Avatar for Merauder777
May 26, 2020 7:28 PM CST
PA - Pennsylvania
Hello, I have a couple of questions regarding mango care.

1) it seems no matter what I do, any seedling I start grows for about 3 months and then starts to dessicate. Sometimes the leaves, sometimes the stem. I've put lids over top to increase humidity, increased and decreased water, increased and decreased light, it just seems inevitable.

Dedication seems prevalent on new shoots and leaves.

2) I have a large, 2+ ft manilla I bought earlier this year. The cold nipped its budding leaves at the time, been indoors since, hot new leaves that yellowed real quick (I assumed overwatering) but stayed healthy until recently. I made a nice transparent basket to hold in humidity but took it off to allow our first warmer rain to rehydrate the plant. Since then my parents have turned the heat off as its getting hotter and our indoor temps hovered around 65. I thought it Should be fine, but my plant disagrees. Bottom leaves crushed and browned. Still have some healthy leaves on it and at least 1 new shoot.

Fertilizer and soil is bed mixed. 5 gallon pot filled with about 1/3 pearlite, 1/3 miracle grow + added pearlite, 1/3 peat moss and a discount eco friendly fertilizer. I also burried my fish about 2 inches under the roots when I moved it to this pot (the plant was something of a momento). Could it be excessive ferts/salts? Poor drainage?

So question 2 really is, what is the problem here? What can I do to save it? Why do my new shoots get a single black spot and dessicate regardless of what I do?

For context, its getting into summer and we have strong, full or shaded lighting all day. I live in Tioga, PA and realize this is out of the hardiness zone for my plant, but fully intend to keep it indoor and amidst my aquaria during the cool months. I am content if it does not bear fruit, but would love to have some. And I will be adding additional drainage holes tomorrow.

(I will add pictures tomorrow, still figuring this website out and apparently cannot upload previously taken photos from my gallery.)
Avatar for oneeyeluke
May 27, 2020 1:53 PM CST
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
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You have to match the pH of the soil with the pH of the plant before you can have success. Nutrients won't release or become available to the plant unless you have acidic pH to dissolve the nutrients.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Avatar for Merauder777
May 27, 2020 2:08 PM CST
PA - Pennsylvania
Thank you for your response. I had not considered pH as being a problem here, but it makes sense given I have well water which is pretty hard naturally. I would assume it needs to be more acidic in this case? I've seen soil acidifier in stores and could pick some up to try.
Avatar for Merauder777
May 31, 2020 2:33 PM CST
PA - Pennsylvania
Finally got the soil acidifier and taking some pics. We are having a cold snap here so i brought out the root heater. The plant still has its lively cool feel and some of the shoots on the bottom seem to be continuing, so i believe it can survive and i hope it is just a matter of nutrients not being available like it wants.

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Avatar for Merauder777
Jul 17, 2020 11:35 AM CST
PA - Pennsylvania
I think it is unfortunately dead now. All its leaves have fallen, all its buds and shoots dried, the top 2/3 of the stem is going black.

Ultimately i think it died due to my underwatering it based on everything i read on the internet, and the uncanny ability of my family to have the a.c. blowing cool air on it or leaving the doors wide open in front of it overnight beofre the summer temps really kicked in. Add that to my attempts to keep it humid likely leaving water on the leaves and causing burn spots, and it finally just gave it.

It still has that cool, live feel to its stem, so i will keep trying to care for it, but i do not have high hopes.

While on the subject of mangos, i did get some sprouts to grow. Any idea on how best to get them to the next stage? Pics are coming in. I have the sprouts in deep plastic containers that i seel off. Mini green house. They still burn, and some get dry and die anyway.

What are your thoughts?
Last edited by Merauder777 Jul 17, 2020 3:07 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for MsDoe
Jul 17, 2020 4:08 PM CST
Southwest U.S. (Zone 7a)
Dear Merauder, here are my thoughts.
Anyone who loves mangoes enough to try to grow one in Pennsylvania is a truly good and highly optimistic person.
I had the privilege of visiting a mango orchard in southern Baja California. The trees were huge, vigorous, deep green, and cast some very welcome shade in the summer heat. The fruit was fabulous. The mango fruits you buy in a store are a pale shadow of the just-picked, tree ripened kind you can buy by the kilo from the orchard. They grew in the native soil, were irrigated with the local water, were thriving in the heat, and loaded with fruit.
I guess this is my way of trying to gently tell you that they just aren't suited to growing indoors in a pot in Pennsylvania. I can't think of anything you might do to change that, short of building a climate-controlled greenhouse with imported soil and water. Now I'm certain that there are some who have succeeded despite the challenging conditions, good for them, but it doesn't look promising for long-term tree health no matter what you do.
Just because the seeds will sprout doesn't mean you should. How about trying something more suited to your growing conditions? There are a great many wonderful and adaptable houseplants. And, although it's not possible right now, in the future I would highly recommend a trip to a mango orchard when the fruit is ripe! (It will be hot there.) They are truly beautiful trees, but won't grow everywhere!
Avatar for Merauder777
Jul 17, 2020 4:16 PM CST
PA - Pennsylvania
Ultimately i recognize it will be a "fruitless" endeavor, but this is mostly a passive hobby for me anyway. When the seeds fail to sprout or simply go bad I use tgem to feed my fish (they love the film that builds on it). In the distant future i plan on doing a large green house as well as other projects so its not out of the question, albeit borderline if not fully unfeasible. I will continue trying regardless. Smiling I think you are right though, thank you.

But I may end up adding a few plants that do better indoors anyway, just to keep myself from getting bummed. Sticking tongue out
Jul 17, 2020 5:45 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
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Mango trees are abundant in my old homeland, the Philippines. So pretty much it is a very high humidity, very thirsty, high heat needy tree. If you analyze our weather there, it is year round tropical, our typical overnight temps in the 70F to 80F range, daytime highs in the high 90F's that feels over 100F daily.

Our native soil is very rich loam, volcanic in origin, so this tree thrives so well. Never grown indoors, always outdoors in all the sun and heat it can get.

So knowing this typical growing needs, you can now better understand why it failed on your side. Sometimes there are just some plants not meant to be grown on some areas.

I remember during summer, some growers there will do smudging to force the trees to bloom.

At times, younger plants needs to be established first very well, meaning get their roots growing right before you can apply fertilizers. Too much too soon, may just cause untoward fertilizer burn.
Avatar for Merauder777
Jul 18, 2020 11:58 AM CST
PA - Pennsylvania
I know it gets surprisingly humid here, but i think the temperature might be the next limiting factor. I will have to see if i can think of a quick and easy way to maintain that.

Any idea on why my leaves burn so easily? For all the mention of it loving the sun mine seems to prefer indirect sunlight.
Jul 18, 2020 1:18 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Houseplants Cat Lover Region: California Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
Fertilizer burn can do that too, manifesting on the roots and leaves, if it is too excessive and not been flushed out.

Also damping off, see this link to learn more about it and suggested remedy. https://www.planetnatural.com/...
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