Arguably the most famous mango in the world, the Alphonso Mango is often hailed as the ‘King of Mangos’ because of its incredible flavor and texture 👑
However, for those willing to give Alphonso the royal treatment, it’s important to note that growing Alphonso Mangos in the United States, outside of their native land of India, can be quite challenging.
Nevertheless, Alphonso may be a great tree for those who are:
- Looking for a challenge
- OK with a tree that produces a limited number of exceptional fruit
- Are mango collectors and want a piece of history 😀
With that being said, this grow guide will cover everything that you need to know about Alphonso Mango:
Table of Contents
- Alphonso Mango Tree Growth Habit & Fruit Production
- Alphonso Mango Flavor Profile
- Alphonso Mango Season (And When To Pick)
- Alphonso Mango Disease Resistance
- Alphonso Mango History
- Alphonso Mango Tree For Sale
Alphonso Mango Tree Growth Habit & Fruit Production
The Alphonso Mango is considered a medium to large-sized mango tree.
Alphonso Mangos have a very vigorous & spreading growth habit that produces a thick dense canopy. As a result, Alphonso can realistically be kept between 15 – 20 feet tall with annual pruning. Due to the tree’s natural vigor & spreading limbs, Alphonso would not do well long-term in containers and would not be considered a “condo” mango.
It’s important to note that the Alphonso Mango Tree, like other mango varieties, thrives in Florida.
However, when grown outside of India, Alphonso’s fruit production consistently ranges from poor to fair, often resulting in big trees with little to no fruit. Furthermore, the fruit that the tree does produce can sometimes taste different (even terrible) during the first few years of the tree’s life and may also be susceptible to internal breakdown. The mangos themselves small-sized fruits that typically weigh between 0.3 – 0.6 lbs.
This is a complete 180 from the Alphonso Mango Trees being grown in India, which commonly have large clusters throughout the tree’s canopy. I suspect these issues can be boiled down to the Alphonso Mango…
- Not flowering well due to warmer winters in the United States (sparse blooms)
- Being grown in a different type of soil profile (Florida Sand vs. India Soil)
- Flushing late in the year and the stems not being mature enough to hold fruit
- Fighting disease pressures (see below)
That said, while my growing experience is limited to Florida, I would speculate that Alphonso Mango Trees may have better fruit production in California due to its more Mediterranean climate.
Alphonso Mango Flavor Profile
Alphonso Mangos are considered an Indian Flavored Mango.
Slicing into the fruit will reveal a creamy and tender orange flesh with a medium-firmness that is both juicy and virtually fiberless, along with an aromatic and fruity aroma.
From a flavor perspective, the Alphonso Mango offers a delicious classic Indian flavor profile. The fruit is exceptionally sweet, with its dominant flavors comprising a well-balanced combination of warm, rich spiciness and a slight acidity that imparts a delightful hint of citrus. When eaten near the skin, there is a noticeable increase in both sweetness and piney notes.
Compared to other mangos I’ve sampled, Alphonso is most similar to Mallika but lacks the citrus undertones. It’s an ideal choice for those seeking a well-balanced Indian mango.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Alphonso Mangos produce monoembryonic seeds, which means that planting a seed from an Alphonso Mango won’t yield another Alphonso Mango Tree.
Alphonso Mango Season (And When To Pick)
Alphonso Mangos are considered a mid-season mango (June – July).
The best time to pick Alphonso Mangos are when they are mature and beginning to ripen on the tree. From a color perspective, this is when the fruit is either mature green or when the top of the fruit is beginning to show signs of yellow color break. Alphonso is perfectly ripe when the majority of the fruit turns a deep marigold yellow color.
It’s important to note that Alphonso should not be left to ripen fully on the tree, as doing so increases the chances of the fruit developing off-putting flavors.
Additionally, Alphonso can also develop a soft pink blush on its shoulders, it’s important to remember that a mango’s blush has nothing to do with the fruit’s ripeness. A rule of thumb to remember is that More Sun = More Blush, Less Sun = Less Blush.
Aside from color, here are some additional tips to knowing when Alphonso Mango is ready to pick:
- Are the shoulders of the fruit filled out?
- Does the fruit have a slight give when gently squeezed?
- How does the stem look? It’s it drying up near where it connects to the fruit?
After harvesting Alphonso, you can leave them in a garage or on the counter for a few days to allow them to ripen fully, and then they’ll be ready to enjoy 😋
Alphonso Mango Disease Resistance
Alphonso Mango is very prone to both Anthracnose and Powdery Mildew. Additionally, Alphonso Mango has very good resistance to Bacterial Black Spot.
As a result, Alphonso would not be a good cultivar to grow in more humid areas and should instead be planted in drier areas, such as along the coast. Nevertheless, implementing an effective disease control program is advisable to maximize Alphonso’s fruit production.
Alphonso Mango History
Alphonso Mango was named after Afonso de Albuquerque, who served as the governor of colonized Portuguese India in the 1500s. This is why, despite Alphonso being the textbook Indian mango, it has a Portuguese name and not a native Indian one.
What blows my mind is that the Alphonso has been around for almost 500 years! 😮 This makes Alphonso one of the oldest cultivars that still exists and is enjoyed to this day.
Finally, it is speculated that Alphonso was introduced to Florida in the 1800s.
Alphonso Mango Tree For Sale
Despite not performing well in Florida, I frequently encounter Alphonso Mangos for sale. I believe this is due to the popularity of this specific variety, particularly among people of Indian descent who seek a taste of the mango they grew up with. In such cases, I often recommend that people consider Kesar over Alphonso because Kesar tends to thrive better in U.S. climates.
With that being said, if you are unable to find one at a local nursery, your next best option is checking out Tropical Acres Farms (not sponsored). They are the only legit place online (from my experience) that you are getting exactly what you are paying for.
They have over 300 varieties of mangos available. You can either order budwood to graft yourself or submit a grafting request to have a grafted tree created for you. They do ship!
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Thank you for reading! 🙂