Best Soil Mix for Mango's in containers???

fern15July 28, 2011

This past weekend I purchased a Pickering and Malika mango tree at Pine Island Nursery with the intention to plant them in a container. Both were in a 3 gallon container.Then not knowing what to do, I went to Home Depot and bought a bag Miracle Gro potting mix and put them in a 20'' container. After a couple of a days of watering I noticed the soil isn't draining much and is staying super moist. So I decided to come on this forum and do research and came across AL's Gritty Mix (should've done research before transferring fruit trees). Now i'm afraid of my roots rotting and killing my 2 mango trees.

So my question is can I transfer my mango's tree now to Al's gritty mix or should I wait. Any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated.



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Here are pictures of mango trees.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 11:59AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

First of all, move them out of the sun for a couple weeks.

Secondly, I don't know if you want to risk a second potting in such a short time,
but when the time is right, either of Al's mixes would be a fine option.

Miracle Grow is terrible, terrible mix for a container.
You're right to worry.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 12:58PM
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how long do you think I should wait before transffering them to Al's mix.Thanks.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 2:04PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It looks like you didn't disturb the root ball much - right? If that's the case, I'd pull it from that soil and put it back in the container it came in until you can get it into something more appropriate.

If you're able to leave it outdoors all year, you wouldn't need to change the soil until spring if you're able to partially bury the pot. From the perspective of hydrology, that would turn your pot into a small raised bed & you can worry much less about a water-retentive soil as the earth will act like a giant wick and remove excess water for you.

Did you score the root ball or otherwise remedy any encircling roots before you potted up?


    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 8:52PM
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I really didn't disturb the root ball much when i transfered it, I just basically just put it in the new container and filled in with potting mix. And as for your second question i'm not sure what scoring the root ball means or remedying any encircling roots? I'm sorry i'm new to this hobby, but now i'm hooked.
Tomorrow I plan on going to find all the ingredients to your Gritty Mix. So I can finally pot my mango's the right way.

Thanks ,

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 9:40PM
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Did you make several vertical cuts using a utility knife, and making an X-shaped cut on the bottom of the roots before you transplanted?
This is usually helpful in getting root-bound trees to reestablish.
Trees that are rootbound will never grow well unless you correct the condition & repot which is what I think Al is wondering if you did
You would score, cut them from bottom to top at 3-4" intervals around the entire circumference of the root mass and on the bottom as well, to the depth of the utility knife blade (1 - 1-1/2").

This will determine where you go from here following the very good advice Al gave you in the above suggestions.
If it were me, I would just bury it as Al suggests, and do a perfect repot come spring. By then, you may want to think about scoring the root ball and taking care of encircling roots for a proper repot unless Al suggests different. He will come along and guide you further if need be, that is a sure guarantee. He has taught me so much!



    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 10:29PM
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