Mangos have been cultivated in India for more than 4,000 years and reached the Americas in the 18th century. Today, they are readily available at many grocers, but you’re even luckier if you happen to have your own tree. Delicious they may be, but the trees are susceptible to a number of mango tree diseases. Read on to find out about diseases of mangos and how to manage mango diseases.
Mangos are tropical and sub-tropical trees that thrive in regions with warm temperatures. Indigenous to India and Southeast Asia, trees are particularly susceptible to two diseases of mango: anthracnose and powdery mildew. Both of these fungal diseases attack emerging panicles, flowers and fruit.
Of the two diseases, anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides) afflicts mangos most severely. In the case of anthracnose, mango disease symptoms appear as black, sunken, irregularly shaped lesions that grow resulting in blossom blight, leaf spotting, fruit staining and eventual rot. The disease is fostered by rainy conditions and heavy dews.
Powdery mildew is another fungus that afflicts leaves, flowers and young fruit. Infected areas become covered with a whitish powdery mold. As leaves mature, lesions along the midribs or underside of the foliage become dark brown and greasy looking. In severe cases, the infection will destroy flowering panicles resulting in a lack of fruit set and defoliation of the tree.
Mango scab (Elsinoe mangiferae) is another fungal disease that attacks leaves, flowers, fruit and twigs. The first signs of infection mimic the symptoms of anthracnose. Fruit lesions will be covered with a corky, brown tissue and leaves become distorted.
Verticillium wilt attacks the tree’s roots and vascular system, preventing the tree from up-taking water. Leaves begin to wilt, brown, and desiccate; stems and limbs die back; and the vascular tissues turn brown. The disease is most damaging to young trees and may even kill them.
Parasitic algal spot is another infection that more rarely afflicts mango trees. In this case, mango disease symptoms present as circular greenish/grey spots that turn rust red on the leaves. Infection of stems can lead to bark cankers and stem thickening and death.
Treating a sick mango for fungal diseases involves using a fungicide. All susceptible parts of the tree should be thoroughly coated with the fungicide before infection occurs. If applied when the tree is already infected, the fungicide will have no effect. Fungicide sprays need to be reapplied on new growth.
Apply fungicide in the early spring and again 10-21 days later to protect the panicles of blossoms during development and fruit set.
If powdery mildew is in evidence, apply sulfur to prevent the spread of the infection to new growth.
If the tree becomes infected with verticillium wilt, prune out any infected limbs. Mango scab generally doesn’t need to be treated since an anthracnose spray program also controls scab. Algal spot will also usually not be an issue when copper fungicides are periodically applied during the summer.
To reduce the risk of fungal infections, grow only anthracnose resistant cultivars of mango. Maintain a consistent and timely program for fungal application and thoroughly cover all susceptible parts of the tree. For assistance with treatment of disease, consult your local extension office for recommended control recommendations.
This page can help you identify and manage pests and diseases common to mango crops in the Northern Territory (NT).
A major disease in wet years, this fungus causes black spots on leaves and fruit.
This disease attacks mango leaves, twigs and fruit.
This is a fungus that causes black spots on new fruit. In severe cases, numerous lesions can cause new shoots to defoliate.
Unlike anthracnose, scabs do not expand after harvest, nor develop into a rot. However, severely scarred fruit will show post-harvest anthracnose rot earlier than non-scarred fruit.
Adult false mango scale and white mango scale insects suck sap from mango plants, turning leaves yellow and leaving pink blemishes on fruit.
See the managing mango scale post PDF (457.3 KB) which illustrates this insect and its life cycle.
When this yellow-brown fly lays eggs under the skin of the mango, its larvae introduces bacteria and causes the fruit to breakdown and rot.
Read the Agnote field spraying of mangoes 1998 PDF (23.3 KB) for recommendations on spray equipment and spraying rates to protect against fruit fly.
Leafhoppers are four to five millimetre long insects that lay eggs on the underside of young mango leaves. They suck sap from plant tissue and flowers, causing withering and failure to fruit.
Weevils attack mango seeds. This can downgrade the fruit and severely reduce germination.
View the poster managing mango seed weevil PDF (3.6 MB) which illustrates the life cycle of the weevil.
Read the detailed introduction to the identification of some common pests, beneficials, disease and disorders of mangoes in northern Australia - Field guide to pests, beneficials, diseases and disorders of mangoes 2010 PDF (7.4 MB) .
Visit the Northern Territory Insects Database to identify an insect pest and the damage it can cause.
To find other publications and mango research results, search the online publications library.
Here below is a list of some local names of mango.