Mango

This page has information about growing mangoes at home in the Northern Territory (NT).

Mango 

About mango

Name: mango, mangifera indica (anacardiaceae).

Origin: India, Burma region.

Distribution: between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer and extending into the sub-tropics.

Australian distribution: mangoes are grown in the Darwin and Katherine regions of the NT, Queensland, Western Australia and northern New South Wales.

Description

Mango trees are perennial evergreens. They can grow up to 20m tall. 

Leaves are alternate and appear in flushes. 

Most mango varieties can be fertilised by their own pollen. 

The trees bear fleshy stone fruit. The fruit size, colour, taste and flavour varies between types. 

Preferred climate and soil

Mango trees need dry, cool conditions for flowering, and warm, rainless conditions when fruiting. They do not tolerate frost. 

Mangoes can be grown in a range of soils provided they are well drained. Sandy loams are preferred.  

Varieties

There are many varieties of mango available. They should be chosen to suit the area where they are grown.

Mango varieties grown in Australia include all of the following:

  • kensington pride
  • keitt
  • irwin
  • R2E2
  • nam dok mai
  • calypso
  • honey gold
  • celebration.

Propagation

Grafted mango plants are used for commercial planting. Trees are normally planted 10m apart.

Young trees need to be watered regularly. Fruit-bearing trees need to be watered from flowering until the end of fruit development. 

Pests and diseases

There are several pests that affect mango trees, including thrips, scales, caterpillars, plant and leaf hoppers and fruit flies. 

Diseases include anthracnose, stem-end rot and scab. Some varieties can suffer from sap burn and stem-end cavity.

You will need to look after your mango plants to reduce crop loss or damage.

Fruit season

Mango trees start fruiting within two years. In the NT, mangoes are usually harvested between September and December. 

Harvest

Mangoes can be picked when mature. They are still hard when green. 

Fruit size, stalk end shape and change in fruit colour can be used to check if the fruit is ripe. Another technique, called dry matter testing, compares the weight of freshly cut mango to its dry weight.

Backyard mango trees can be harvested using secateurs and picking poles. Be careful to stop the flow of sap onto the fruit. Wash the fruit in detergent soon after picking. 

Storage

Mangoes should be stored between 15 and 18 degrees Celsius.

Eating

Mango can be prepared in many ways. 

Immature fruit can be pickled or made into chutney. 

Ripe fruit is popular fresh and can also be canned, preserved as nectar or juice, or dried. Mango pulp is used in milk shakes, ice creams, yoghurts and breakfast cereals. Mango pulp makes a unique fruity liqueur.

Mango sap burn and allergies

Be careful when harvesting mango fruit as the sap is caustic and can irritate your skin. This is different to mango allergies. Mango allergies can be life threatening.

Last updated: 28 November 2017