From the Archives
of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
by Norlia Ynus. Fruit Research Branch, M.A.R.D.I. Serdang, Malaysia
Mango Culture in Malaysia
Scientific Name: Mangifera indica
The Mango (Mangifera indica)
is a popular evergreen fruit tree natural to South-Eastern Asia. It has
been cultivated for over 4000 years during which time it has spread to
other tropical and sub-tropical countries.
Mangifera indica L,
belongs to the family Anacardiaceae. It is the only species grown
extensively and commercially in India, Philippines, tropical Australia,
the lowlands of South-East Africa, in Hawaii and in the lowlands of
Central and South America.
The Malayan name of mango (mangga) attests its origin outside Malaya, being the same word as the Tamil mangas.
mango is probably a more important fruit in the tropics than the apple
in the temperate zones. It is universally considered as one of the
finest fruits in the world. The fruit is a good source of vitamins A
The most important use of mango is as a dessert fruit when
ripe, but there are also other food uses in different preparations from
ripe and unripe fruits. Mango can be processed into mango juice and
concentrate, jams, jellies, preserves, pies, chutneys and ice cream.
Unripe fruit can be pickled.
In Celebes, surplus mango is turned
into vinegar; manufacture of a kind of brandy is also possible. The
seed, bark and young fruits have some medicinal value and the bark and
leaves yield a yellow dye suitable for dying cotton, silk and wool. The
wood can be used for cheap furniture and for plywood manufacture.
Soils and Climate
is not difficult to grow and is relatively tolerant to drought and poor
soil conditions. Mango trees can tolerate some flooding, but good
drainage is necessary for satisfactory fruit production.
region for mango cultivation is where rainy seasons alternate with a
well-marked dry period. Mango readily grows in tropical and subtropical
climate with a mean temperature of 23-30°C and no near frost
Annual rainfall of 127 - 254 cm. is suitable for mango.
The total amount of rainfall is not so important as the season in which
it occurs. Where dry season coincides with flowering time, good crops
of fruit can be expected.
Cultivars and Varieties
It is generally accepted that there are two main types of mango, the Indian and the Indochinese.
Indian Type: Typically this has monoembryonic seed and often highly-coloured fruit. It is susceptible to anthracnose disease.
Type: Typically this has polyembryonic seed and fruit often lacks
attractive colouration. It is relatively resistant to anthracnose
A third type of mango is the fibrous polyembryonic type
originating from the West Indies and South America. These are poor
quality fruits with a distinct turpentine flavour.
Department of Agriculture has registered 209 clones of mango grown in
this country, some of these were introduced from India, Indonesia and
other mango growing areas. From these registered clones, some clones
possessing high enough qualities can be recommended for general
planting. Among the promising ones are: Malgoa and Apple Mango (for
home planting), Harumanis, MA 162, Bahagia, MA 165, Bombay Green, MA
204 and MA 205.
Some of the promising and popular mango clones are described below:
1. Apple Mango (MA 194)
fruit is roundish, the skin is pale green in colour with crimson
patches around the upper portion of the fruit turning orange-yellow
when ripe. The average weight of the fruit is 0.3 - 0.6 kg.
The flesh is golden yellow when ripe; it is sweet, fibreless, aromatic and tastes good. It is good for table.
apple mango, the fruits have to be picked when they are fully ripe. If
they are harvested before they are ripe they will not taste sweet.
are a number of different types of malgoa mango. Among the registered
clones are MA 135, MA 171, MA 172 and MA 200. MA 135 and MA 200 are the
more important ones.
The fruit is roundish. The skin is green
turning yellowish-green on ripening. The average weight of the fruit is
0.5 - 1.2 kg. The fruits of MA 200 are larger in size than that of MA
The flesh is intense yellowish-orange when ripe. It is sweet
with a slightly acidic flavour due to uneven ripening. Just like apple
mango, malgoa fruits have to be harvested when fully matured. Because
of its big fruit size malgoa mango tends to ripen unevenly.
It is fibreless, not so aromatic and is good for table.
Malgoa is a poor bearer and is non-seasonal. It is susceptible to fruit cracking and anthracnose.
Harumanis (MA 128)
fruit is elongated with a curve distal end. The skin is smooth and is
pale green in colour turning greenish-yellow when ripe. The average
weight of the fruit is 0.5 - 1.0 kg.
The flesh is fibreless, sweet
and is very juicy. It has good aroma. It is a good quality fruit.
Harumanis is a prolific but a late bearer. One characteristic of this
clone is that the branches tend to droop down. This can be overcome by
staking or by pruning.
Maha 65 (MA 165)
fruit is elongated in shape. The skin is light green in colour turning
greenish-yellow when ripe. The average weight of the fruit is 0.7 - 1.2
The flesh is orange in colour when ripe. It is sweet and fibreless. However, it lacks aroma.
65 is a prolific and an early bearer. One disadvantage of this clone is
that the fruits tend to crack even when they are still in immature
Lebai Mohamad (MA 127)
The fruit is elongated in shape. The skin turns orange-yellow on ripening. The average weight of the fruit is 0.4 - 0.7 kg.
flesh is deep orange yellow in colour when ripe. It is fibreless,
sweet, juicy but not so aromatic. MA 127 is a prolific bearer.
Golek (MA 162)
fruit is elongated in shape. The skin is light green when immature
turning greenish-yellow when ripe. The average weight of the fruit is
0.4 - 0.7 kg.
The flesh is orange in colour when ripe. It is
fibreless and sweet but does not have much aroma. Golek is a prolific
bearer. It has been recorded to produce more than 180 kg per year per
tree in an eleven-year-old mango orchard.
are propagated either by grafting or by seeds. Grafting is preferred
because the desired variety can be propagated true to type. There are,
however, some varieties which will reproduce true from seed.
are many techniques used in propagating fruit trees. The most common
and successful method used in mango propagation is patch-budding.
Young, vigorously growing seedlings are used for rootstocks. The
scionwood is selected from mature terminals with swelling buds. A patch
is removed from the stock and the budshield (scion) is tied in
position, keeping only the bud exposed. Budded seedlings are ready for
field planting after three to four months.
production on mango trees is mostly on the outside of the canopy of the
branches. When side branches of adjacent trees meet due to overcrowding
there is a tendency to produce fewer fruits which are apt to be
poorly-coloured and infected with anthracnose fungus. Overcrowding not
only creates conditions more favourable for disease but also increases
the difficulty in spraying to control diseases.
distances from 9 - 11 metres on square, rectangular or triangular
pattern can be used. Close planting increases the volume of the fruit
per acre during the early years. Good yields of easily-harvested fruits
are secured at a relatively young age and maintained fairly constant
about 8 - 10 years with systematic, regular pruning, including topping,
so as to avoid removal of large wood.
The choice of wide and
close spacing often depends on the inclination and intention of the
grower. Besides, the planting distance also depends upon the depth and
fertility of the soil. With 9 x 9 m planting, the number of plants/ha
is 123 and with 11 x 11 m planting is 82 plants/ha.
used in planting is essentially the same as that used with other fruit
trees. Firstly, the land must be ploughed and levelled, planting holes
must be prepared large enough to easily accommodate the root system. It
is advisable to mix some topsoil fortified with 8 oz of CIRP and 2
pungkis of cowdung or chicken dung with the soil at the bottom of the
hole before placing the trees. Generally the planting holes are 0.6
meter wide and 0.6 meter deep.
Soil should be firmly packed
around the roots to avoid air pockets. The trees should be thoroughly
watered after they are planted and the ground about them covered with
mulch to keep the soil surface moist and cool.
|Fertilizers:||General recommendation for mango fertilization using complete fertilizers.|
|1st application||at planting time||0.11 kg|
|2nd application||4 months old||0.11 kg|
|3rd application||8 months old||0.266 kg|
|1st application||at planting time||0.266 kg|
|2nd application||4 months old||0.266 kg|
|3rd application||8 months old|
|Third Year||2 or 3 applications||0.45 - 0.9 kg/application|
|Fourth Year||2 or 3 applications||0.45 - 0.9 kg/application|
for the first year of planting a complete fertilizer of 15: 15: 15 is
used. The plants need equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and
potassium for the vegetative growth. For poor soils CCM 22 can be used
and this seems to be a better compound fertilizer 15: 15: 15.
the second year NPK Blue Special is used instead of CCM 22. At this
stage the plants need more potash than nitrogen. NPK Blue Special is
used until the plants matured following the rates and schedule
For matured trees, 1.36 - 2.26 kg/tree is
applied every six months. The amount and kind of fertilizer to apply on
bearing trees will vary with the condition of the tree, the size of the
crop and other environmental factors.
mango trees of most varieties ordinarily require little pruning since
normally they assume a desirable symmetrical form. Training by pruning
is desirable with certain varieties which tend to spread irregularly
with long branch growth. Elimination of low side shoots and the heading
back of shoots higher in the tree will tend to promote a more desirable
and stronger framework. Generally, the main stem is allowed to grow to
a height of 1 meter; any branches growing below this height are pruned.
Three main branches are then allowed to grow. Above this point the
branches should be at different points along the main stem.
pruning usually given until bearing trees start to crowd each other is
the removal of dead wood and branches weakened by pests and diseases.
mangoes come into bearing in 4 to 7 years, while grafted trees may bear
a few fruits the second year in the field. It is advisable to remove
the fruit the first and second years but grafted tre,es should be able
to set and mature a small crop by the third year. However, this again
is dependent on the clones: Apple mango tends to bear fruit earlier
than Harumanis. Generally grafted mango trees will begin to bear 2 - 4
years after planting.
One of the greatest drawbacks in growing
mango has been the tendency for varieties of attractive appearance and
good eating quality to bear erratically.
dependent on a number of factors in addition to an inherited
characteristic towards fruitfulness. Size of the previous crop, number
of vegetative flushes and time of year when they are produced, weather
conditions during the flowering period, control of insect infestations
and diseases, the fertilizer program, pollination and other variables
At this time long-term yield records of the
promising clones grown in Malaysia are not available. However, it has
been recorded that a 4-year old Harumanis mango tree can produce up to
400 lb/year (Singh, Gurchan pers.comm.). Greater yields are possible
with good management and favourable weather. Production also varies
usual practice is to harvest fruit only when there is a change from
green to yellow in the ground colour of the skin. This generally occurs
about 15 - 20 weeks after bloom. With Apple mango and Malgoa the fruits
have to be harvested when they are fully ripe, otherwise they will
taste sour. For the other clones the fruits can be harvested when they
tend to show the change in colour since practically they will ripen
satisfactorily on storage within a week.
A maturity test that
can be applied even before external colour break occurs which is the
colour of the flesh around the seed. Select and cut several
representative fruits from a tree. If the flesh is beginning to turn
yellow near the seed, the fruit will ripen satisfactorily. If the flesh
is completely white, the fruit will probably not ripen to good quality.
mango is very susceptible to decay when the skin is bruised or.
damaged. Careful handling at all times will help prevent loss. Fruit
that can be reached by hand from the ground, ladder or mobile platform
may be picked by a sharp sidewise or upward twist so as to snap the
stem, or the stem may be cut with suitable clippers.
control of fungus disease requires that all susceptible parts of the
plant be thoroughly coated with the fungicide before infection occurs.
Sprays applied after infection, which occurs several days before the
disease is evident, have no effect on disease development.
The most common and widespread disease of mango is anthracnose, caused by the fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides.
It causes flowers and fruits to turn black and to drop prematurely.
Humidity, rains and heavy dews during critical infection periods
greatly increase the disease incidence. Most infections occur from the
beginning of flowering until the fruit is about half grown.
control of this disease is obtained by using any fungicide like Captan,
Thiram and Manzate-D. This is applied at the rate of 2
tablespoons/gallon of water during the blossoming and fruiting season.
The fungicide is sprayed every 7 days. In very wet areas it may be
necessary to spray more frequently, say twice a week.
rot is a term applied to mangos that show a blackening of the stem end
of the fruit. It occurs on fruits that are ready to be harvested.
Often, external discoloration of the stem end of the fruit is not
visible. The skin around the stem may show small blackened spots which
are slightly depressed. The cause of the stem rot is not fully
understood. It may be due to a deficiency or lack of moisture.
Mango scab is caused by the fungus Elsinoë mangiferae.
It attacks leaves, flowers, fruits and twigs. In the early stages it
resembles anthracnose. Lesions on the fruit usually become covered with
corky brown tissue. Severe infections cause crinkling and distortion of
the leaf followed by defoliation.
Anthracnose spray program can
also control scab Infection in nurseries can be prevented by frequent
sprays of neutral copper on young leaves.
mold is a fungus disease brought about by scale insects. Affected
leaves and fruits have a sooty black appearance. A heavy infestation of
sooty mold can severely affect the producing capacity of a tree.
best means of controlling this disease is by controlling the scale
insects. Malathion is effective against scale insects. This is applied
at the rate of 1 ½ fluid oz. per 5 gallons of water, sprayed at
4-5 days intervals.
general, insects are less injurious to mangos. The fruit can be grown
without excessive use of insecticides. However, it is at times attacked
by insects such as the fruit fly (Dacus dorsalis), mango weevil (Sternochetus mangiferae) scale insects, thrips and mites.
nursery plants are usually attacked by a number of caterpillars.
Malathion is used for the control of most of the insects. For Fruit Fly
the rate used is 3 tablespoons of malathion in 1 gallon of water,
sprayed at weekly intervals.
For the leaf-eating caterpillars, control is obtained by spraying Orthene 1 ½ Tablespoons per 3 gallons of water weekly.
Other insecticides like Bifrin and Dipterax can also be used.
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