How to plant and cultivate the mangosteen?

How to plant and cultivate the mangosteen?

Mangosteen characteristics

  • Type: fruit tree
  • Height: from 5 to 10 m, from 10 to 20 m
  • Fruit name: mongoose
  • Desired exposure: sunny
  • Vegetation: perennial
  • Foliage: persistent
  • Type of soil: rich in humus
  • Interview: difficult
  • Water requirement: important
  • sanitizer: no

Mangosteen origins and peculiarities

Native to tropical Asia and especially Malaysia, the mangosteen (garcinia mangostana) or mangosteen is a fruit tree which can reach in tropical zone between 7 and 30 meters high. The mangosteen belongs to the genus Garcinia and to the family of Clusiaceae. Its global production is mainly concentrated in Thailand and Indonesia.

The mangosteen tree has fairly hard dark green leaves, about ten centimeters long and about 5 cm wide, very shiny on their upper surface. In early spring, the tree is covered with magnificent, very original two-color flowers.

These are the flowers that give the famous mangosteen fruit, called "mongooses" or "mangosteen". Rather small (about 6 cm), the mangosteen have a specific shape: the arils of the fruit look like white, fleshy cloves of garlic covered with a brown envelope.

Mangosteen fruit

The mongoose, also known as the Queen of Fruits, is a dark purple or purple brown berry the size of a small tangerine (3 to 7 cm), topped with four leaves and a peduncle. Under its thick skin called pericarp, there are 5 or 6 quarters of white pulp, arils. The mongoose is very appreciated for its particular taste, a mixture of sweetness and acidity, between strawberry, pineapple and nectarine (!).

Mangosteen is rich in vitamin C and minerals (calcium, magnesium and potassium). Mangosteen juice is as famous as that of goji berry for fighting fatigue and aging. In Thailand, the mangosteen is used to treat many ailments (skin problems, urinary tract infections, abdominal pain, etc.).

Mangosteen plantation

The mangosteen is a rather complicated tree to grow. Already, in our latitudes, you can only plant it in a pot, in a moist and well-drained soil, and place it in a tropicalized greenhouse whose temperature and humidity will be optimal for its growth (indeed, it needs heat even in winter and constant humidity all year round).

Good to know: planted in a pot, the mangosteen tree needs a receptacle deep enough for its root to flourish properly. When the tree is still young, avoid direct exposure to the sun which could burn it.

Mangosteen cultivation

The mangosteen only enjoys hot, humid climates and rich, well-drained soils. It is very difficult to withstand cold: below 4 ° C, it freezes automatically. It is therefore not grown in the open ground in our European climates. The mangosteen tree is a rather lazy tree that will take at least 6 years to reach its adult size ... provided that it grows in optimal conditions! To compensate for its very slow growth, this tree is very productive and can give up to 2000 fruits per tree.

The Mangosteen multiplication is only possible by sowing, the cuttings and layering tests have failed, which makes its cultivation restrictive.

Mangosteen enemies and parasites

The mangosteen tree is a fairly solid tree, which is fairly resistant to diseases and parasites in general. However, if you grow it in a greenhouse, take care that the plants and trees placed around it are very healthy, in which case it could be the victim of the same health problems as its neighbors (including attacks by aphids and whiteflies, quite common in greenhouses).