We’ve had our ‘Manila’ Mango, Mangifera indica, for three years.The first summer we had it we didn’t get any fruit, but I expect that from a sapling. Last year it put out fruit but it was all very tiny, like large jelly beans covered with ugly dark spots. The mini-fruits that I taste tested were so good, I couldn’t wait for the tree to mature and put out regular sized healthy fruit, and I was hoping the black spots were not a sign of trouble. This year, it looks dead in the water and there is no new growth and no sign of an impending inflorescence, and the spots are now all over the leaves. I’ve been painfully aware of its troubles for months and I finally have the time to investigate why.
Mangoes do not need trimming or a lot of fussing, but they do need good drainage and I think this might be the issue here. It’s planted on a slight raise in the lawn but the soil underneath is heavy clay. Sometimes the water sits in the plant well for hours before soaking in and this could lead to root diseases. Time for mulching and soil amendment, and a good feeding since it has to compete with the lawn for nutrients.
Also, I think it has a fungus called ‘anthracnose’, which is such an awesome name for a wicked fungus don’t you think?
So, I have treated it with a fungicide and I’m hoping for the best. It has the entire summer to rest and recover in the sun and let the medicine do its job. If it doesn’t improve or show some signs of forward-moving life in the next few months, it will have to be pulled out and replaced, or moved to a pot where I can air out the root system. We do our best, but sometimes a plant is beyond recovery. Sadly, I have not been entirely happy with both of the fruit trees I bought at this particular nursery. Both trees were stunted in severe ways and have not done well.
My sister-in-law, Lori, really loves mangoes and this one is planted in between our houses just for that reason. For her sake, I hope it pulls through…fingers crossed!