Friday, October 28, 2011

Dwarf Mangos

Mangoes are exquisite tropical fruits that are enjoyed by millions world wide. Here in mild winter areas of Southern California (Sunset Climate Zones 20 through 24 / USDA Zones 9 & 10)we can also enjoy home grown Mangoes. Mangoes demand full sun (all day 6+ hours)& well drained soil that has been amended with compost. Mangoes luxuriate in heat & resent the cold. Mangoes are perfect for small gardens as nearly all mangoes can be kept compact & relatively small. Most California grown Mangoes grow to a maximum of 15 feet high & wide but trees can get larger. There are several varieties of Mangoes that are dwarf that is they bear full sized fruit on small trees (4 to 8 feet high & wide). Dwarf Mangoes are also recommended for container culture. They will grow & produce best in large containers that are 20 inches high & wide or larger. Dwarf Mangoes must also be staked well as their small branches tend to be weighed down by the heavy fruit clusters. Below is a list of dwarf & semi dwarf varieties that stay small here in Southern California:

Carrie- This is one of the best most highly regarded of the dwarf Mangoes. Carrie can produce fruit when still young & the trees are perfect for large containers. Carrie Mangoes grow 6 to 10 feet high & wide (especially if planted in the ground)& the plant can be kept to fruit at just 4 feet tall. The fruit grows to the size of a fist or larger they are oval to roundish in shape. The fruit are relatively ugly for a Mango. The fruit are green turning lime green to yellow (often blotchy here in Southern California) when ripe. The inside of this fruit is another story, the deep gold flesh is smooth fiber less & melting with an honey sweet rich Mango flavor.

Cogshall- This is a excellent Indian type Mango that was developed in Southern Florida. Coshall forms a nice compact handsome plant that needs little pruning. This is another Mango that would be perfect in a large container. In Southern California we expect trees to slowly reach 6 to 12 feet high. The fruit are fist sized to slightly larger & are very attractive. The yellow green mangoes gain a dramatic red blush when ripe. The interior flesh is yellow, very juicy,with a fruity sweet flavor. The fruit has a thin skin & it can bruise easily. This variety has been shown to be resistant to many common diseases. If you are a fan of Floridian Mangoes than this one is for you.

Nam Doc Mai- This Mango from Thailand is a superb variety that is not normally considered a dwarf. Here in Southern California the trees will slowly reach only 15 feet high only after great age. It is easy to keep Nam Doc Mai small by pruning or by growing it in a large container. This is one of the most popular Mangoes out of South East Asia. Nam Doc Mai produces large fruits (up to 3lbs) that are football to slightly elliptical in shape whit a curved end. The fruits green ripening to a yellowish green sometimes with a red orange blush. The flesh is bright apricot & has fiberless highly aromatic flesh with a complex spicy flavor that is somewhat acid. This is a must for any Mango connoisseur.

Mallika - In a relatively short time this new variety from India has become very popular around the world. This Mango forms a nice small somewhat open plant up to 10 feet height (but can be kept smaller). Malika is a hybrid whose parents provide an excellent mix of genes combining vigor & disease resistance with beautiful fruit with great flavor. The large fruit can weigh 8 oz or more & are oval in shape. The skin is thin & it is not waxy or tough like on many other Mango varieties. The skin is green & ripens to bright yellow color. The bright yellow flesh is very juicy, aromatic, & creamy in texture. This is a great Indian Mango!

Keit - This is the only variety of Mango commercially produced & sold for export out of Southern California. Keit forms a small open spreading tree up to 15 feet high & wide (can be kept smaller)& is suitable for large containers. The origin of Keit is South Florida & it has proven to be an adaptable variety. The large fruits can weigh a pound or more & they stay green even when ripe. When ripe the fruit will soften, become fragrant,& will start to carry a yellowish blush. The fiberless flesh is bright yellow& is rich, fragrant, with a spicy flavor. The fruiting season is also long & trees of the Keit variety are fairly productive & reliable than other varieties. Keit is one of our best sellers.

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