Mangosteen is a unique and valued tropical fruit, indigenous to the Molucca Islands of Indonesia and the Malay Archipelago. The fruit is common in several regions of Southeast Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, and even in several African regions.
In the Orient, Purple Mangosteen is prized for its exceptional appearance and unique flavor. It is often referred to as the queen of tropical fruits while its rarity in the United States makes it more valuable.
Growing Mangosteen Tree From Seeds
One of the benefits of planting Mangosteen seeds is that the fruit ‘s hard to come by in the United States, and fresh imports into the country are exceedingly rare.
Mangosteen trees thrive with an abundance of water in a soil rich in organics, such as organic compost, sandy loam, and similar soil mixtures that are high in nutrients. But to grow them from seed and get them off to the right start, it is critical to take the following steps:
- Select the healthiest seeds that are moist and firm. Seeds that have matured on the tree and have an off-white center are the best.
- First we need to germinate the seeds. Moisten paper towels with room temperature purified water and place the seeds about a half inch apart and wrap them up loosely into a roll.
- Place the moist seed roll into a plastic sealable bag and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to plant the seeds. You can also place the seed roll onto a small, wet plate and cover it with plastic to store in the fridge as well.
- When ready to plant, place the seeds in purified water and allow them to soak for 12 to 24 hours.
- Mix equal parts of organic compost, sandy loam, and regular untreated soil in a garden bucket or wheelbarrow. Break up and mix the soil with a garden tool.
- Fill a small 8-inch pot with soil to with a few inches of the rim. Place one seed in the center of each pot and the cover with soil until you reach about one inch from the rim of the pot.
- Water the soil mixture thoroughly, until it drains from the bottom.
- Place the pot in an area that is sure to receive a minimum of 12 hours sunlight each day and water regularly, keeping the soil moist.
- Allow six to eight weeks for the seed to complete its sprouting cycle and about three years and when the plant reaches a height of about 48 inches.
- Find a place outside with a decent amount of wind protection and replant the tree in the ground prepped with the proper soil.
- Stake the tree if necessary.
Some Useful Tips For a More Successful Grow
Keep the soil moist and warm to promote healthy growth.
Remember that Mangosteen seedlings and mature trees are from a region that receives at least 55 inches of rainfall each year, so water frequently and create a humid environment wherever possible.
The typical annual returns from a healthy Mangosteen tree should be anywhere between 200 to 300 fruits in the first crop.
However, these trees increase their production each season, and in their 30th year should be producing anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 tropical fruits with each crop.
Characteristics of Mangosteen Fruit
There are three primary parts of the Mangosteen fruit that include the following:
- The thick purple rind or outer shell called the pericarp
- The succulent and edible white flesh which is segmented like oranges or lemons
- The inedible seeds contained within the flesh
The flavor profiles of the fruit are sweet with a soft, smooth fragrance.