Honey Kiss Mango Grow Guide

If you’re seeking an exceptionally productive, compact mango variety with a late-season harvest and a taste reminiscent of mango candy, your search ends with Honey Kiss 😃

Honestly, I have nothing negative to say about Honey Kiss. In fact, Honey Kiss is usually towards the top of my recommendation list whenever a family member or friend asks me what their first mango tree should be.

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

Table of Contents

Honey Kiss Mango Tree Growth Habit & Fruit Production

The Honey Kiss Mango is considered a small-sized mango tree.

Honey Kiss Mangos have a low-vigor & spreading growth habit that produces a compact and dense canopy. In fact, Honey Kiss is considered a true dwarf mango tree can realistically be kept between 6 – 10 feet tall with annual pruning. As a result, Honey Kiss would do well long-term in containers and would be considered a “condo” mango.

What I particularly appreciate about Honey Kiss Mango Trees is their enthusiastic branching tendency, which makes maintaining them as ‘mango bushes’ remarkably easy. Honey Kiss definitely stands out for its ease of maintenance.

Honey Kiss’s fruit production consistently ranges from good to heavy, often in clusters that cause branches to bow under the weight. Unlike varieties like Duncan or Neelum, Honey Kiss is not as prone to branch breakage and can typically endure this fruit load without significant issues.

The mangos themselves are small to medium-sized fruits that typically weigh between 0.5– 1 lb.

A Fruiting Honey Kiss Mango Tree
Image Credit: Rare Fruit Farms

Honey Kiss Mango Flavor Profile

Honey Kiss Mangos are considered a Classic Flavored Mango.

When perfectly ripe and mature, slicing into the fruit reveals a smooth and melting yet firm, fiberless flesh that is a deep orange, reminiscent of a jar of honey. This is accompanied by an intoxicating, candy-like mango aroma.

From a flavor perspective, Honey Kiss Mango offers a mild classic mango taste, complemented by rich, thick, and sweet honey tones reminiscent of a spoonful of honey gently melting in your mouth. This mango flavor is exceptionally sweet, akin to candy, and lacks any complexity in the form of resinous or piney elements.

Additionally, there are hints of floral and citrusy tones that brighten up the flavor profile. When Honey Kiss is slightly underripe, you’ll notice a subtle chalky tartness, and the citrus undertones tend to lean more towards a lemony flavor rather than orange. Overall, Honey Kiss Mango is an excellent dessert mango, perfect for those seeking a mango that tastes like mango candy 😋

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

Honey Kiss Mango Season (And When To Pick)

Honey Kiss Mangos are considered a late season mango (July – Aug).

The best time to pick Honey Kiss 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. Honey Kiss is perfectly ripe when the majority of the fruit transitions to a golden yellow color.

Honey Kiss can sometimes develop a modest coral-red blush. However, 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.

Additionally, while Honey Kiss can technically be picked when mature green, I have found that it achieves its best ripening and peak flavor when left on the tree until it reaches a deep yellow or golden base color. Allowing it to fully mature on the tree enhances both its texture and flavor, resulting in an incredible taste with a distinct honey-like sweetness.

Aside from color, here are some additional tips to knowing when Honey Kiss Mango is ready to pick:

  • Is the fruit beginning to soften ever so slightly?
  • Is the fruit beginning to emit a sweet, fruity aroma?
  • Is the fruit full-sized and has a plump appearance?
  • How does the stem look? Is it drying up near where it connects to the fruit?

However, it’s important to note that Honey Kiss Mangos have a tendency to hang on the tree. Even when they are perfectly ripe for harvesting, they may still require a little tug to be picked; they won’t snap easily off the flower panicle. As a result, most of the fruit will have to be picked by hand.

Finally, Honey Kiss Mangos should be enjoyed soon after harvest due to their short shelf life.

A Fruiting Honey Kiss Mango Tree
Image Credit: Rare Fruit Farms

Honey Kiss Mango Disease Resistance

Honey Kiss Mango has great resistance to Bacterial Black Spot, Anthracnose, and Powdery Mildew. This is a major selling point because there are not many mango cultivars that come even close to the level of disease resistance that Honey Kiss has 😄

A Fruiting Honey Kiss Mango Tree
Image Credit: Rare Fruit Farms

Honey Kiss Mango History

The Honey Kiss Mango (original name #43-26) was first propagated in Boynton Beach, Florida by Gary Zill. Honey Kiss fruited for the first time in 2002.

Honey Kiss is a seedling of Keitt. It’s pollinating parent is speculated to be Gary.

If Gary is indeed the pollinating parent, then it would mean that Honey Kiss is a sibling of Coconut CreamPina ColadaCotton Candy, M-4, and Pineapple Pleasure.

Below is an excerpt on the history of Honey Kiss Mango from Walter Zill’s autobiography:

This variety, slow and compact as it grows, stands very tall as one of the most surprising results of planting a seed of the Keitt variety mango. It bears fruit so abundantly that thinning them early after the fruit set has begun to show which fruit are most likely to remain may be a good practice, though I have not attempted it. Left to their own way, a fair number of small fruit will cling to the bloom panicle to become about 6 to 8 ounces when they ripen after the early varieties have ripened and disappeared.

The fruit of Honey Kiss hold well enough on their stem that color change, green showing yellow, and the upper part exposed to good sunlight turning a brighter shade of light red, can be observed to determine when to pick them. (Verna and I are convinced that the flavor of Honey Kiss is better when the fruit remain on the tree til color change, in contrast to picking them based on size before a show of yellow, then waiting for ripeness to arrive while resting on a counter top.)

What little fiber they have is not objectionable. The name chosen is based on perception of color, flavor, and size of the fruit by some mango eaters that consider the flavor very excellent. Remember, desserts need not be big, and it is also easier, or less expensive, to make and keep friends with plenty of small good fruit than when dealing with few fruit of great size.

It is believed that the variety known as Gary contributed the pollen to make the seed from which Honey Kiss grew based on the fact that the original Gary tree, now very large, grows near where the Keitt trees are located from which fruit for seed were collected, and also that there are fruit and growth characteristics that could come from the slower growing and more compact habit of Gary. Late maturing and color definitely comes from Keitt, yet I do not recall the seeds in Honey Kiss beginning to grow and spoil the pulp when tree ripened as happens with Keitt.

Walter Zill, Maturing With Mangoes

Honey Kiss Mango Tree For Sale

With its mango candy-like flavor, low growth habit, and excellent disease resistance, Honey Kiss Mango remains a popular choice for dooryard cultivation. Additionally, it’s relatively easy to find this cultivar. Most of the time when I’m visiting my local nurseries, I usually see a few Honey Kiss for sale 🙂

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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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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