growing a sapling

Asked March 22, 2018, 8:14 PM EDT

I have a tropical mango fruit that grows specifically in Guatemala, here in Portland Oregon and it has three leaves and about 3 months or older but is struggling to grow and the leaves are starting to turn brown. Is there any suggestion on how I can help give it a boost to grow?

Multnomah County Oregon tree health tropical plants

1 Response

Thank you for your question about your mango plant. As you can imagine, the agricultural universities in northern America don't do any research on mangoes, since they are a tropical plant. Although we grow many tropical plants here as houseplants, they often fail to thrive there, since their natural environment is outdoors. As this source says: "Mangoes are a strictly tropical fruit. They love the tropics. The best climate to grow mangoes is frost free, with cool, dry winters and steamy, hot summers. Mangoes like growing in light and free draining soils, they don't need rich soil. You actually get the best crops on soils of somewhat lower fertility."

Small leaves on a tree (where the leaves should be large) is typically an indication of inadequate sunlight. Brown leaves and indicate the same, but can also be a symptom of over watering or under watering. Without knowing anything about this plant's growing history, I'm afraid the best I can do is to give you a link to a Florida Extension article on growing them. I don't know if you bought your tree as a cutting or not, but this Purdue Extension article indicates that "Cuttings, even when treated with growth regulators, are only 40% successful."

Perhaps you can use the information provided above to give your plant the proper environment, but you may have to accept that "the right plant in the wrong place is the wrong plant." Good luck!