Cotton Candy Mango Grow Guide

A Cotton Candy Mango that is beginning to ripen
Image Credit: Garden Girl Cooks

So, you’ve decided to plant a mango tree and are thinking, ‘I want some of the sweetest mangos available.’

While there are many great sweet mango varieties out there, none come close to the sugar content of the Cotton Candy Mango. Although it doesn’t taste like actual cotton candy, it is just as sweet!

With that being said, this grow guide will cover everything that you need to know about Cotton Candy Mango:

Table of Contents

Cotton Candy Mango Tree Growth Habit & Fruit Production

The Cotton Candy Mango is considered a medium to large-sized mango tree.

Cotton Candy Mango Trees have a very vigorous & upright growth habit that produces an open canopy. As a result, Cotton Candy can realistically be kept between 10 – 20 feet tall with annual pruning. With that being said, Cotton Candy would not do well long-term in containers and would not be considered a “condo” mango.

A Cotton Candy Mango Tree
Image Credit: Clark Family Orchards

Cotton Candy’s branches tend to be on the lankier side, a growth pattern shared by other mango cultivars like Keitt, Coconut Cream or Pineapple Pleasure. Since these mango trees grow more upright rather than spreading out, Cotton Candy may not be the best choice for smaller yards.

Cotton Candy Mango Trees may not exhibit precocity, but their fruit production consistently ranges from good to heavy as the tree matures. The mangos themselves are small to medium-sized fruits that typically weigh between 0.75 – 1.5 lbs.

Young Cotton Mango Fruit On A Tree
Image Credit: Sulcata Grove

Cotton Candy Mango Flavor Profile

Cotton Candy Mangos are considered a Classic Flavored Mango.

Cotton Candy has a complex aroma that is very similar to Gary Mango (one of its parents) but with an additional scent of citrus. Cutting into the fruit will reveal completely fiberless and orangish-yellow flesh.

A Ripe Cotton Candy Mango
Image Credit: Garden Girl Cooks

Cotton Candy is a delicious and intensely sweet mango with a classic flavor profile. While it doesn’t taste like actual cotton candy, its remarkable sweetness is akin to the sweetness of cotton candy. Depending on its ripeness, you may detect a slight acidic note that imparts a hint of coconut-like flavor. However, compared to Gary Mango, Cotton Candy doesn’t exhibit a strong ‘Pina Colada’ flavor.

Overall, Cotton Candy’s flavor is straightforward and lacks any resinous notes. Compared to other mangos I’ve tasted, it closely resembles the sweetness of Honey Kiss Mango but takes it to the next level. With that being said, Honey Kiss is an excellent late-season mango option for those with smaller yards, offering sweetness comparable to Cotton Candy.

A Ripe Cotton Candy Mango cut hedgehog style
Image Credit: Garden Girl Cooks

Finally, it’s worth noting that Cotton Candy Mangos produce polyembryonic seeds, which means that planting a seed from a Cotton Candy Mango can yield another Cotton Candy Mango Tree.

Cotton Candy Mango Season (And When To Pick)

Cotton Candy Mangos are considered a late-season mango (July – Aug).

It’s important to note that Cotton Candy Mango should be left to ripen on the tree. This is because Cotton Candy has an increased tendency to ripen unevenly and develop jelly seed (internal breakdown) when left to ripen on the tree.

A Cotton Candy Mango that is beginning to ripen
Image Credit: Garden Girl Cooks

With that being said, the best time to pick Cotton Candy Mangos are when they are mature and beginning to ripen on the tree. From a color perspective, this is when the fruit is beginning to show signs of yellow color break. Cotton Candy is perfectly ripe when the majority of the fruit transitions to a greenish-yellow color.

While Cotton Candy can sometimes develop a pinkish-red blush, 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.

A Mature and Ripe Cotton Candy Mango
Image Credit: Luxury Fruit Connect

Besides color, another reliable sign to look for when harvesting Cotton Candy Mango is the increased prominence of lenticels (pores on the fruit). It’s also normal for Cotton Candy Mango to bleed white sap during harvesting, unlike many other mango varieties, which typically indicates early picking.

With that being said, here are some additional tips to knowing when a Cotton Candy Mango is ready to pick:

  • How does the stem look? It’s it drying up near where it connects to the fruit?
  • Are there beads of sap present on the fruit?
  • Is the fruit beginning to soften?
  • Is the fruit’s skin beginning to stretch?

One last important point to mention is that Cotton Candy has thicker skin that offers excellent protection against damage from fruit drop.

Cotton Candy Mango Disease Resistance

Cotton Candy Mango is somewhat susceptible to Bacterial Black Spot. As a result, I would refrain from planting Cotton Candy in very humid areas (such as the Florida Interior). 

With that being said, Cotton Candy can thrive in yards with a sea breeze closer to the coast or in drier areas.

Cotton Candy Mango History

The Cotton Candy Mango was first propagated by Gary Zill in Boynton Beach, Florida. It was initially released to the public in 2016.

Cotton Candy is a seedling of Keitt. It’s pollinating parent is Gary.

Additionally, Cotton Candy is also a sibling to Coconut CreamPina ColadaM-4Honey Kiss, and Pineapple Pleasure

Cotton Candy Mango Tree For Sale

Similar to my experience with other recently released Zill varieties, I have never seen Cotton Candy for sale at any of my local nurseries that I frequently visit.

If you live in South Florida, you might have an easier time finding them, but be prepared for a challenge – the incredible sweetness that has made these mangos so popular has also made them in high demand and short supply.

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!

Conclusion

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If you have any questions regarding anything mentioned in this grow guide, please comment them below! This way, others can also benefit from the answer to the same question. For any other questions or growing tips that you think may be helpful, feel free to use the contact form and drop me a line.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

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Matthew Rowlings

I have an Associates Degree in Biology from the University of Florida and am also an active Florida Master Gardener. I am located in Central Florida (Zone 10A) and have 6+ years of experience with growing 20+ types of tropical trees. You can learn more about me and why I started Tropical Tree Guide on my about page.

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