If you want flavorful mangoes, you have to fertilize your mango tree at the right time.
Luckily, growing a mango tree in Florida is not impossible. In Florida, mango season usually lasts from May through September.
So if you want to enjoy this delicious tropical treat, let’s find out when to fertilize them.
When To Fertilize Mango Trees in Florida?
Before moving ahead, let me quickly introduce mangoes to you.
|Plant Type:||Fruit, tree|
|Sun Exposure:||Full sun|
|Soil Type:||Moist, loamy, well-drained|
|Soil pH:||5.5 to 7.5|
According to “The University of Florida Extension Service“, you can grow mangoes in the warmest areas of Florida.
Lee and Dade are some places in Florida where mangoes are grown commercially.
This takes us straight to the topic.
Best Time to Fertilize a Mango tree:
Fertilize a young mango tree once every month in the growing season (spring and summer). Your mango tree needs plenty of nitrogen at this stage to grow. So, a balanced 6-6-6 fertilizer can be used. Once your tree is fruiting, use a fertilizer with higher phosphorus and potassium to enhance flowering and fruiting. This is done in January, March (spring), and November (fall).
Let me explain all this to you in detail.
Young Mango Trees:
- Fertilize them once every month in the growing season (spring and summer).
You should know that young trees love nitrogen. They require plenty of nitrogen to grow, but they are sensitive to excess nitrogen.
So, you have to be extremely careful as they are prone to nitrogen burn.
(In Flordia, mangoes are available from late May to October depending upon the variety).
Now you might be wondering, why fertilize in the growing season?
This is the active season for your mango tree and the nutrient requirement is high. Therefore, nitrogen is required to support plant growth.
Nitrogen in fruits allows proper development of colour, fruit size, and flavor.
Now, let’s talk about the correct fertilizer at this stage.
- Use a balanced 6-6-6 fertilizer with 4% magnesium.
The University of Florida Extension Service suggests this.
You can also use the 8-2-12 or the balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. The idea is to provide nitrogen to the young mango tree.
And these work great for me as well.
Note that 8-2-12 shows the NPK ratio in a fertilizer. For example, the 8-2-12 fertilizer contains 8% nitrogen (N), 2% phosphorus (P), and 12% potassium (K).
A fertilizer that contains some secondary macronutrients (such as calcium) as well is also a great choice.
With this, let me talk about the application rate.
- Follow the instructions on the package.
To understand the application rate, you should read the instructions on the fertilizer package.
The idea is that young plants should be fertilized between 0.25-1 pound during this time. But, this can also vary depending on your soil quality.
I recommend organic fertilizers, such as the fish emulsion fertilizer, at this stage.
This is because organic fertilizers are less likely to hurt young trees than harsh fertilizers.
With this, it is time to talk about mature trees.
Mature Fruiting Trees:
Now that your mango tree is established, it is time to change the fertilizer.
This is because mature mango trees require little to no nitrogen. This is because we want flowering and fruiting instead vegetative growth.
So at this stage, we will use a blend with higher phosphorus and potassium to enhance flowering and fruiting.
- Fertilize three times a year: January, March, and November.
In Florida, mangoes bloom from December to April (depending on the variety). So, Florida mangoes are available from late May to October.
This is because mangoes are ready for harvest 100 to 150 days after flowering.
- So at this stage, you can use NPK 0-3-16 fertilizer.
In January, the 0-0-22 works great for me as well.
The application in January will ensure that your tree produces enough sweet fruit. In the same way, the application in spring is also recommended for fruit production.
The fertilizer application in the fall will help to strengthen your mango tree.
To summarise, fertilize every two to three months from the flower set through the end of harvest. But, this can also vary according to the condition of your tree.
Because if your mango tree is performing well, you may also fertilize it only once a year (in late summer).
This takes us straight to the next topic.
When NOT To Fertilize:
- You should not fertilize mango trees stressed by drought.
Can you guess why is this important?
Summers in Florida are hot and humid. As the temperature soars, your mango tree may lose its comfort zone.
So when the plant is heat-stressed, fertilizing will do more harm than good. Plus, the high summer temperature can lead to nitrogen burn as well.
This takes us straight to our next topic.
How To Fertilize Mango Trees?
We have already discussed when to fertilize mango trees in Florida.
Now, let me walk you through this process.
- Apply the fertilizer to the root zone.
Here’s a fact.
Mango trees have wide root systems and their roots can grow about 25 feet in any direction.
The idea is that you should spread the fertilizer evenly with your hand under the tree’s canopy.
In other words, spread it under the leaf drip line (area under the outer circumference of the tree branches).
The table below will help you better understand the fertilizing schedule for mangoes.
|Age of the plant (Years)||N (g)||P (g)||K (g)|
Note that this is a general schedule.
For proper application rates, read the instructions on the fertilizer package.
When you are done spreading the fertilizer, move on to the next step.
- Water it.
You do not want nutrients to be “sitting on top of the soil”.
This is exactly why we water the soil after fertilization. This allows the nutrients to go deep into the soil.
This is what we call water infiltration.
You should water the new trees 2-3 times in the first week.
Note: Around 80% water is required during the flowering and fruit development stages. You should stop irrigation 10-15 days before the harvest.
Pretty simple, right?
You May Also Like:
Now, let’s talk about the climate of Florida.
The Climate of Florida:
To better understand when to fertilize mango trees in Florida, let’s study its climate first.
Overview: The humid subtropical climate of Florida is great for mangoes. This is because mangoes can tolerate a wide range of climates. Generally, a warm to hot climate is preferred during fruit development. Plus, low rainfall and relative humidity are good during flowering, fruit setting and harvest.
Here are the details.
- The climate of Florida is what we call the “humid subtropical“.
This simply means that summers are hot and humid, while the winters are cool to mild.
In other words, there is a relatively high temperature and precipitation throughout the year.
Remember that mangoes grow well in areas with high temperatures (45 °C). For best growth, the average maximum temperature should be between 27-36 °C.
Can you guess the reason for the high temperature?
It refers to the amount of water vapour in the air. If there are more water vapours in the air, the humidity will be higher.
As humid air holds more heat than dry air, the temperate increases. Good for mangoes, isn’t it?
You should know that cold weather and fertilizer are not a good fit.
As I mentioned earlier, winters in Florida are cold to mild. Now you might be wondering, why are winters mild in Florida?
- The predominant tropical easterly winds keep the temperature warm during the winters.
As we discussed earlier, fertilizer applications should be avoided in winter.
Now, let’s talk about rainfall.
Rainfall is crucial for mangoes.
According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, mangoes should be watered throughout the first two years to encourage growth.
Note that each tree should receive around 26 gallons of water per week. Notable.
The idea is that rainfall provides water to the mango trees which increases the fruit yield.
Here are some other things that you should consider:
- The average precipitation is around 53.7 inches.
- In South Florida and the Keys, September is usually the rainiest month.
To be precise, the amount of water needed depends on the rainfall.
Now, let’s talk about sunshine.
You should know that sunshine is essential if you want good fruit and flower production.
According to some sources, mango trees need full sun (around 8 hours of direct sunlight) on most days.
Note: Do not worry. Florida is known as the sunshine state.
The amount of sunshine is great all around the year. Typically, South Florida receives more sunshine than North.
In the same way, different cities receive different amounts of sunshine.
Now that you know about the climate requirement of mangoes, let’s move on to the next topic.
What Soil is Best For a Mango Tree?
If you are planning to grow mangoes, this is something that you should know.
- As we discussed earlier, mango trees are deep-rooted plants. So, they grow well in lateritic, alluvial, sandy loam, and sandy soils.
Note that mangoes grow well in loamy, alluvial, well-drained, aerated and deep soils (2-2.5 m) rich in organic matter.
- Mangoes grow well in slightly acidic soils.
You should know that a pH range of 5.5-7.5 is ideal for mango cultivation (neutral to acidic).
This is because they do not grow well in slightly alkaline soils. Simple, isn’t it?
- Mango trees have a low tolerance for salty soils.
Let me explain this to you.
You should avoid chemical fertilizers that contain a high amount of salt. This is because mangoes are sensitive to saline conditions.
I have a question for you.
When to plant a mango tree? Here’s when.
Plant In Early Spring:
According to the “Florida State Horticultural Society”, you should plant mango trees in early spring.
Remember that they can also be planted in December or January during mild winters.
You should ensure that it is not exposed to any frost. Now, move on to the next step.
These are some things that you should consider. Now, let’s jump straight to the conclusion.
Select a Planting Site:
This can be crucial.
As I mentioned above, mango trees prefer a sunny spot. Plus, well-draining soil is good for them.
At this stage, you have to consider the tree’s mature size. Remember that your mango tree can reach 100 feet or more.
Similarly, the canopy can be 35 feet or more. Huge, right?
The idea is that you should consider the size of the mango tree when selecting a planting site.
Note: The seeds should be planted around 1/2 inch deep.
These are some things that you should know. Now, let’s jump straight to the conclusion.
So, there you have it.
When to fertilize mango trees in Florida?
To recap, fertilize a young mango tree once every month in the growing season (spring and summer). Your mango tree needs plenty of nitrogen at this stage to grow.
A balanced 6-6-6 fertilizer works great for me.
Once your tree is fruiting, use a fertilizer with higher phosphorus and potassium to enhance flowering and fruiting.
According to some people, 2 applications in spring and 2 applications in fall produce great results.
Thank you for reading and staying with me till the end. Stay tuned for more.