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Mangifera indica 'Mallika'

 
Mangifera indica 'Mallika'
mango
Long slender leaves, dark green when mature; new growth is lighter
Mangifera indica 'Mallika'
One of the few plants to suffer some damage in an early-season cold snap in late October, when temperatures briefly dipped below freezing

Common name mango
Family anacardiaceae
Life cycle tree (Z9-11)
Size to 10'
Light sun
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil, not too dry

Since we now live on Mango Knoll Court, we just had to grow a mango – even through mangoes aren't quite hardy here. Luckily, Houston gardeners tend to forget that they're not quite in the tropics, and nurseries carry tropicals of all varieties – including mangoes. So we selected a "condo mango" variety, suitable for container culture, and planted it in a metal trough that we can haul to a protected place when a freeze threatens. According to the label, this variety can withstand frosts down to 25 degrees, which means only the few coldest nights of the winter should bother it in our area. When the tree is mature, the fruit should ripen in early summer. Picking is best done at the mature green stage, and allowed to ripen for another two weeks or so in a paper bag. When full-grown mangoes are ready for picking, their stems will snap when the fruit is pulled slightly.
During the winter after we purchased our first 'Mallika', we had several early-season light freezes, and a whopper of a January freeze that dropped temperaturs into the teens with freezing rain for hours on end. We brought our mango inside during that episode, but it became quite unhappy in late winter when warmer temperatures started to arrive – and eventually died. We figured the weird weather was to blame, and bought a new specimen, planted in the same trough. Unfortunately, much the same thing happened, even though that next winter was quite mild, and we brought the mango in when significant overnight freezes were predicted. By March, the tree's leaves turned brown and started dropping, one branch at a time. At that point, I planted it in an out-of-the-way part of the garden to see what would happen - and by mid-April, after all original leaves had gone crunchy, a few new sprigs of growth emerged from low on the trunk. I plan to leave it in the ground now – I'm wondering if it was the change of conditions between outside and inside that damaged our trees, rather than just the cold. So I'll take my chances with outdoor culture, while keeping a good supply of mulch and frost-protection fabric on hand.

mango
New growth from the trunk. Upon close inspection, it looks like there's a graft union right above the ring of new growth, so it seems like the 'Mallika' part got killed, and we're left with the rootstock.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Last modified: April 27, 2019
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