Flowering of mango[ MAGNIFERA INDICA ] trees is a vital physiological activity in mango production as it is dependent on several factors. Cooler temperatures with bright sunshine is an important requirement for the mango flowers to initiate. Mango trees are alternate bearers and it may be tree wise or branch wise within the trees.
Young trees with less than 10 years may flower and fruit every year. In India mango trees flower in the transition period of fog and light and may be from December to March based on the topography and growing and conditions.
Mango tree is monoecious that produces both male and female reproductive parts in the same or single tree. Mango trees initiates’ lot of flowers and all the flowers won’t develop in to fruits.
Flowers in the mango trees will not initiate at a single time and initiates at different times at different branches and may be due to the light penetration and other factors. 75 % of mango flowers initiated can develop in to fruits by self-pollinating.
Induction of flower from the shoot in the mango tree is dependent on the weather conditions at that time of initiation. It is proved that cytokinins in the plant system is responsible for the flower induction. These cytokinins are kind of florigenic promoters and reacts with vegetative promoters and decides or concludes what to initiate whether reproductive [flower] parts or vegetative [Leaf or twigs] parts.
In mango tree flowering, the induction of flowers take place on the stems or branches which have sufficient rest from previous bearing. The age and time from the previous bearing is the key factor for mango flower to initiate or induce in the present season.
Inducing the flowers in Mango tree
Some of the physical and mechanical intercultural activities on the plants are proved to induce the flowering in tropical and subtropical tree species. Supplementing the plants or trees with some of the synthetic florigenic promoters may help mango trees to initiate or induce the flowers.
In many crops the pruning of the tips of the shoots may start to initiate flowers many times.
Scientists have proven reports that there is a special role of some nutrients in flower inducing, flower initiation and also in maintaining the male to female ratio. There are reports that nitrogen nutrient helps in increasing the number of female flowers which actually will form to fruits. Potassium nutrient is said to have distinct role in physiological reactions, it can prompt development of reproductive growth.
Pests and diseases on Mango flowers
After the initiation of flowers and inflorescence is set, it takes 100 – 150 days for pollinated flowers to form into fruits among the varieties.
Mango inflorescence is sweet, and to suck the sweet from inflorescence twigs, and to eat the branches some of the pests also attacks the mango flowers. Sucking pests like mango hoppers, sometime thrips and aphids also attacks. These pests are severe at flower setting and developmental stages
Fruit flies are also important damaging pest of mango before ripening stage. Stone weevil or seed weevil, will not eat pulp but get inside and eats seed part, but reduces the fruit aesthetic value.
Since flowering is at cooler climates, the powdery mildew disease is most common, anthracnose is another disease which affects mango flowers and fruit lets.
Normally farmers plan sprays to manage these pests and diseases the fruit development stage starting from the flower initiation.
Following sprays may be administered for the mango flowers to manage the powdery mildew, some of the sucking pests.. Fruit fly traps with lures may be tied to control the fruit fly infestation.
First spray: Before Flowering
Second spray: During Flowering
Third spray: During Flowering/ Fruit setting
Final spray if required : Fruit setting
Mango fruits varies according to geographies, soil type and topography. Mango fruit skin colour ranges from greenish – yellow to orange red with acidic to sweet flavor.
K SANJEEVA REDDY,
Senior Agronomist, BigHaat.
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