and in
Station plantings, on fertilizer tests reported on to date in
Florida and in India, and on exploratory tests on individual trees
or small groups of trees.
Non-bearing Trees.-For the first two or three years after
planting, fertilizer practice should provide nutrients for fairly
rapid but healthy growth. This involves frequent applications
of nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, and water-soluble magnesium
in fertilizers and supplying copper, zinc, and manganese, either
with the fertilizer or by means of foliage sprays.
On recently scarified limestone soils, good results have fol-
lowed the use of 4-9-3-1.5*, 5-7-5-2, and 5-10-5-2 mixtures with
about 30 percent of the nitrogen derived from natural organic
sources. Young trees planted directly from containers without
disturbing the root system may be given 1/ to 1/2 pound of ferti-
lizer immediately after planting. It is advisable to wait three
to four weeks before applying fertilizer when larger trees are
planted with only a small portion of the original root system.
Trees should be fertilized every six to eight weeks during the
first year, except from November 1 through January, when frosts
are most likely to occur. The amount of fertilizer should be in-
creased gradually to about one pound by the end of the first year.
During the second and third years the interval between applica-
tions may be lengthened to 60 days and the amounts per appli-
cation gradually increased to two and finally to three pounds.
Blossoms should be removed during this period.
During the fourth and fifth years it is suggested that the
formula be changed to 6-6-6-3 and the number of applications re-
duced to three or four per year. The rate per tree should be
adjusted in accordance with the appearance of the tree and the
amount of growth, but probably should not exceed one pound per
each year of age of the tree per application of a formula contain-
ing 5 percent nitrogen.
On peaty soils the nitrogen may be greatly reduced. On alka-
line soils, particularly those containing marl, the mixture should
include 1 to 2 percent MnO, supplied from manganese sulfate.
On previously farmed soils, where phosphates have been applied
for years to other crops, the phosphate content of the mixtures
can be reduced as much as 50 percent with safety.
4(nitrogen)-9(phosphoric acid)-3(potash)-1.5(magnesium oxide).
Mango Growing in Florida
The mixtures for limestone soils may be used on acid sandy
soils but many successful growers use 5-7-5-3 or 6-6-6-3 mixtures
containing 30-40 percent insoluble organic nitrogen from the be-
ginning. The timing and rate of the applications should be ap-
proximately the same as used on limestone soils.
The tendency to use higher analysis mixtures is evident in
both sand and limestone soils as a matter of economy but there
is less difficulty in avoiding root damage due to high concentra-
tion of soluble salts in localized areas with lower analysis mix-
tures. For young trees fertilizers should be spread carefully and
uniformly to the soil over the root area. The latter extends from
near the trunk to two or three feet beyond the canopy of branches
in trees more than one year in the field. Mulching the ground
around the trees with grass, leaves or other vegetable litter is
of benefit to the trees.
Bearing Trees-Five Years and Older.-It is impossible to
suggest any one program of fertilization that will prove best for
all conditions. In general, the best practice is believed to be to
fertilize heavily in the "on" fruit years and lightly in the "off"
years. The appearance of the tree and its behavior with regard
to timing and quantity of shoots also serve as guides for deter-
mining the amount of fertilizer to use.
Bloom Application.-If the trees received no nitrogen in the
fall and the foliage shows the need for nitrogen by exhibiting a
light green color, it is suggested that the trees be fertilized
when the bloom panicles begin to elongate and a bloom is assured.
Apply quickly available nitrogen and potash-bearing materials
such as nitrate of soda-potash (15-0-14) or high analysis chemical
mixtures such as 10-0-10 in amounts to supply about 1/20 pound
of nitrogen for each year of age until trees planted 30 x 30 feet
reach about 15 years of age. After 15 years the fertilizer is
best applied from trunk to trunk and the amount calculated on
an acre basis to approximately equal the nitrogen applied per
acre to 15-year-old trees, or about 36 pounds of nitrogen per
acre. A 15-year-old tree fertilized at this rate would receive 7.5
pounds of a 10-0-10 mixture and a 5-year-old tree 2.5 pounds of
this mixture. If trees are planted farther apart than 30 x 30,
individual tree applications may be continued until the amount
of nitrogen per acre totals approximately 36 pounds. On trees
planted closer than 30 feet the length of time for continuing
individual tree applications should be shortened accordingly.
52 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Soluble fertilizer should be applied carefully and uniformly over
the root area to avoid root damage due to high concentration
of soluble salts in localized areas.
Spring Application.-If a good set of fruit is obtained, an
application of a complete mixture five to eight weeks after the
bloom application is recommended. Mixtures such as 8-4-8-4
will satisfy the actual requirements. The amount should be
approximately at the rate of one pound per tree for each year
of age of the tree for mixtures containing 5 percent nitrogen
until the dosage rate approximates 36 pounds of nitrogen per
acre. The amount of nitrogen derived from organic sources need
not exceed 15-20 percent. Unless rains occur soon after the
distribution it may be advisable to supply supplemental irriga-
tion sufficient to make the fertilizer available to the tree.
If a good set of fruit was not obtained, the spring applica-
tion may be eliminated.
Summer Application.-Trees maturing a heavy crop of fruit
and failing to produce sufficient new shoots during the spring
should be fertilized at the beginning of the rainy season from
the latter part of May to July 1, or as soon as the crop is har-
vested. The mixture and rate per tree or per acre may be the
same as recommended for the spring application, but if the
trees show hunger signs as a result of the heavy crop, increasing
the amount per tree 25 to 50 percent more than for the spring
application would not be excessive.
The objects of this fertilizer application are to replenish
quickly the nitrogen, potash and magnesium removed by the
crop or lost by leaching and to stimulate vegetative growth so
that strong shoots are produced early enough for next year's
bloom. There does not appear to be a valid reason for using
expensive fertilizer mixtures containing large amounts of or-
ganic nitrogen on bearing mango trees. It is desirable that the
summer shoots cease growth and mature early. This is best
accomplished by the use of quick-acting fertilizer, and the use
of mixtures containing more than 25 percent of the nitrogen
from organic sources is of doubtful advantage.
Copper, zinc, and manganese requirements can be readily
supplied in the spray program. If zineb is used for in-the-
bloom application sufficient zinc will be supplied for mainte-
nance. If captain or copper fungicides are used as in-the-bloom
sprays, zinc and manganese can be added to one of the sprays
for nutritional purposes.
Mango Growing in Florida
Severe infestations of scales or of red-banded thrips, if al-
lowed to go unchecked, may nullify the benefits expected from
fertilizer applications. Such infestations should be controlled
as soon as possible after harvest, so that the summer fertilizer
will accomplish its purpose.
CULTIVATION AND COVER CROPS
On sandy soils clean cultivation is usually given during the
dry season and a cover crop is allowed to grow during the sum-
mer rainy season. The cover crop usually is volunteer growth
of grass and weeds or it may be a planted leguminous crop.
Hairy indigo, alyce clover, the beggarweeds and the crotalarias
are some of the legumes used for this purpose. The cover crop
usually is mowed at least once during the summer and is disked
into the top soil during the fall.
On the shallow limestone soils of Dade County, shallow cul-
tivation of the middles by dragging during the winter is prac-
ticed by some growers for fire protection and to lessen the se-
verity of cold during low temperature periods for the first two
or three years after planting. Others establish a permanent
ground cover as soon as possible. After the first few years the
usual practice is to permit a volunteer growth of weeds, grasses,
and legumes to flourish throughout the rainy season, mowing
it at intervals to facilitate grove operation, and keeping this
growth mowed very close during the drier winter and spring.
No satisfactory permanent leguminous cover crop has been
found for Dade County. White sweet clover and Sarawak bean
(Dolichos hosei Craib), in good stands, are better able to com-
pete with volunteer plants than hairy indigo or the crotalarias.
Weeds are controlled around young trees either by maintaining
a mulch heavy enough to smother weeds or by hand hoeing.
In commercial groves little pruning is practiced, nor does
annual pruning appear to be necessary or desirable.
Young mango trees of most varieties ordinarily require little
pruning for training, since they normally assume a desirable
symmetrical form. Training of young trees is desirable with
certain varieties such as Keitt and Palmer, which tend to form
long branches spreading irregularly. The elimination of low
side shoots and the heading back of long shoots will tend to pro-
mote a more desirable, stronger framework. A system of thin-
54 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
ning out and heading back is also desirable to form a strong
framework from grafts recently established on the stumps of
old trees. Such pruning may be done at any time from spring
to late summer.
On bearing trees until they begin to seriously crowd each
other as a result of planting too close, the only pruning usually
given is to remove dead wood and branches weakened by disease
or cold injury, or broken by hurricane winds. Large cuts should
be painted with some protective material soon after the cuts are
made. Carbolineum and several commercial pruning paints hav-
ing an asphalt base have been found satisfactory for this work.
In many older groves where the trees were planted too close
together, overcrowding has become a problem. When this oc-
curs the grower is faced with making a decision whether to
remove a portion of the trees or to attempt to tailor the trees
by pruning to fit the available space. No rules can be laid down
at present as to how to prune the trees to relieve the situation
and still maintain production because no systematic work has
been done to develop a satisfactory system of pruning for this
purpose. For the present it appears to be more practical to
remove enough of the trees to relieve overcrowding.
Windbreaks are not recommended for mango groves. A good
windbreak undoubtedly reduces air movement and evaporation
loss, and while this is of advantage for non-bearing trees, it
tends to favor anthracnose and mildew on bearing trees. The
mango tree is quite tough and withstands wind damage better
than the avocado. Hurricane winds in excess of 100 miles per
hour cause serious breakage and uprooting on the shallow soils,
but no species of tree that grows tall enough in Southern Florida
to be an effective windbreak will withstand such hurricane winds.
All Florida areas where mangos are grown commercially
are subject to occasional frosts. Young trees are easily injured
by low temperatures and should be protected during the winter
for several years after planting. Orchard heaters may be used
successfully to protect the tops from freezing, but the trees may
still be lost because the cambium may freeze at or near the
ground level, the injury not being apparent until the sap begins
to flow in the spring. Damage from this type of cold injury can
Mango Growing in Florida
be almost entirely prevented by wrapping the trunks of young
trees with a suitable insulating material. In unheated groves,
even where the top may be killed, the insulated trunk is often
saved for the development of a new top the following year.
w i n
Fig. 27.-Young grafted mango tree with trunk wrapped with grass for
100- fr .r
56 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Where available in quantity, dried grass has proved a very
satisfactory insulating material. Fiber glass, rock wool, and
similar insulating materials held in place with kraft paper may
be used (66). The insulation material must be applied before
cold weather appears, preferably early in November. If dried
grass is used the cost of protection varies from 8 to 15 cents
per tree (17). It may be 20 cents or more per tree with other
The method of insulating the tree trunks with dried grass
consists of tying the grass in a fairly tight layer two or three
inches thick around the trunk from the ground to the lower
framework branches (Fig. 27). As soon as danger of frost
is over the grass should be removed and it can be used as mulch-
Since there is always danger of fire with dry grass, it is
advisable to maintain a fire guard around the grove, or to clean
cultivate the middles. Clean cultivation is an aid in preventing
cold damage in the grove, since bare ground absorbs more heat
during the day than ground shaded by weeds or trash.
Orchard heaters have been demonstrated to be effective for
protection of the tops of both old and young trees. Freezes
requiring such protection are infrequent, however, and the prac-
ticality of investing in heating equipment is questionable.
PRODUCTION AND MARKETING
Seedling mangos as a rule come into bearing in four to
seven years, while grafted trees may bear a few fruit the second
year in the field. It is advisable to remove the fruit the first
and second years, but by the third year the grafted trees should
be able to set and mature a small crop and by the fourth and
fifth years they should be able to bear a good crop safely.
One of the greatest hazards in growing mangos commercially
has been the tendency for the plants to bear erratically. Fruit
production varies from year to year, from grove to grove, and
even from tree to tree in a given grove. Erratic bearing is
characteristic of mangos not only in Florida but in India and
other countries as well. Production depends on many factors,
such as variety, size of previous crop, number of vegetative
flushes and time of year when they were produced, weather
conditions during the flowering period, control of insect infes-
tations and diseases, fertilizing program, and pollination.
Mango Growing in Florida
Records are not available to give accurate yields on an acre
basis for the leading commercial varieties. At the Subtropical
Experiment Station yields for individual trees have shown con-
siderable variation from year to year. The average number of
fruit per tree for 4 Kents, 2 Hadens and 3 Zills from 1949 through
1955 are given below.
Average Number of Fruit per Tree, 1949-55.
Year Kent Haden Zill
1949.-.................... 12.5 0.5 13
1950-..................... 31 108.5 91
1951...................... 40 65 148
1952...................... 0 3 6.5
1953...................... 72 110 120
1954...................... 103 62 483
1955...................... 168 117 200
Varieties grown in Florida supply fruit from June to October,
with most of the crop usually maturing from mid-June to mid-
August. The peak of the crop may vary as much as three weeks
from one season to another, depending on time of flowering and
climatic factors during the growing season. In some years the
earliest varieties may mature some fruit in May. The fruit of
individual trees does not all mature at one time from a single
bloom but may do so over a period of three weeks or more. The
correct date for harvesting fruits of the various mango varieties
in a mature condition must be determined each year.
Maturity standards have not been established and regula-
tions against shipment of immature fruit are not in force at
present. The result is that much fruit is harvested too early
and reaches the markets in an inedible or at least undesirable
condition, with the inevitable result that many prospective buy-
ers turn against the Florida mango. Cobin (5) observed that
Haden trees near Homestead in 1949 were stripped of all fruit
about five weeks before any Haden fruits showed signs of tree
ripening in the area. Brooks mangos are offered for sale on
Miami markets as early as June in some years, although tree-
ripened fruits of this variety usually are not observed until mid-
August. The situation is similar with other varieties.
The usual practice by conscientious growers has been to
harvest Haden mangos after a change in ground color from
green to yellow can be detected. This appears usually as a small
area near the stylar end of the fruit. Harvesting in accordance
with this criterion means picking fruit two or three times per
58 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
week to total 12 to 18 harvests per tree of fruit from one bloom.
This is a costly and laborious method of harvest. Fruit so har-
vested generally is ready to eat in four or five days, so care is
necessary to avoid shipping over-ripe fruit.
It would be very desirable to harvest the fruit a few days
before the change in ground color occurs, but no quick test has
been devised for determining when this degree of maturity has
been reached. Harkness (15) found that neither the acid nor
the sugar content offers reliable test for maturity. The most
promising laboratory test for Haden mango was found to be
the measurement of the specific gravity of the whole fruit.
Haden fruits with gravities less than 1.01 to 1.015 generally
were immature and those with gravities of 1.02 were generally
good. Slightly higher values were necessary early in the sea-
son; late in the season some fruits having gravities less than
1.01 were good. Specific gravity studies with other varieties
indicate, however, that this measure is not as reliable an indi-
cator of maturity in certain varieties as in Haden.
Harkness and Cobin (16), from further observations and
tests with the Haden variety, offer practical suggestions for
harvesting fruit in a mature condition. They found that fruit
matured from 105 to 115 days after blossoming. After the
shorter time interval fruit should be watched for change in
ground color. When this occurs, fruit should be sampled, spe-
cific gravity determined, and the fruit ripened so that a fairly
exact date can be determined. Only fruit showing the change
in ground color should be harvested during this testing period.
After this the fruit can be harvested as desired, since practically
all from one bloom period will ripen with satisfactory quality.
Similar studies are needed for other varieties, but in general the
same method can be used with the exception of measuring spe-
cific gravity. Some varieties exhibit a general change in ground
color over much of the surface, instead of in a small spot. Ex-
perience with such varieties will serve as a guide as to when the
first fruits are ready for harvest.
When the fruit can be reached by hand the usual method of
harvesting is to take the fruit in the palm of the hand and tip
it sharply sidewise or upward to snap off the fruit stem. The
stem is then trimmed with clippers to avoid stem punctures
to other fruit. Also the fruit may be grasped in one hand and
the stem cut to the desired length with the other by the use of
Mango Growing in Florida
The mango is very susceptible to decay when the skin has
been broken, and careful handling at all times will prevent loss.
For picking fruit out of reach by hand, long picking poles are
used. To the end of the pole is attached a cutting blade and below
this is fastened a small canvas bag to catch the detached fruit.
The picker carries a bucket to receive the fruit on transfer
from the picking pole receptacle, or to pick fruit into directly
by hand. These buckets have their contents in turn placed in
field crates. The fruit is delivered to the packinghouse in these
field crates. Picking platforms raised and lowered by means of
an hydraulic lift operated by a small tractor are sometimes used
to facilitate picking the fruit from tall trees.
Mango fruits as a rule are packed and shipped the same day
they are picked. In some cases lots may be held overnight,
preferably in packinghouses equipped with refrigeration. Oc-
casionally lots may be held over week ends at 500 F.
U. S. and State grades have not been established for mangos.
Packinghouses do not have a uniform grade standard, and there
is more or less lack of uniformity in pack and grade.
One of the larger packinghouses first separates the fruit upon
arrival into three maturity grades as follows: (1) green fruit
with no perceptible change in ground color; (2) turning, with
perceptible change in ground color; and (3) ripe. The fruit is
then graded into Fancy or No. 1, which includes fruits free or
practically free of anthracnose, mango scab, insect scars, cuts
or other physical blemishes; No. 2 grade, which includes notice-
able blemishes on the surface, a moderate amount of small pin-
point anthracnose spots or mechanical injury; and culls, which
include badly misshapen and seedless fruits, pronounced me-
chanical injuries and advanced anthracnose.
Nearly all fruits grading Fancy are shipped to Northern
markets and the No. 2 grade is placed in nearby or local mar-
kets. Ripe fruit is also disposed of locally.
Preparation of the fruit for packing varies from wiping off
the surface of each fruit with a damp cloth to washing in soapy
water and drying on roller brushes. A few shippers dip the
fruit in a solution or suspension of a copper fungicide. No
consistently good results have been obtained in tests with this
practice, and it probably is unnecessary for well-sprayed fruits
that retain a residue of copper fungicide on their surface at
60 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
The fruit is sized either by hand or by mechanical sizers.
It is then packed for the most part in ventilated lugs with a
layer of excelsior used to line the top and bottom and to pack
the spaces between fruits to prevent them from rolling about
and bruising. Lugs are either of wood or of fiberboard (Fig.
28) and may vary somewhat in size. The trend at present is to
Fig. 28.-Some containers and packs used for Florida Haden mangos.
Upper left, size 10 pack in wooden lug holding 11 pounds of fruit; upper
right, wooden lug ready for lidding; lower, size 12 and size 18 packs in
fiberboard lugs holding 14 pounds of fruit.
Mango Growing in Florida
use the avocado lug with inside dimensions of 13/ by 161/2
inches, which is either:
(a) 31/4 or 33 inches deep if made of fiberboard, or
(b) 33/ or 41/2 inches deep if made of wood. The number
of fruit per lug varies with the size of the fruit.
Some mangos are packed into ventilated crates holding ap-
proximately 45 pounds of fruit. They are packed in layers and
the layers are separated by sheets of corrugated fiberboard.
The uncertainty of the crop, lack of uniformity of grade
and pack, small total production, and lack of acquaintance with
different varieties on the part of retailers are some of the fac-
tors working against the development of a satisfactory system
of marketing mangos. The producer is confronted with sur-
pluses during seasons of bumper crops, and during poor crop
years there is not enough fruit to supply the demand in estab-
lished markets. Advertising to develop new markets is almost
certainly doomed to failure in the face of the lack of a constant
annual supply of mangos. There has been some improvement
in marketing following the appearance on the market of new
and more consistently bearing varieties. As the trade becomes
better acquainted with such varieties further improvement in
marketing may be expected.
At present the mango crop is marketed directly by the
grower or through packinghouses. Most of the packinghouses
will pay the grower cash for the fruit or will handle it on con-
signment, charging commission for grading, packing, shipping
and selling. A number of growers pack and ship their own fruit,
selling either directly to the consumer on order or sending to
dealers or brokers in the Northern states. Some sell their fruit
to fruit stands or at the Miami Farmers' Market, or they may
sell to dealers who in turn re-sell the fruit at these places. Some
of the dealers pick as well as buy the fruit from small growers.
Prices fluctuate considerably throughout the season in ac-
cordance with supply and demand, quality and condition of the
fruit, and with variety. Hadens may bring as high as $15.00
per bushel when they first begin to appear on the market but
the price drops to $4.00 to $5.00 a bushel when they become
plentiful. Lower grades and ripes usually bring considerably
lower prices. Other varieties bring from $4.00 to $10.00 a bushel
62 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
for top quality fruit. Turpentine and other common seedlings
may bring $1.00 to $2.00 a bushel. Very late fruit often brings
prices as high as the earliest Hadens. The 9-12 size fruits are
marketed to the fancy fruit trade at premium prices. The 12-16
size fruit is the best grade size for the general market. The
18-24 sizes usually bring below-average market prices.
About 70 percent of the commercial shipments of mangos
from the packinghouses is transported to market by refrigerated
trucks. During transit the fruit is held at 50 to 600 F. About
20 percent of the fruit is sent to market by railway express or
parcel post. Up to 10 percent may be shipped via air freight.
These shipments consist mainly of tree-ripened fruit.
Little information is available on the effect of cold storage
temperatures on Florida mangos. In preliminary tests with
Haden, Harkness and Cobin (16) reported injury on mature-
green fruit stored for a week at 42-450 F. Fruit with a pro-
nounced change in ground color was not harmed after a week at
these temperatures. Experience by some of the packers and
shippers indicates that it is unsafe to cold store green mangos
at temperatures below 500 F., but that ripe fruit can be held
safely for a time at 450 F.
The work of Wardlaw and Leonard (71) in Trinidad showed
that full grown green fruit exhibits chill effect at 400 and 450 F.
after 5 to 20 days. Chilling effects noted were the development
of skin blemishes, failure to develop normal color or flavor, and
an abnormally early appearance of anthracnose spots. A storage
temperature of 480 F. was tentatively recommended for the va-
rieties under study.
Writers in India report that certain varieties keep well at
temperatures as low as 40-450 F. Until further information is
obtained for Florida varieties, it is advisable to hold to 500F.
as the minimum for storage of mature-green fruit, with 450
F. as the minimum for storage of ripe fruit.
The mango in Florida is subject to relatively few serious dis-
seases, but anthracnose is an extremely important factor in low-
ering grade and quality of mango fruit, and in certain varieties
it contributes to lack of fruitfulness in some seasons. This
disease makes a program of spraying necessary if the fruit is
Mango Growing in Florida
to be shipped successfully to distant markets. Two other fungus
diseases, scab and powdery mildew, apparently are increasing
in importance in some sections of the State and may have to
be considered in the spray program.
This common and most widespread disease of the mango
is caused by the fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Penz.
The fungus is one of the most widely distributed in Florida. In
addition to attacking the mango, it causes a ripe rot of avocado,
papaya, and other subtropical fruits and a disease known as
withertip of citrus.
The various manifestations of the disease on the mango in-
clude blossom blight, leaf spot, fruit russeting or staining, and
fruit rot. Injury from the disease is closely dependent upon
humidity. The prevalence of rains or heavy dews during the
critical period for infection greatly increases its incidence.
Most of the infection in bearing trees takes place from the
beginning of the blossoming period in gradually decreasing se-
verity until the fruit is about half grown. Reduction of anthrac-
nose can be accomplished by maintaining a protective coating
of an effective fungicide on susceptible parts during this critical
period. Much of the decay which develops on mature fruits has
its inception as latent infections occurring when the fruits
are quite small. This was first reported for mangos by Baker
(1) in Trinidad and it has been confirmed for Florida mangos
by the senior author. These latent infections become active and
serve as centers of decay when the fruit approaches maturity.
As the fruit ripens, the spots develop rapidly and cause consid-
erable loss in transit or storage. Even in relatively dry seasons
considerable latent infection may occur.
The fungus grows saprophytically and sporulates abundantly
on dead twigs and leaves of many plants, including the mango.
The possibilities for infection are great at all times and all that
is needed to produce the disease in abundance is the presence of
susceptible tissue and a favorable period of moisture.
Infections on the flower panicle appear at first as minute
brown or black spots which gradually enlarge and often coalesce
to cause the death of flowers either directly or indirectly by
invasion of the flower stalks. Blossom blight may vary in
severity from slight to complete involvement of the panicle,
according to prevailing weather conditions.
64 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Infections on young leaves start as small, dark, angular to
irregular spots which often coalesce to form large necrotic areas
which may crack and break away (Fig. 29). Infections on older
leaves usually remain subcircular to somewhat angular and less
than 1/4 inch in diameter, with fruiting bodies appearing as
Fig. 29.-Upper, anthracnose on mature mango leaves-lower (left) and
upper (right) surfaces; lower, anthracnose on young mango leaf.
Mango Growing in Florida
brown to black dots on either surface (Fig. 29). On old mature
leaves the anthracnose spots frequently are invaded by other
Very young fruits are readily infected. Young seedless fruits
are rapidly invaded by the fungus, once they become infected.
Spots on seeded fruits may remain as pinpoint latent infections
but in wet weather they may enlarge and sporulation may be
abundant (Fig. 30).
Fig. 30.-Anthracnose on young mango fruits.
On nearly mature to ripe fruits, black spots of varied form,
which may be slightly sunken and show surface cracks, appear
and may coalesce to cover large areas. These infections usually
penetrate deeply and cause rotting of the fruit either on the
tree or after it has been harvested (Fig. 31). Surface staining
or russeting may result from spores being washed down upon
the fruit from an infected twig or flower stalk (Fig. 32).
Control of Anthracnose.-The widespread occurrence of the
causal fungus on living as well as dead tissues on mangos and
other plants makes it impractical in commercial groves to at-
tempt control of the disease by pruning. Spraying with effec-
66 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
tive fungicides during the critical period for infection is the
only practical means of control.
Fig. 31.-Anthracnose decay of ripe fruit.
Stevens in 1936 (64) outlined a tentative spray schedule
which included five applications of 8-8-100 bordeaux mixture
timed as follows: 1, dormant spray; 2, open bloom spray, when
two-thirds or more of the flowers are open; 3, three weeks after
Number 2, when most of the fruits have set; 4, one month after
Number 3; and 5, one month after Number 4. Blossom infection
and anthracnose of the fruit was controlled fairly well by this
schedule in average seasons, provided the fruit set normally.
Even in dry seasons, when little anthracnose was present, the
percentage of first grade fruit was increased and sprayed fruit
carried better in transit and storage than unsprayed fruit.
In 1940 Ruehle (51) showed that the dormant spray was
unnecessary and that good control could be obtained with some
of the neutral copper fungicides or with weaker bordeaux mix-
tures than 8-8-100. Furthermore, increase of scale insects and
Mango Growing in Florida
mealybugs was less following the use of the neutral coppers and
weak bordeaux. Five or six applications of fungicide were nec-
essary for good control in any single bloom period. The program
included two or three sprays in the open bloom.
Fig. 32.-Surface staining from anthracnose spores washed down from
infected flower stalk and mummified fruits.
68 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Spray tests comparing bordeaux mixture or one of the neu-
tral copper fungicides with some of the newer organic fungi-
cides were conducted at the Subtropical Station during recent
years whenever conditions were favorable for such tests. Re-
sults of these were summarized by Ruehle (55) in 1953. Of the
eight organic tested, zineb or maneb used at 1.5 pounds to 100
gallons of water and captain used at 2 pounds to 100 gallons of
water proved effective as in-the-bloom sprays, when applications
were made at intervals of seven days. None of the organic were
as effective as copper fungicides for post-bloom sprays when in-
tervals of three to four weeks were left between applications.
The organic fungicides are not as stable as the copper fungi-
cides. Zineb and maneb lose their effectiveness in six to eight
days on the plant. Captan probably is somewhat more stable
but for the present should be used like the carbamates until
more definite information is available. The organic fungicides
have certain advantages over the copper fungicides when used as
in-the-bloom sprays. They are less conducive to increase of
scale insects and mealybugs and there is less tendency for them
to injure open blossoms and to interfere with the activity of
pollinating insects than is the case with copper fungicides. They
are now recommended for in-the-bloom sprays on the mango
with applications spaced seven days apart to be followed by two
or three post-bloom applications of copper fungicides.
CPafi ^ T
Fig. 33.-Proper stage of development of blossom panicles to
receive first anthracnose spray.
Mango Growing in Florida
A wetting agent or spreader-adhesive added to the sprays
aids in obtaining good coverage. Caution should be observed
in the use of liquid spreaders. Too much added to the spray
increases run-off of the fungicide. Usually half the quantity
recommended by the manufacturer is sufficient for good results
for the in-the-bloom sprays. Captan has caused injury when
used in combination with one of the standard liquid spreaders.
The waxy outer coat of the peel makes it increasingly difficult
to obtain an even coating of fungicide on fruits an inch or more
in diameter. Somewhat better results will be obtained if both a
wetting agent and a dry spreader are added to the fruit sprays.
The number of bloom applications necessary for good control
depends upon prevailing weather conditions and the uniformity
with which the flower clusters open. They do not all open simul-
taneously in the main general bloom and in some seasons lack
of uniformity is more evident than in others. Sometimes blos-
som panicles open first on the southside of the trees and may
set considerable fruit there before the panicles open on the
north side. Usually a general bloom is produced only once dur-
ing the year, but sometimes two distinct blooming periods occur,
or occasionally blooming may occur intermittently from late
December until April. It may be necessary in some seasons to
apply only two in-the-bloom sprays, while in others four or
more may be desirable or spot spraying of irregularly blooming
trees must be resorted to if all the blooms are to be protected.
Usually it is impractical to attempt to protect all bloom panicles
in these occasionally erratic seasons.
The following spray schedule is recommended for the present
until more information can be secured from further experiments:
GENERAL SPRAY SCHEDULE FOR CONTROL OF
Time of Application Fungicide per 100 gallons of water
1. When first panicles have ap- *Zineb 11 lbs. + liquid spreader
peared but before individual or Maneb 11/2 lbs. + liquid spreader
flowers have opened (See Fig. or Captan 2 lbs. + dry spreader.
Same materials as above
2. One week after No. 1
70 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
3. One week after No. 2 and repeat Same materials as above
at 7-day intervals as long as
necessary or practical to protect
4. When crop has set and not long- Yellow cuprous oxide 1 lb. + liquid
er than 7 days after the last spreader or Bordeaux (6 lbs. blue-
organic fungicide application. stone-6 lbs. hydrated lime) + liquid
Other standard neutral coppers
used at the same copper content as
5. Three to four weeks after No. 4. Repeat with copper fungicide used
in No. 4 but add both liquid and
6. About May 15 or at the time of
the beginning of the rainy sea-
son. To control late lenticel in-
fections, and infections starting
at insect stings, hail marks, limb Repeat with copper fungicide and
rubs, etc. On late varieties spreaders used in No. 5.
(Kent, Keitt, Palmer, Brooks,
etc.) especially on old trees it
may be advisable to spray again
Neither zineb nor maneb has a tolerance for residue on fruit. There-
fore they should not be applied when a residue may be left.
This schedule applies to the main general bloom which usually
produces the bulk of the crop. Changes in time of making some
applications may be necessitated by variations in seasonal con-
ditions. Occasionally the first bloom to appear is slight and sets
little or no fruit, in which case a second bloom may be heavy and
produce the main crop. When this occurs the spray schedule
should be shifted to protect the later bloom. The first applica-
tion in the schedule should be made thoroughly to all parts of
the tree top. Only the bloom panicles and fruits need to be
covered in later applications.
Proper spacing of the trees at planting to allow sufficient
room for aeration about the trees, or pruning to provide aeration
in closer planted trees, and control of insects and other diseases
will make the control of anthracnose by spraying easier. In-
secticides may be added to the fungicides in the spray schedule
if the need for insect control is evident at the time.
Mango Growing in Florida
Mango scab is caused by the fungus Elsinoe mangiferae Bit.
and Jenkins. It was first recognized as a distinct disease in
Florida in 1942 (52), but leaf specimens regarded as the same
disease are reported to have been collected at Orlando, Florida,
in 1937. The disease has been reported also from Cuba, Puerto
Rico, Brazil and the Canal Zone (2). It is probable that mango
scab had been present in Florida for many years prior to its dis-
covery and that some of its manifestations had been confused
Fig. 34.-Mango scab on twig and leaves of mango.
The fungus attacks young expanding tissues, causing infec-
tions on leaves, blossom panicles, twigs, and fruits. On young
mango leaves the spots are nearly circular to somewhat angular,
usually 1/25 inch or less but sometimes up to 1/16 inch in
diameter, and dark brown to black with the centers often cov-
ered with a delicate velvety down during moist weather. Severe
72 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
attacks cause crinkling and distortion of the leaf, followed by
premature shedding (Fig. 34). On older leaves the somewhat
larger spots are grayish, surrounded by narrow dark borders
and frequently the centers weather away, leaving irregular shot
holes. Grayish irregular blotches are formed on the bark of
stems (Fig. 34). On young fruits the infections are grayish to
grayish brown with dark irregular margins (Fig. 35). As the
fruit enlarges the spots enlarge also and the centers may become
covered with cracked and fissured corky tissue (Fig. 36). Spores
of the fungus may be produced on the fruit until it reaches ma-
turity. During moist periods the surface of fruit scabs on un-
sprayed fruits are covered more or less with a velvety grayish
brown covering of spores and sporophores, in contrast to the
pinkish spore masses of anthracnose produced under similar con-
Control of Mango Scab.-Thus far in Florida mango scab
has been of minor importance in commercial groves, but is often
a serious disease in mango nurseries. The spray schedule rec-
ommended for control of anthracnose usually will also control
scab in bearing groves.
Frequent spraying with copper fungicides is necessary to
control scab in nurseries. Keeping the new flushes of growth
protected by weekly applications of wettable cuprous oxide at
1 pound per 100 gallons of water or of some other neutral copper
fungicide used at a comparable rate generally will prevent dam-
age from the disease.
Powdery mildew caused by a species of Oidium has been
observed on the mango in Florida for more than a decade but has
been a very minor trouble until 1954, when the bloom was seri-
ously attacked in many groves from Miami to Stuart. It again
caused serious damage to blossom panicles in one grove on Mer-
ritt Island in 1955 and caused some damage to blossoms and foli-
age in other sections. The disease is reported serious with the
mango in India (38), where the causal fungus is named Oidium
Loss from the disease is mainly the result of blossom infec-
tion. In severe attacks the entire blossom panicle may be in-
volved and fruit fail to set. Infected flowers, flower stalks, and
young fruits become coated with the whitish powdery growth of
the fungus and the flowers and young fruits turn brown and are
Mango Growing in Florida
Fig. 35.-Mango scab on young fruits.
~~ ij~LD' ~+~
Fig. 36.-Mango scab on nearly mature Haden fruit.
74 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
shed. The under sides of infected leaves and the skin of in-
fected fruits are similarly coated with the white surface growth
of the fungus. There may be some distortion of young leaves
(Fig. 37). In older leaves and on the skin of nearly mature fruits
infected tissue has a purplish brown cast after the white growth
weathers away. Infections on mature fruits may appear as
superficial irregular blotches (Fig. 38).
There has been little opportunity to develop control measures
for powdery mildew in Florida. Dusting the blossom panicles
with finely ground sulfur just before the opening of the flowers
and again in about two weeks is said to give effective control in
India. Sulfur has not been tested under Florida conditions. A
proprietary dinitrophenyl crotonate (Karathane WD) was used
on mango bloom at the rate of 1/2 pound per 100 gallons of a
formulation containing 25 percent active ingredient at Boynton
in 1954 and again in 1955. No checks were left but the grower
is of the opinion that the treatment was effective. A 0.6 pound
per 100 gallons rate was used once on severely infected bloom
Fig. 37.-Powdery mildew on flower panicle and leaves of mango.
Mango Growing in Florida
in a grove on Merritt Island in 1955. Little fruit was set on the
sprayed blooms of Zill trees which appeared to be more severely
attacked than trees of other varieties, but the trees put forth
a second bloom from which considerable fruit set, so presumably
the treatment was effective. Dinitrophenyl crotonate is com-
patible with and may be added to the carbamate fungicides in
the anthracnose program. No tolerance for Karathane has been
established on mango. Therefore it should not be used when a
residue may be left on the harvested fruit.
Fig. 38.-Powdery mildew on fruit of Borsha mango.
Red Rust caused by the alga Cephaleuros virescens Kunze is
a minor disease of the mango. In orchards regularly sprayed
with copper fungicides the disease usually is not found or at
least is of no importance. On unsprayed trees stem infections
may become numerous and cause some damage. The alga lives
on the leaves as an epiphyte. The roughly circular spots are
greenish-gray, changing to rusty red when the fructifications of
the alga appear. On branches below year old flushes of growth,
76 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
the alga causes bark lesions one inch or more in diameter. The
attacked bark becomes cracked and thickened and the branches
may become noticeably thickened at the infection sites. The
presence of the alga is readily recognized from the rusty-red
fructifications on the surface of infected areas.
A stem-end rot of mango fruits often causes spoilage during
transit or storage. The fruits become thoroughly invaded and
soured and the skin turns light brown to almost black. The
fungus most commonly associated with this type of decay in
Florida is Diplodia natalensis Pole-Evans, but Diaporthe citri
Wolf also has been isolated from fruits showing stem-end rot.
Contributing factors to the development of stem-end rot of
mango include the harvesting of fruit in an immature condi-
tion, storage in poorly ventilated and warm rooms or cars, and
failure to adopt an adequate spraying program for control of
anthracnose. Direct methods of control of the rot have not
been developed. Some shippers report that washing the fruit
in a copper fungicidal suspension in water prior to packing for
shipment apparently prevented development of the decay in
transit. Providing adequate ventilation in cool storage rooms
or in transit should prove beneficial.
Tipburn is the term given to the dying back of the leaf tip
and adjacent edges toward the center, forming an irregular area
of dead, brown dry tissue which may sometimes involve as much
as one-half the leaf area. Anthracnose and other fungi fre-
quently invade the dead tissue.
Salt spray and salt in the water used for overhead irrigation
cause one form of tipburn. The cause of tipburn has not been
definitely established in some observed cases, but the condition
appears always to be associated with moisture deficiency, which
may result from severe drouth, high salts concentration in the
soil, or drying winds.
Lightning occasionally strikes mango trees and may cause
injuries that may be mistaken for the effects of a parasitic dis-
ease. The amount of injury from lightning may be confined to
one tree or it may extend to a group of trees. Trees may be
killed completely or the injury may be confined to individual
branches or patches of the bark of branches. The most common
Mango Growing in Florida
pattern from lightning is for a single tree to be struck and
either killed outright or severely injured, with twigs and branches
of adjacent trees showing more or less injury.
Hail occasionally causes injury to the fruits by breaking the
skin. Half-grown fruits are sometimes so severely injured
that they drop from the trees. In other cases decay develops
at the breaks and the fruit is unfit for shipment. If the fruit is
struck while quite small, the injuries may heal over, leaving a
scar at the site of injury which may lower the grade at harvest.
Zinc deficiency on mango trees is characterized by the pres-
ence of small, recurved, thickened and stiff leaves which may
exhibit more or less pronounced chlorosis (Fig. 39). When long
standing and severe, dying back of small twigs may occur and
abnormalities of the bloom panicle may be evident. Such trees
remain unthrifty and unproductive until the condition is cor-
rected. The condition has been observed mostly on mangos
growing on the calcareous soils of Dade County (28).
Correction is accomplished by applying zinc sulfate to the
foliage as a spray, with sufficient lime added for neutralization.
The formula recommended is zinc sulfate 5 pounds, hydrated
lime 2.5 pounds, and water 100 gallons. Neutral zinc may be
substituted for zinc sulfate, using a formula to supply the same
Fig. 39.-Zinc deficiency symptoms on mango branch terminals.
78 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
amount of metallic zinc in the spray. No lime is required if
neutral zinc is used. Correction of zinc deficiency generally is
manifested in the flush of growth following the application of a
single zinc spray. If correction is not complete, a second spray-
ing with zinc may be necessary.
Copper deficiency symptoms frequently develop in young trees
forced into growth by heavy nitrogen fertilization, or on the
growth developing from newly top-worked large trees. The ap-
pearance of weak terminal shoots followed by defoliation and
dieback on the ends of long drooping or S-shaped branches of
the preceding cycle of growth is evidence that copper is needed.
The remedy is to spray the foliage with a copper fungicide.
Copper deficiency symptoms may sometimes accompany zinc
deficiency symptoms. Prevention by applications of copper and
zinc once or twice a year is easier than correction. Copper de-
ficiency symptoms have not been observed on bearing trees
receiving copper sprays for control of anthracnose.
Abnormalities of ripening and of fruit development occur in
Florida mangos. A soft tip condition has been rather common
in fruits of some varieties in Palm Beach County in some sea-
sons. In this condition, the flesh may become quite soft at the
apex and around the stone, while the flesh at the base of the
fruit is still green and hard. Fermentation or fungal spoilage
occurs in the ripened tip before the basal end of the fruit ripens.
Fruits with well developed seed are less apt to have this condi-
tion than fruits with poorly developed or no seed. Hollow cavi-
ties of variable size and shape occasionally develop in the flesh
of the basal end of the fruit. The tissue lining these cavities
varies in color from almost white to slate colored. The cavi-
ties apparently have no connection with the skin of the fruit,
but their location is sometimes evident on the surface as a
depression in the peel. The cause is unknown for both of these
INSECTS AND OTHER PESTS
The mango serves as host for a number of insect pests and
mites. Some of these cause injury severe enough to warrant
the application of pesticides. All have natural enemies which
tend to keep populations controlled, and the appearance of most
mango pests in damaging numbers is sporadic. Trees should be
examined frequently for infestations. When pests increase to
proportions where extensive damage to tree or crop is likely to"
Mango Growing in Florida
occur, the appropriate pesticide should be applied. Usually the
best control program is to apply pesticides only when they are
More than a score of species of scales have been reported on
the mango in Florida (30). Of these, the mango shield scale,
Coccus mangiferae (Green), the lesser snow scale, Pinnaspis
strachani Cooley, and the Florida red scale, Chrysomphalus
aonidum (Linn.), often are troublesome. Occasionally the tes-
selated scale, mango scale, Florida wax scale, or some other
species may build up to damaging numbers.
All scale insects feed by sucking sap from the tree, thus
reducing tree vitality. They generally increase following the
use of copper and other pesticidal sprays leaving residues on
The mango shield scale infests the lower surface of the leaves
(Fig. 40) and usually locates along the midrib or lateral veins.
The adult of this soft scale is somewhat triangular in shape,
yellowish green in color and about one-eighth inch in length.
This species produces an abundance of honeydew which falls to
the upper surface of leaves or fruit below the infested leaves.
The sooty mold fungus develops on this honeydew. Following a
severe infestation the tree usually becomes blackened from the
accumulation of fungus growth. Its presence is a sure sign that
scale insects are present and causing damage.
Fig. 40.-Mango shield scale (light colored) and Florida red scale
(dark circular) on mango leaves.
80 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
The lesser snow scale frequently masses in cracks in the bark
of the trunk and branches but also infests twigs and occasionally
leaves and fruits. The fluted white males are about 1/16 inch
long and the most conspicuous, sometimes nearly concealing the
opaque white, irregularly pear-shaped slightly larger females.
Parasites sometimes kill most of the scales on unsprayed trees
and this species becomes a serious pest only in trees sprayed
during the season with copper fungicides.
The Florida red scale, a widely disseminated armored scale,
often infests mango leaves and occasionally attacks the fruit.
The adult females are light reddish brown, almost circular in
outline and about 1/16 inch in diameter. The males are similar
but smaller than the females.
Control of Scale Insects.-Oil emulsion sprays are effective
scalecides if applied with good coverage at pressures of 400 p. s. i.
or more. Wolfenbarger (76) recommends emulsions containing
1.3 to 1.5 percent oil as adequate for most infestations, although
it may be necessary to repeat in three to four weeks to control
extremely heavy infestations. Oil emulsions should not be ap-
plied to nearly mature fruit because uneven ripening of the har-
vested fruit has followed this practice on some varieties. Oil
emulsions are best applied just after fruit harvest, but if severe
infestations are discovered at other seasons they should be con-
trolled. Spot spraying to eradicate infestations just as they
become noticeable is frequently good economy in combating scale
insects as well as other pests.
Parathion at 1.7 pounds of 15 percent wettable powder per
100 gallons of water is effective for control of shield, red, and
snow scales and can be applied at any season of the year. Para-
thion should never be used without proper precautions. The
combination of 0.7 percent oil with 1 pound of 15 percent wet-
table parathion per 100 gallons of water is excellent for a clean-
up of scales. The combination requires the use of the same pre-
cautions as parathion.
The red-banded thrips, Selenothrips rubocinctus (Giard.), has
become a very troublesome pest in mango nurseries and groves
in recent years, causing severe defoliation when infestations are
The young are conspicuously colored. They are yellowish
with a bright red band near the middle of the body. The adults
are dark brown with dusty wings and are about 1/24 inch long.
Mango Growing in Florida
Adults, young, and eggs may be found together on the lower
surface of the leaves. This thrips excretes over the surface
small drops of a clear reddish fluid, which hardens and turns
rusty brown to black. Infested leaves become darkly stained and
may curl, shrivel, and fall as a result of feeding. Fruits also may
be attacked. The skin becomes discolored and may crack and
shrivel. Trees severely attacked a short time before the nor-
mal blooming period may fail to bloom and set fruit.
Control can be obtained with thorough applications of any
one of a number of insecticides. Wolfenbarger (75) reported
good control with parathion, oil emulsion with DDT or benzene
hexachloride added, and with DDT alone at 4 pounds of 50 per-
cent wettable powder per 100 gallons of water. Dieldrin showed
particular promise for control of this thrips (77) when used at
1 pound of 20 percent wettable powder or its equivalent per 100
gallons of water. DDT sprays or dusts, although effective, are
not recommended, because scale insects tend to increase follow-
ing their use. Lindane and benzene hexachloride should not be
used after fruit is about one-third grown, as they may affect
flavor. Dusts of lindane or benzene hexachloride to be effective
should contain 1 percent of the active ingredient. Wettable
benzene hexachloride is recommended at 2 pounds 10 percent
gamma isomer or its equivalent and lindane at 1 pound 25 per-
cent or its equivalent per 100 gallons of water.
The greenhouse thrips, Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Bou-
che), has caused considerable damage to avocados in Florida in
recent years but has not yet been observed causing damage to
mango trees. The mango is listed as a host of this thrips by
Ebeling and Pence (9), so the species is a potential threat. The
adult thrips is black with white markings, but is similar to the
red-banded thrips in feeding habits and type of injury produced.
If it becomes a pest of the mango in Florida, control measures
recommended for red-banded thrips can be used.
Flower thrips are almost always present and sometimes are
very abundant on mango flowers. These soft-bodied, yellowish
insects about 1/25 inch long, have been suspected of causing
damage to the flowers, but there is no conclusive evidence that
they cause injury severe enough to warrant the use of insecti-
The avocado red mite, Paratetranychus yothersi (McG.),
often attacks the mango severely during the comparatively dry
82 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
winter months. The mite is very small but its bright rusty red
color makes it readily visible to the naked eye when it moves.
It confines its feeding to the upper surface of the leaves. Con-
tinued feeding causes the entire leaf to turn brown as if scorched
and often such leaves drop prematurely. Occasionally the mites
attack very young fruits and cause russeting of the skin. The
greatest damage from this pest occurs from late November to
At the first indication of red mite damage the grower should
start to apply control measures. The mite is readily controlled
by adding 6 to 10 pounds of wettable sulfur to each 100 gallons
of one of the fungicidal sprays in the anthracnose schedule and
covering the leaves thoroughly. If red spiders appear on non-
bearing trees or on bearing trees before the time for spraying
with fungicides they may be controlled by the use of sulfur dust.
The broad mite, Hemitarsonemus latus (Banks), occasion-
ally attacks the terminals of young mango trees in nurseries or
in lath-houses. Symptoms described by Wolfenbarger (76) in-
clude crinkling and stunting of terminal leaves, rolling of leaf
margins, glazing of leaf surfaces, and defoliation. The mites
are nearly colorless, are short and broad in form, and move
about rapidly. They are so small that they can be detected
readily only with the aid of a hand lens. The broad mite can
be controlled by use of sulfur dust, by spraying with wettable
sulfur 10 pounds to 100 gallons, or by the use of weak lime-
sulfur solutions. Repeated and thorough applications are nec-
essary for control of severe infestations.
Moznette (31) states that mango bloom panicles are some-
times seriously damaged by attacks of the blossom anomala,
Anomala undulata Mels, a small dark-colored beetle which feeds
at night. This insect has rarely been observed on mangos dur-
ing the past 20 years and has not been a serious pest when
present. Moznette recommended arsenate of lead spray for
A small brownish ambrosia beetle, Hypocryphalus mangiferae
(Stebbing), has been observed attacking mango trees in three
different areas. The insect, about 1/16 inch in length, makes
galleries in the branches and trunk and carries stain and decay
fungi into these galleries. Some control was obtained in pre-
liminary tests by the use of DDT sprays.
Mango Growing in Florida
On several occasions, larvae of the papaya fruit fly, Toxo-
trypana curvicauda (Gerst), have been observed infesting the
pulp of mango fruits (Fig. 41). In one instance most of the
fruits of one tree were destroyed by the attack of this pest. No
satisfactory control has been developed.
Fig. 41.-Larvae of papaya fruit fly in flesh of mango fruit.
Several other pests have been observed attacking mango in
Florida but thus far have not been of sufficient importance to
warrant the use of special measures for their control.
The sap of the mango tree contains a compound, as yet un-
identified, that produces a rash on the skin of susceptible indi-
viduals. According to Simmons and Bolin (58), the lesions are
produced by a non-protein skin irritant that is nonvolatile, sol-
uble in xylol, ether, alcohol, and chloroform, and is present only
in the sap of young branches and the peel of the fruit. The rash
is called mango dermatitis (18) and is an irritation of the skin,
especially of the hands, neck, and face, and results from con-
tact with the resin in the sap. It is of rare occurrence and a
mild case usually lasts only a few days. Mango dermatitis has
been reported in many races, not being confined to the white race,
84 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
and children seem more susceptible than adults. Sensitive in-
dividuals should avoid all contact with the plant sap, especially
in handling picked fruit on which the sap has run. Some sus-
ceptible persons can eat the mango without ill effects if someone
else peels and washes the fruit.
Little information is available on mango dermatitis and its
treatment. However, since mango and poison ivy belong to the
same plant family and the respective rashes have certain char-
acteristics in common, it seems reasonable to assume that treat-
ment used for ivy poisoning should also be useful in treating
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86 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
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