Climate & Soil
Mango is adaptable to a wide range of climate and soil conditions and grows well
from sea level up to about 1500 m above mean sea level. It withstands both fairly
dry conditions and heavy rainfall.
Alphonso, Kalapady, Neelum, Mundappa, Pairi, Baneshan, Alampur Baneshan, Mulgoa,
Hybrid No.45 (Bennet Alphonso x Himayuddin)
Hybrid No.87 (Kalapady x Alampur Baneshan)
Hybrid No.151 (Kalapady x Neelum)
Stone grafting is successful in mango. August is ideal for the operation. Select
four month old scion materials. Defoliation of scion shoots 10 days prior to grafting
is beneficial. Grafting of 8 cm long scion on rootstocks at a height of 6 to 8 cm
is most successful. The dieback disease of grafts caused by Colletotrichum
can be controlled by spraying 1 % Bordeaux mixture.
Inarching/ approach grafting: The method consists of uniting the selected shoot
(scion) of a desired parent tree (mother plant) with the potted or transplanted
seedling (rootstock) by approach grafting. For this purpose, about one-year-old
seedlings of about 30-45 cm height and thickness ranging from 0.75 to 1.5 cm is
taken. Young and non-bearing trees should not be selected as mother plants.
Inarching should be done during the growing period when the tree is in active sap
flow condition termed as active growth period. The end of the monsoon in heavy rainfall
areas and early monsoon in the light rainfall areas is the best period for inarching.
However, it can be done any time between July and February.
Veneer grafting: For conducting this grafting operation, a downward and inward 30-40
mm long cut is made in the smooth area of the stock at a height of about 20 cm.
The scion stick is given a long slanting cut on one side and a small short cut on
the other so as to match the cuts of the stock. The scion is inserted in the stock
so that the cambium layers come on the longer side. The graft union is then tied
with polythene strip as recommended for inarching. After the scion takes and remains
green for more than 10 days the rootstock should be clipped in stages.
Budding : Although success of budding in mango was reported in the beginning of
this century, budding still continues to remain in experimental stage as far as
commercial mango propagation is concerned.
Stone Epicotyl grafting : It is a new technique of mango propagation. This method
is simple, cheap and quick. Fresh mango stones are sown in the nursery beds. After
germination, seedlings with tender stems having coppery leaves are lifted with stones
still attached. The roots and stones are dipped in 0.1 per cent Bavistin solution
for 5 minutes after washing the soil. The seedling stems are headed back leaving
6-8 cm long stem. A 4-6 cm longitudinal cut is made running down through the middle
of the stem.
A wedge shaped cut starting on both sides is made on the lower part of scion stick.
The scion stick should be 4-6 months old and 10-15 cm long having terminal buds.
The scion stick is then inserted in the cleft of the seedlings and tied with polythene
strips. The grafts are then planted in polyethylene bags containing potting mixture.
July is the most suitable month for stone grafting.
Soft-wood grafting : The technique of soft-wood grafting is similar to that of cleft
or wedge grafting. In this case, grafting is done on newly emerged flush having
bronze coloured leaves and stem. This method is useful in in-situ grafting.
The scion wood to be used should be defoliated 10 days prior to the grafting and
having same thickness as that of terminal shoot. The graft should be secured firmly
using 1.5 cm wide and 4.5 cm long, 200 gauge polythene strip. July and August are
the best months for soft-wood grafting.
Air layering : Air layering can be done successfully in mango using IBA or NAA 10,000
ppm in lanolin paste. Success up to 50 per cent has also been obtained by using
Seradix-B as root promoter. The air-layers can be used for permanent planting or
for raising uniform rootstocks.
Plant one year old grafts with the onset of monsoon showers so that they get established
before the rains. If rainfall is heavy, planting should be done during August-September.
Select good grafts for planting. Planting can be done according to the square system
or hexagonal system. Prepare pits of size 1 x I x 1 m at a spacing of 9 m one month
before planting and allow to weather. Refill pits with mixture of topsoil and 10
kg of compost or FYM per pit to a level higher than the adjoining ground. Plant
the grafts at the same depths as they were in the containers, preferably in the
late evening. Deep planting results in poor growth of the plant. Ensure that the
graft joint is above the soil level. Tie the plants to stakes to prevent snapping
at the graft joints.
Apply FYM/compost and fertilizers at the rate indicated below:
Green leaves (25 kg/plant) and wood ash (10-15 kg/plant) may be applied additionally.
Apply organic manures in May-June with the onset of monsoon. Apply the fertilizers
in one dose during May-June until bearing stage and thereafter in two equal split
doses, the first during May-June and the second during August-September. Apply manures
and fertilizers in trenches 30 cm deep taken at a distance of 2.5 to 3 m from the
base of the tree.
Amount and frequency of irrigation depends upon the type of soil, prevailing climatic
conditions, especially rainfall to be given, and its distribution and age of trees..
During the first year the plants are to be watered every 2-3 days in the dry season.
Trees in the age group of 2-5 years should be irrigated at 4-5 days interval. The
irrigation interval could be increased to 10-15 days for 5-8 years old plants during
dry season. When trees are in full bearing stage, generally 2-3 irrigations are
given after the fruit set. Profuse irrigation during 2-3 months proceeding the flowering
season is not advisable. Irrigation should be given at 50 per cent field capacity.
Immediately after planting the mango, the weed problem may not exist, but it is
advisable to break the crust with hand hoe each time after 10-15 irrigations. However,
subsequent hoeing may be done depending on weed growth in the basin.
Interculture operations are equally important for the bearing mango orchards. First
ploughing should be done before the onset of rains. This will help in checking run-off
losses and facilitate maximum retention of water in the soil. Orchard may be ploughed
again after the rainy season is over in order to suppress weed growth and to break
capillaries. Third ploughing may be done in the last week of November or first week
of December with a view to checking the population of mango mealy bugs.
Due to wide spacing and developing root patterns, the large unutilized interspace
can be exploited for growing inter and mixed crops successfully.
The soil fertility can also be maintained / enhanced by careful selection of intercrops
and adequate management of the orchard. This enables the orchardists to raise extra
income during the years when the main crop yields no / low returns.
Selection of intercrops depends on agroclimatic region, marketing facilities, levels
of inputs and other local considerations.
Some fertility restoring crops like legumes and leguminous cover crops should be
included into the intercropping patterns. The partial shade loving crops like pineapple,
ginger, turmeric, etc. can be grown in fully grown orchards. Some of important crop
rotations recommended are as follows :
Rejuvenation of mango orchard
In general, 40-45 years old mango trees exhibit decline in fruit yield because of
dense and overcrowded canopy. The trees do not get proper sunlight resulting in
decreased production of shoots. The population of insects and pests built up and
the incidence of diseases increases in such orchards. These unproductive trees can
be converted into productive ones by pruning.
Intermingling, diseased and dead branches are removed. Thereafter undesirable branches
of unproductive trees are marked. At the end of December, these marked branches
are beheaded at 1.5 to 2.0 meter from distal end and the cut portions are pasted
with copper oxy chloride solution. During March-April, a number of new shoots emerge
around cut portions of the pruned branches.
After two years of pruning new shoots comes and the yield of fruit increases gradually.
The important pests of mango are hoppers, stem borers, shoot midges, leaf feeding
insects, fruit flies and psyllids.
To control mango stem borer, apply paste made of crude carbolic acid (130 ml), soft
soap (1 kg) and hot water (3.7 litres) to holes in the bark and plug the holes.
Alternatively, inject aluminium phosphide tablets into the burrows after chiselling
the opening and widening the burrows with an auger.
To control fruit fly, spray malathion 0.1 % emulsion / suspension containing 2%
sugar. Collect and destroy attacked fruits that rot and drop down. Fruit flies can
be effectively managed by keeping Ocimum trap @ 4 / tree and a bait spray of 0.1%
malathion with 2% sugar at monthly intervals from initial fruit set up to harvest.
To control the leaf feeding insects, apply carbaryl 0.1 %. To control shoot midge,
which causes the drying of tender shoots, apply carbaryl 0.1 % or dimethoate 0.05%.
Apply wettable sulphur for the control of powdery mildew and anthracnose.
The common diseases are the powdery mildew, anthracnose and dieback.
To control dieback of twigs and branches, cut the affected twigs below the infected
region and apply Bordeaux paste to the cut ends.
Mango malformation : Malformation
is widely prevalent in northern India. The malformed panicles remain unproductive
and are characterised by a compact mass of male flowers, greenish in colour and
stunted in growth. Some remedial measures are recommended as follows :
Pruning of shoots bearing malformed panicles
Deblossoming of early emerged / infested panicles.
Biennial bearing : The term
biennial, alternate or irregular bearing generally signifies the tendency of mango
trees to bear a heavy crop in one year (On year) and very little or no crop in the
succeeding year (Off year). Most of the commercial varieties of north India, namely,
Dashehari, Langra and Chausa are biennial bearers. The problem has been attributed
to the causes like genetical, physiological, environmental and nutritional factors.
For overcoming biennial bearing, de-blossoming is recommended to reduce the crop
load in the ‘On’ year such that it is balanced in in the ‘Off’ year.
Soil application of Paclobutrazol (PP333) or @ 4 - 5 g per tree(amount
varies with the age of trees) in the month of September resulted in early flowering
with higher fruit set and yield. It may be applied every year for regular fruiting,
particularly in young trees
Fruit drop : Despite high fruit
set initially, the ultimate retention is quite low in mango. The intensity of fruit
drop, varies from variety to variety. Among the commercially grown varieties, Langra
is more susceptible to drop while Dashehari is the least. The fruit drop is more
or less a continuous process and can be classified into three groups : (i)
Pinhead drop, (ii) Post-setting drop and (iii) May-month drop.
Embryo abortion, climatic factors, disturbed water relation, lack of nutrition,
disease, pest and hormonal imbalances are the major factors that lead to fruit drop.
Black tip : Black tip is a
serious disorder, particularly in the cultivar Dashehari. The affected fruits become
unmarketable and reduce the yield to a considerable extent. Black tip disorder has
generally been detected in orchards located in the vicinity of brick kilns.
Planting of mango orchards in North-South direction and 5 to 6 km away from the
brick kilns may reduce incidence of black tip to a greater extent.
Spraying borax (1%) or other alkaline solutions like caustic (0.8%) or washing soda
(0.5%) is also effective. The first spray of borax should be done positively
at pea stage followed by two more sprays at 15 days interval.
Mangoes are generally harvested at physiological mature stage and ripened for optimum
a) Maturity : The mango fruits should be harvested at green mature stage.The best
way to observe maturity in mango is the colour of the pulp which turns cream to
light yellow on maturity and hardening of the stone.
b) Harvesting : The harvesting in mango should be done in the morning hours and
fruits should be collected in plastic trays and kept in shades. The fruits should
not be allowed to fall on the ground as the injured fruits cause spoilage to other
healthy fruits during packaging and storage. Fruits harvested with 8-10 mm long
stalks appear better on ripening as undesired spots on skin caused by sap burn are
prevented. Such fruits are less prone to stem-end rot and other storage diseases.