Growing your own mango tree in Western Australia is easy. Mangoes have been cultivated around the world for hundreds of years and the fruit is suitable for use in savoury and sweet dishes. These small trees are both hardy and productive, making them ideally matched to Western Australian gardens.
Mangoes form dense foliage cover and will cast shade over a wide area, protecting delicate plants underneath. They are susceptible to cold temperatures and will need to be covered at night whilst they are still young. Once the tree reaches a height of approximately 2 metres they are more tolerant of cold temperatures.
Mangoes will fruit in March in Perth which is when the season has finished in the northern areas and the longer they stay on the tree the higher the sugar content.
Plant a mango tree in a position where it is protected from sea breezes and cold winter winds. Improve the soil with organic soil improver and mulch the ground with composting mulch which will break down over time and feed the soil.
Fertiliser is important for fruit set, however too much fertiliser will cause problems. Small regular feeds throughout the growing season will deliver enough nutrients for fruit set and growth. Use controlled release fertiliser or an organic based fertiliser specially formulated for fruiting plants.
The growing season in Perth is from August to May. The tree will develop many thousands of flowers but only a small percentage of these will develop all the way to sweet succulent fruit. Do not feel a failure if this happens; savour each fruit you have on the tree instead.
Protect the fruit from hot summer sun. The afternoon sun is particularly harsh and will burn fruit on extremely hot days.
Written by Sue McDougall, a qualified horticulturalist and experienced garden centre owner who grew up in the WA wheatbelt and has had experience in gardening throughout the entire state. You may know Sue as the garden expert on 6PR radio and by her many TV appearances.