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How to Grow Mango — Mangifera

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Mangifera–commonly known as mango–is a tropical evergreen tree with an erect, woody trunk and leathery green leaves that may be oval or narrow and lance-shaped.

Mangifera is a genus of about 70 species, more than 25 of those species produce edible, fleshy fruits. Mangifera indica is the common mango. It will fruit in tropical regions. In temperature regions, it can be grown as a foliage houseplant but it is unlikely to produce flowers or fruits when grown indoors.

Mangifera can be grown as a shrub or small tree in subtropical regions such as South Florida or Southern California, but it will fruit only where it is protected and stays warm year-round.

Get to know Mangifera  

  • Plant type:  Tropical evergreen tree
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 12-15 
  • Hardiness:  Tender
  • Optimal growing temperature: 70°F (21°C); indoors an average temperature and medium to high humidity. 
  • Height and width: Grows to a height of 5 feet (1.5m) indoors; 35 feet (10.5m) or more outdoors in tropical regions.
  • Foliage: Glossy, leathery green leaves to 12 inches (30cm) long that may be oval or narrow and lance-shaped 
  • Flowers: Yellow to reddish flowers in long clusters at branch ends; flowers and fruit are rarely produced indoors. 
  • Fruit: Oval fruits to 6 inches long, green to reddish or yellowish; peach-flavored felsh
  • Bloom time:  Summer
  • Uses:  Tropical garden; foliage housplant in temperatre regions
  • Common name: Mango. 
  • Botanical name:  Mangifera
  • Family name:  Anacardiaceae
  • Origin:  Sumatra, Borneo, and the Malay peninsula.
Mangifera indica, commonly known as mango
Mangifera indica, commonly known as mango

Where to plant Mangifera 

  • Light outdoors: Grow Mangifera in full sun outdoors.
  • Light indoors: Give mango bright light indoors.
  • Soil outdoors: Grow Mangifera in humus-rich, well-drained soil.
  • Soil indoors: Use an all-purpose soil mix for planting.  

When to plant Mangifera 

  • Set container-grown Mangifera outdoors any time of the year in tropica regions.

Planting and spacing Mangifera 

  • Space  Mangifera outdoors 25 to 35 feet apart.

How to water and feed Mangifera 

  • Water:  Water Magifera thoroughly then allow the soil to dry moderately before watering again 
  • Feeding: Fertilize Mangifera regularly during spring and summer with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer. 

Mangifera care  

  • Mangifera needs steady moisture, but tolerates fairly poor, shallow soil.
  • Fruit can cause a skin rash in some people.

Growing Mangifera as a houseplant

  • Give Mangifera bright light, an average temperature and medium to high humidity.
  • Water thoroughly, then allow the soil to dry moderately before watering again.
  • Fertilizer Mangivera regularly during spring and summer.

Mangifera pests and diseases  

  •  Mango is vulnerable to aphids, mealybugs, scale insects and thrips. 

Mangifera propagation  

  • Propagate from the seed of a fresh store-bought mango. 

Mangifera varieties to grow  

  • Mangifera indica, mango: grows indoors to a height of 5 feet, to 35 or more feet outdoors; eaves are glossy dark green, lance-shaped and 12 inches in length. 

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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