the impossible mangosteen (garcinia mangostana)

September 3, 2010

My two new mangosteen trees arrived from Hawaii today, looking wonderful. I had pretty low expectations for the size and health of the plants after all my searching and researching. Not only are they nigh-impossible to grow in the US, it seems they’re also pretty hard to come by.

Most of the tropical fruit tree nurseries I’ve been dealing with don’t carry it. And I was nearly tempted by an ebay seller who ships them from Hawaii bare-root, but I bought a rambutan from him a couple weeks ago, and it now looks like death warmed over — I’m not even sure it’s alive — so I figured there was a better route and kept looking.

I finally found another grower, Hula Brothers in Hawaii, selling them for $100/ea. or two for $150, shipping included. I figured what the heck, I’ll most likely lose one, might as well get two, improve my odds. I kept checking the door all day today, and they finally came at five pm. They were the best-looking plants I’ve gotten in the mail yet.

mangosteen treeThat’s probably a five-year-old tree there. Which means just five or six more years until I have a chance at some fruit.

It takes ten years for a mangosteen tree to fruit in favorable conditions, favorable being ultra-tropical always moist and never-lower-than-eighty-degrees kinda weather, preferably on a riverbank. There’s only one known instance of anyone getting one to fruit above the 200th parallel. Some feller in S. Florida got lucky. But I’m going to mimic Thailand/Puerto Rico in a greenhouse, and I’m going to get it to fruit. Mark my words. Check back in six years re: deliciousness.

The fruit is a beaut is the reason for my mania. I have never seen anything so pretty that tastes so good.

mangosteen fruit

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Red March 23, 2011 at 7:34 pm

This seedling is very dificult to grow. I have two in my home but it’s growing very vey slowling!!!

2 Iskander Iteiago November 5, 2011 at 10:08 am

Hey guys,

A few days ago I finally got my 2 three year old mangosteen plants, I’m new at this, I got mine from mercado libre in Mexico, which is like an e bay, but you can get shillings from and to Mexico.
This guy has been going them in Chiapas, but I got mine for Mexico city.
It gets colder than Chiapas, that’s for sure, but I don’t know if 12 degrees Celsius would bee enough for damaging he plants.

If you guys could share your experiences with me, it will bee of a lot of help for me.
I got recommended to use a fertilizer called triple 17, since it has 17 p 17n 17 k.
Take care and thank you for sharing.

Good luck

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