Keitt Mango Grow Guide

One of my favorite questions that I get asked about the Keitt Mango is not about the flavor or its growth habit, but instead: “How do you pronounce this mango’s name? Is it ‘Kit’ or ‘Keet’ or ‘Keith’?

And the correct answer is… ‘Kit’ (rhymes with words like spit, quit, hit)!

Keitt is a delicious mango that originated in Florida almost a century ago. To this day, Keitt continues to remain one of the most popular commercial mango cultivars due to its classic and tangy flavor.

With that being said, this grow guide will cover everything that you need to know about Keitt Mango.

Table of Contents

Keitt Mango Tree Growth Habit & Fruit Production

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

Keitt Mango Trees have a moderately vigorous & spreading growth habit that produces an open canopy. As a result, Keitt can realistically be kept between 15 – 20 feet tall with annual pruning. With that being said, Keitt would not do well long-term in containers and would not be considered a “condo” mango.

Keitt Mangos for sale at a Fruit Stand

Furthermore, similar to the Coconut Cream Mango or Lancetilla Mango, Keitt’s open canopy is comprised of leggy branches that tend to grow in goofy directions, giving the tree a ruffled appearance. However, this particular growth habit is a double-edged sword.

That is because an open canopy retains less heat, making it more susceptible to colder weather that can easily trigger a bloom response from the tree. On the other hand, the open canopy’s inability to retain heat during particularly cold weather events can result in the tree being much more vulnerable to cold damage.

Keitt’s fruit production consistently ranges from good to heavy. As a result, it’s important to prune the long and slender branches to reduce the risk of them breaking in the event they become overloaded with large fruit.

Speaking of fruit, the mangos themselves are large-sized fruits that typically weigh between 2 – 3 lbs.

Not only is Keitt fairly large by mango standards, but they also have a great flesh-to-seed ratio. I often describe Keitt as a “Family Size” mango because there is no way that one person can eat the entire thing by themselves in one sitting… I would know, I have tried… 😆

Keitt Mango Flavor Profile

Keitt Mangos are considered a Classic Flavored Mango.

While Keitt Mango may not appear appetizing with its green skin and slight red blush, it boasts a delightful, classic mango aroma. Slicing into the fruit reveals golden-yellow to yellow-orange flesh with a smooth and semi-firm texture. Although the fruit’s flesh does contain some fiber (keep in mind it is a commercial variety), it is by no means objectionable.

Mature & Ripe Keitt Mangos
Image Credit: Miami Fruit

From a flavor perspective, Keitt Mango has a very mild and classic mango flavor. The juicy fruit has a medium-sweetness to it as well as distinct tart and tangy components similar to that of a sweet lemon.

Additionally, the fruit can sometimes have a hint of honey aftertaste with each bite. However, the honey aftertaste is not as strong as one would expect to find in Thai cultivars such as Brahm Kai Meu or Nam Doc Mai.

A Ripe Keitt Mango Cut Hedgehog style
Image Credit: Miami Fruit

From a commercial perspective, I would rank Keitt and Kent above both Madame Francis and Tommy Atkins in terms of flavor. However, it’s important to remember that taste is subjective 🙂

Overall, Keitt’s flavor will be mostly appreciated by those who are looking for a classic mango flavor and don’t mind a subtle tropical tang as well.

Mature & Ripe Keitt Mangos Cut In Half
Image Credit: Miami Fruit

Finally, it’s worth noting that Keitt Mangos produce monoembryonic seeds, which means that planting a seed from a Keitt Mango won’t yield another Keitt Mango Tree.

Keitt Mango Season (And When To Pick)

Keitt Mangos are considered a late season mango (July – Sept).

Depending on the weather conditions, I have even heard of Keitt Mangos being enjoyed as late as October in some years! I am now trying to imagine a mango jack-o-lantern 🎃

The best time to harvest Keitt Mangos are when they are mature and beginning to ripen on the tree. For those new to growing mangos, this can be difficult to judge because we can not rely on color break alone as a reliable proxy of whether or not the fruit is ready to pick.

Mature & Ripe Keitt Mangos
Image Credit: Miami Fruit

That is because Keitt Mango can remain green even when they are perfectly ripe. In fact, if Keitt is grown in more humid areas they will almost always remain green at maturity. On the other hand, growing Keitt in more coastal areas can sometimes result in the fruit developing more yellowish skin. However, more likely than not, by the time the skin changes colors, the fruit is usually overripe. In either case, Keitt can develop a slight red blush.

With that being said, it’s important to remember that the red blush on the top of the mango has nothing to do with the fruit’s ripeness. A rule of thumb to remember is that More Sun = More Red, Less Sun = Less Red.

Instead, we need to be aware of Keitt Mango’s specific skin and shape characteristics in order to determine when they are mature and ready to pick. More specifically, we should be looking for the following:

  • Brown/dried stems
  • Fullness of the fruit
    • As the season progresses, they will go from a flat-looking fruit to a much fuller-looking fruit, particularly towards the shoulders (top) of the fruit
  • The presence of small white lenticels (dots)
  • Have a slight give when they are gently squeezed
  • Subtle patches of yellow

Picking a Keitt Mango at the perfect time takes some trial and error. However, as long as you are sticking to the above cues, don’t stress too much about the greenness (they are a commercial variety for a reason). They will have no problems ripening; in fact I remember picking a Keitt one year and allowed it to ripen for 10 days at room temperature… and it was still delicious! 😜

Keitt Mango Disease Resistance

The number one problem with Keitt Mango is its disease resistance.

Keitt Mango is extremely prone to Bacterial Black Spot. While commercial growers have access to biocides that can help control bacterial black spot, these options are usually cost-prohibitive to homeowners.

A Keitt Mango with Bacterial Black Spot
Image Credit: Luxury Fruit Connect

What’s ironic is that Keitt Mango Trees are extremely disease resistant… it’s just the fruit that have the disease problems. However, most of us are not growing medium to large mango trees for the trees… we want the fruit! 😊

Keitt Mango History

Keitt Mango is named after Mrs. J.N. Keitt, who planted the first Keitt Mango Tree in Homestead, Florida in 1939.

Around the mid-1940’s, Keitt Mango started to be heavily planted as a commercial crop due to it’s productivity, late season, classic flavor, mild amounts of fiber and ideal conditions for ripening/shipping.

Because of the large size fruit, Keitt was also very popular among homeowners in South Florida. As a result, there are a lot of Keitt Mango Trees out there, as well as lots of Keitt derivates as a result of planting Keitt seeds.

Keitt is a seedling of Brooks Mango. Keitt’s pollinating parent is believed (but not confirmed) to be Mulgoba Mango.

Keitt is a sibling of Kent and is also a parent to Cotton Candy and Honey Kiss.

Keitt Mango Tree For Sale

To be honest, I would not recommend Keitt Mango to those who live in Florida or any other area where Bacterial Black Spot is a known problem. If Bacterial Black Spot is not a problem in your particular area, then Keitt Mango has the ability to be a delicious, late season and productive choice!

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

If you found this grow guide helpful, please consider sharing. It helps support the website 🙂

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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