Why Is My Mango Transplant Struggling?
I recently transplanted a mango tree that is really struggling. I live in zone 9b, and I have planted my mango into a mix of potting soil and Mel's mix (vermiculite, peat moss, and compost) and the tree has immediately started to see its leaves yellow, dry up, curl upward, and fall off. I'm worried my expensive new tree is going to die. Its symptoms seem to be consistent with iron deficiency and I have treated with an application of chelated iron but I am not seeing any short-term improvement. Do you have advice for saving this young tree?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I think that your pH might be way too low. This would be consistent with using peat moss and no buffer.
Adding iron will further acidify the soil, adding to the issue.
I recommend using a high quality potting soil made for fruit trees, until you get familiar with the soil requirements for mango trees. They will already contain buffers needed to keep the soil pH stable.
This article will help you to care for mango in container: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/mango/mango-trees-in-pots.htm
We just tested pH (litmus) and it came back at 7. Some history for context.
Initially after receiving and transplanting into a mix made with 1/3 compost (Mel's Mix), the leaves were becoming bleached and curling upward. I suspected leaf scorch so we transplanted to another less fertilizer heavy potting mix, supplemented with gravel at the bottom for drainage. We have been watering once a day.
After doing some more research we supplemented with Iron at 2.5g/L, which seems to have stopped the bleaching, but the leaves are now yellow-brown and distorted.
The attached image is from the plant prior to repotting: https://imgur.com/K95d0x5