How to Grow Mangosteens. Mangosteen, known botanically as Garcinia mangostana, is a purely tropical evergreen tree native to Indonesia. The tree produces flowers and fruits that are dark red-purple on the exterior when ripe with a white fleshy and segmented edible center that is sweet and tangy. Mangosteen is considered a cross between an orange...
Mangosteen, known botanically as Garcinia mangostana, is a purely tropical evergreen tree native to Indonesia. The tree produces flowers and fruits that are dark red-purple on the exterior when ripe with a white fleshy and segmented edible center that is sweet and tangy. Mangosteen is considered a cross between an orange and nectarine in flavor. Tricky to grow outside of their native conditions, Mangosteen trees are ultra sensitive to temperature. Any exposure to temperatures below 40-degrees Fahrenheit can kill even a mature and well established Mangosteen tree.
Fresh mangosteens are usually sold by specialty produce stores in urban centers in the U.S. and can cost upwards from $20 per pound from which you can harvest the seeds. You can also buy the seeds from exotic fruit seed dealers. They will come in a moist bag of sphagnum moss and should be planted almost immediately. Growing Mangosteens anywhere in the U.S. beyond Southern Florida is difficult, and even there it is a challenge because of the salt air. Growing in a tropical greenhouse is the best bet, and while challenging, success would make you the envy of Mangosteen aficionados everywhere.
Things You'll Need
Moist fresh Mangosteen seeds harvested from ripe fruit or purchased online
Rich well drained humus soil, with low salt and little to no sand
Water, automatic or manual misting system
Warm, moist tropical climate - natural or created indoors
Container at least 12-inches in depth
Harvest Mangosteen seeds from the interior of the ripe white flesh. There will usually be a few seeds much like an orange seed embedded in the flesh. Plant these immediately or wrap in a wet towel kept in a warm location above 60-degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours while the planting location is prepared.
Plant seeds immediately into a rich, well drained soil in a pot at least 12-inches in depth to accommodate the Mangosteen's taproot. Sow at least 6 seeds per pot to increase viability for germination. Plant a few inches deep in the soil. Germination, if successful, will take from two to four weeks. After seedlings appear and begin to grow, the soil should be mulched to prevent moisture loss.
Water your Mangosteen well, keeping the soil moist at all times. They thrive when living in conditions of 100-inches or more of rainfall per year so misting systems come in handy as both a propagation tool and labor-saving device.
Keep the heat on year round, never letting it drop below 40 to 45-degrees Fahrenheit in winter and keeping it up around 90-degrees in summer.
Simulate summer heat and heavy rainfall conditions to prompt your mature Mangosteen tree to flower and grow fruit. Grown from seeds, Mangosteens take at least six years and sometimes 12 years to bear edible fruit.
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