8 year old indoor mango, leaves keep falling off

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by JCardina, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    I grew a mango plant from the seed of a grocery store mango fruit about 8 years ago. I've kept it alive through 3 moves, spider mites etc. In all that time it grew about a foot in total with nice long big leaves that keep falling off. As each leaf matures it turns brown from the tips inwards then dies and falls off. Sometimes it turns brown in patches and dies and falls off, but they always die and fall off.

    Last summer I potted it up into a larger pot with some Sea Soil potting soil and put it outside for the first time over the summer. It got masses of leaves and of course they continued to fall off. When I brought it in last fall, all the leaves fell off over the course of winter until it was a stick, then new leaves started sprouting in Feb. and now it has a lot of new leaves coming in continuously and surprise suprise they are all dying and falling off once they get big.

    I've tried watering it less, watering it more, feeding it, more light, less light etc etc.

    Any pointers to try out would be greatly appreciated, it's hung in there like a trooper for so long I want to treat it right and hopefully get it to actually start putting on some height.
     
  2. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    Does this potting mix sound reasonable?

    I posted earlier about my mango with the leaves constantly falling off and regrowing but got no replies so I'm taking a guess at this and think the roots are probably unhappy, I took a good look at the soil in the pot and the Sea Soil potting mix I used to re-pot it last year has gone rock hard and seems to retain a *lot* of water I'm guessing this is all out of whack for a semi tropical plant like a mango.

    I've purchased some Orchid Mix potting medium and some vermiculite on the idea that this will be the basis for a much better potting soil for the mango.

    I'm planning on about 1/3 orchid mix, a good handful of vermiculite and the rest nice potting soil in order to ensure good drainage.

    I'd be grateful for any feedback on whether this sounds reasonable or not before I go ahead.
     
  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Re: Does this potting mix sound reasonable?

    I've never heard of a product called Sea Soil but would instantly be suspicious of such a name. Mangos do grow quite well in the extremely sandy and porous soil of South Florida. They don't grow in soil that is constantly wet. We used to have several in a back yard in Miami and they produced massive amounts of fruit each year. However, be prepared! The trees are huge.

    I would consider starting over with a porous soil and then add your orchid mix. One of the popular moisture control mixes would work well and you would do no harm by adding a nice portion of sand along with the orchid mix and perhaps some Perlite. Mangos receive a lot of water during the spring and summer growing season in Florida but the soil drains quickly and should not remain soggy. They do however receive a dry season from roughly November to March where they are watered only on occasion.

    You should give the plant a lot of light. These grow in direct sunlight and I don't know of any way you can train one to grow in dim light which would be the most likely cause of leaf loss.
     
  4. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    Re: Does this potting mix sound reasonable?


    Ahh..good to know, thank you. I've been growing it for 8 years now in windows and last summer was it's first outside and it did grow a *lot* of leaves.

    I'll be keeping it outside for the summers here and I'll be thrilled if it starts to grow out of hand, it shot up to about a foot high the first couple of years and has stayed that high since.
     
  5. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Re: Does this potting mix sound reasonable?

    If the plant is 8 years old and still only a foot tall it is almost a dwarf! I've seen plants in Florida reach 20 feet (almost 7 meters) in 8 years. We lived in Miami for over 20 years and I had friends who grew large groves of these trees to produce a fruit crop. Mangos are quite expensive in South Florida grocery stores.

    Give it a good well draining soil mix, lots of sun in the season of the year when it is possible to grow it out doors, and fertilize it every couple of weeks with a liquid fertilizer. Keep the soil evenly damp but not soggy.

    Then be prepared to build a bigger house!
     
  6. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Re: Does this potting mix sound reasonable?

    Just something to keep in mind other then what Steve suggested about a soil change a soil change....
    There are some plants that when put outside for the summer will grow super fantastic, but, as soon as you bring them back inside in the fall into low humidity, lower light, they can drop many, if not almost all their leaves because those leaves born outdoors cannot survive the indoor conditions and must re-grow smaller leaves, sometimes turning brown, or yellow before shedding.
     
  7. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Re: Does this potting mix sound reasonable?

    Correct. It would be best if you began to climatize the plant to the brighter light slowly and then reverse the process in September to condition it to the lower light conditions. If possible, move it to moderately brighter light and slowly progress to the bright light. In the fall, reverse the process over a period of a month or so. You may still loose leaves but you'll also gain some growth.
     
  8. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    Re: Does this potting mix sound reasonable?

    Thanks guys, that's all very helpful. It did drop leaves when coming back inside, I hardened it off gradually going outside but didn't think to do the same the other way.

    However it grew back all it's leaves after a couple months inside and only started dropping them again recently.

    I'll repot it and follow the advice here.

    Cheers!
     
  9. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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