How to Fertilize a Mango Tree : When and How To fertilize Mango Trees

Learn how to fertilize a mango tree, when to fertilize, what is the best fertilzer for mango tree, and what is the mango tree fertilizer schedule. The mango tree nutritional need requires fertilizers with a combination of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K),  along with manganese, zinc, and iron and trace elements. 

Mango trees are heavy feeders, require regular applications fertilizers, specially nitrogen fertilizer to promote healthy growth when the tree is growing.

Mango tree fertilizer produces fruit
Mangoes on the Tree
You will also know what to feed to prevent mango flower and fruit dropping and what to feed if the fruits are not sweet. And finally a recipe for homemade organic mango fertilizer is given to get higher mango fruit yields.
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While fertilizing mango trees, It is very important to remember 4 things:

  1. The Correct Time of fertilization, when to fertilize mango trees
  2. The Correct Nutrients - NPK and other nutrients, which fertilizer to give.
  3. The Correct Rate, how much fertilizer to give.
  4. The Correct place, where to feed so the tree can access it and absorb efficiently.

Which Fertilizer is the Best for Mango Tree?

  1. The requirement of fertilizer for mango trees is the same as for citrus trees.
  2. The mango tree needs a a balanced fertilizer like N, P, K in the ratio of  14-14-14 or 10-20-20 and containing magnesium, sulphur, boron and trace elements. The mango tree needs more nitrogen when it is young, but less when it starts to bear fruit. 
  3. Too much nitrogen to fruiting mango trees will result in mainly vegetative growth and less fruits or fruits of poor quality.
  4. Mix cow manure every year in the soil to add natural nutrients and to improve moisture holding capacity of soil.
  5. A Citrus tree fertilizer is very good for mango trees. It has the desired NPK balance with a mixture of micronutrients and trace elements. I feed a fruit and citrus tree fertilizer as per the schedule given below.

When to Apply Fertilizer to the Mango Trees?

For Young Mango Trees

Feed in Spring, Summer and Autumn

For Old and Matured Mango Trees

Feed in Spring, just before flowering and immediately after fruit harvesting.

How Much Fertilizer to Mango Tree?

  1. The amount of fertilizer to the mango tree depends on the age and the size of the mango tree. 
  2. NPK Fertilizer For Mango Tree Size: Apply NPK fertilizer 125 gram per inch of trunk diameter (thickness) at 1 foot height of the tree, so if the trunk is 4 inch wide, then feed 500 gram fertilizer. 
  3. Feed both the composted or aged cow manure and the NPK fertilizer every year according to the mango tree fertilization schedule given below.
  4. The following table shows the amount of fertilizer that should be given depending on the age of the tree.

Mango Tree Fertilizer Schedule

At the time of mango seedling planting, add 5 kg cow manure in soil, then 10 kg when the tree is one year old. Increase cow manure by 10 kg each year till the tree is 5 year old and then every year 50 kg as shown below in the table.

     Age   Cow
At the time of
 5 kg200 g
1 Year10 kg500 g
2 Year20 kg1.0 kg
3 Year30 kg1.5 kg
4 Year40 kg2.0 kg

For Mango Trees 1 to 4 Years Age

Apply 200 gram NPK fertilizer at the time of planting, then 500 gram when it is 1 year old. Then increase it by 500 g each year so 1 kg for 2 years, 2 kg for 4 year old tree. Divide the NPK amount in 3 equal parts and feed in Spring, Summer and Autumn. 

The chemical fertilizers can burn young mango trees due to over-fertilization, so you can instead feed fish emulsion fertilizer for trees of 1 or 2 years age. Fish emulsion is an organic liquid fertilizer, high in Nitrogen, which is good for young plants for growth. 

For Mango Trees 5 years and older

From 5 years onwards, feed additional dose of potassium nitrate to your mango tree to encourage flowers and fruits.
Too much nitrogen to fruiting mango trees will result in excessive vegetative growth and poor fruit quality. 

  Age  Cow
5 Year50 kg2.0 kg1 kg
6 Year50 kg2.5 kg1 kg
7 Year50 kg3.0 kg1kg
8 Year50 kg4.0 kg1kg
9 Year50 kg5.0 kg1kg
10+ Year50 kg6.0 kg 3 kg

How to Apply Fertilizer to Mango Trees

How to fertilize mango tree
How to fertilize mango tree: First remove all the grass
from the trunk to the drip line of the tree. Then apply
fertilizer 1.5 feet away from the trunk to the dript line.
First of all remove any grass surrounding your mango tree from trunk to the drip line of the tree.  This is important as your tree will be taking up the nitrogen when you feed your grass lawn, you will be unknowingly feeding your mango tree the high nitrogen grass fertilizer, when you feed the grass. This is not good your mango tree for fruit production, as high nitrogen will produce vegetative grown at the expense of flowers and fruits. 

Mango Tree Root System

Now look at the mango tree root system. The mango tree root system has primary, secondary and tertiary roots having numerous fibrous roots on secondary and tertiary roots. The primary root at the trunk is the tap root which is responsible for the tree support. The fibrous roots mainly absorb water and nutrients and are farthest away from tap root.
Mango tree root system
Mango tree root system
Therefore, do not fertilize near the trunk because there are no fibrous roots, so the nutrients from the fertilizer are not absorbed by the tree and go waste.
So apply fertilizer from 1.5 to 2 feet away from the trunk to the drip line or canopy of the tree, between 2 white circles shown here.              

If you are growing your mango tree in a pot, then fertilize only near the rim of the pot, 6 inch away from the trunk and then water well. 

Ideal Soil For Growing Mangoes: Soil Test

  1. It is also important to get a soil test to know whether your soil is deficient in any nutrient or its pH is between 5.5 to 7.  If the soil pH is not right, you will be wasting your money.
  2. Your mango tree will absorb all of the nutrients from the fertilizer only in the soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.  
  3. It is better to test the soil pH with a test kit and adjust the pH, if not correct. If pH is less than 5.5, then add garden lime or dolomite in the soil, and if it is more than 7, then add garden sulphur in the soil to adjust its pH.
  4. Apply organic compost as mulch in Spring and Autumn to help the absorption of micronutrients.

Fertilizer For Producing Mango Fruits

A deficiency of zinc, copper and boron in soil may cause the flowers and fruit to drop and the quality of fruits may be poor. For this dissolve In water 
    Zinc sulphate 50 grams, 
    Copper sulphate 50 grams and 
    Borax 20 grams in water and spray on leaves and add in soil.

Mango tree not fruiting or fruit not sweet

  1. If your mango tree is not producing enough fruit or the fruit is not sweet even if it has grown too big, then switch to a fertilizer high is potassium and phosphorus and with very less nitrogen. Also do not   use nitrogen fertilizer on grass any where near your mango tree. 
  2. Lack of potassium and calcium in soil makes the tree weak and diseased, that will produce less sweet fruits. Feed sulphate of potash for potassium and gypsum or calcium sulphate for calcium. 

Homemade Organic Mango Tree Fertilizer

  1. If you do not want to use chemical fertilizer, then try this homemade fertilizer using groundnut (peanut) cake (N:P:K = 7.3:1.3:1.5) and Seaweed (N:P:K = 1.90:0.25:3.68).
  2. Seaweed extract contains hormones auxin, stimulates root growth, flowering and fruiting. It thickens the walls of plant cells thus making pest and disease harder to attack. It also stimulates the micro organisms in the soil thus helping organic matter break down. It also has high potassium which is good for flowering.
  3. Put 1 kg groundnut cake powder and a cup of yogurt (Dahi) or butter milk (Chhachh) in 5 litre water and place it in shade. After 10 days of fermentation, filter it out. Mix 100 ml in 1 litre water and add some liquid seaweed i it. Use this fertilizer every 2 weeks to get higher mango fruit yield.

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