Mango trees can grow slow because of cold weather, poor soil or lack of water. To get a mango tree to grow as fast as possible prepare the soil with compost, aged cow manure and pelleted chicken manure. Mulch with 2-3 inches of straw or sugar cane mulch and give it a super-boost shot of fish emulsion.
Why mango trees will grow slow
Here are the top reasons why mango trees will grow slow and ways to make them grow 2x faster.
Cold weather can cause mango trees to grow slow. These trees are tropical so love warm humid weather. When mango trees are grown in areas that have Mediterranean weather, they will struggle with the cold winters and lack of humidity.
I have planted a mango tree at the end of Fall which is a perfect time to plant it. The mango tree will have time to establish its roots over the cooler months. The small mango tree has been growing slow, almost nothing noticeable.
As we get into the Spring and Summer months this small mango tree will burst into life and grow new leaves but nothing much happens over the cool months.
Mangoes that have been planted in poor soil will grow incredibly slow. Soil that is very sandy will be low in nutrients and will not hold water. Soil that contains too much clay will hold too much water and may rot the roots.
The perfect soil for a mango tree is one that has been improved with lots of natural organic matter. Before planting my new mango tree I added compost, aged cow manure and a handful of pelleted chicken manure.
Adding this organic matter helps the soil to drain excess water but still hold enough to feed the roots of the plant. This organic matter will also feed worms and soil bacteria which digest the nutrients in the organic matter making it available for the mango tree.
Lack of water
Mango trees love regular watering so lack of water can cause slow growth. Mangoes that suffer from dry spells, particularly when they are young will slow their growth. The tree will struggle to absorb the nutrients it needs and can die off completely.
To keep your mango tree growing rapidly, give it regular water when they are first planted and during the summer months. Over dry winters, mango trees will also need extra water to keep them healthy before the spring growing season.
Seedling mango trees
Seedling mango trees can grow slower than grafted trees. Seedling mango trees are grown from a single seed, which is planted and developed in soil. This will be true to the seed’s genetics and the root system and stem will match.
Grafted mango trees will be grown on fast growing root systems, which can help the tree to grow quicker and produce fruit sooner.
For the fastest growing mango tree, a grafted tree can be a great choice. For me I have chosen a seedling mango tree because I want a natural, large sized tree. Seedling mango trees can often grow larger in the long run but may grow slower in the first year after transplanting into your yard.
For more on the differences between seedling vs grafted mango trees, check out my previous article.
Lack of sunlight
Mangoes love bright sunlight so a lack of light can slow their growth. Mangoes grow well with at least 6 hours of sunlight helping them to photosynthesize and create the energy needed to grow fast.
Mangoes that get too much shade will grow slower and take longer to produce fruit.
Removing overhanging branches from other trees and shrubs can help a mango tree to get the sunlight it needs to grow fast. Planting them in an open area of your yard will help them to reach as much light as possible and encourage vertical growth.
Lack of fertilizer
Mango trees need a good balance of nutrients to grow fast so a lack of a good fertilizing regime can cause problems. I like to use organic and natural fertilizers like pelleted chicken manure and fish emulsion.
I like to apply these natural fertilizers every 2 weeks in Spring to give it an extra nutrient boost over the Spring growing season. Nitrogen is a key nutrient needed for leaf growth so is an important addition when the tree is ready to grow more leaves and establish in the soil.
How to make a mango tree grow faster
While the problems listed above can slow mango tree growth, here are a few ways to make a mango tree grow faster.
Prepare the soil first
Compost is the best way to prepare soil before planting a new mango tree. Compost can also be used to top dress the mango after planting to provide a good mulch layer which will fertilize the tree each time it rains.
For older trees, a 2-3 inch layer of compost can be laid on the soil under the tree in Spring and Fall to insulate the soil and prevent weeds. This will break down over a 6 month period and help the tree to grow fast.
Mulch is one the most important ways to help your mango tree to grow fast. Straw or sugar cane mulch make the perfect mulch for a young tree as they will break down quickly to improve the soil. The light mulches will feed the worms, prevent weeds and keep water in the soil.
For established or large mango trees, bark mulch is the perfect way to keep the tree happy. A 2-3 inch layer of tree or bark mulch will help to keep the tree healthy. The mulch will last longer than straw or sugar cane and will only need to be topped up once or twice per year to prevent weeds.
Feed the tree
Keeping the mango tree well fed with organic fertilizer during the warmer growing season will get it growing as fast as possible. Liquid nitrogen feed, pelleted chicken manure and a top dressing of aged cow manure will supercharge the soil ready for rapid mango tree growth.
Mango trees growing slow | Summary
Mango trees can feel like they are growing slow when you first plant them. Planting new trees in Fall is a great idea because it will allow them to settle into the soil ready for rapid Spring growth. The steps that I took to get my mango tree ready for the Spring growing season are what it takes to get your tree growing fast. Happy gardening.
Mango Tree Articles
- Mango trees growing slow | How to help them grow 2X faster
- How to stake a mango tree | Step-By-Step Guide
- Grafted mango tree vs seedling mango tree | Which is better?
- Are mango trees evergreen? | Do they lose their leaves in Winter?
- Are mango trees self pollinating? | Do I need more than 1 mango tree?
- Growing mango trees in containers | Simple steps to success
- Where to plant a mango tree | Easy guide for your yard
- How often to water a mango tree | Spring, summer + winter guide
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.