In North India, especially Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the appearance of mango starts in the second week of February, it is determined by the different varieties of mango and the temperature at that time. Mango (Mangifera indica) is the most important tropical fruit in India. In India, it is mainly cultivated in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Government of India for the year 2020-21, mango is cultivated in 2316.81 thousand hectares in India, from which 20385.99 thousand tonnes are produced. The national productivity of mango is 8.80 tonnes per hectare. In Bihar, it is cultivated in 160.24 thousand hectares area from which 1549.97 thousand tonnes of production is obtained. The productivity of mango in Bihar is 9.67 tonnes per hectare. Which is slightly higher than the national productivity.
To increase the productivity of mangoes, it is necessary to know how to scientifically manage the orchard after planting of Manjar Tikola. Flowering is an important stage in mango as it directly affects the fruit yield. Flowering in mangoes is highly dependent on variety and environmental conditions. Thus, proper management strategies adopted during the flowering stage of mango directly affect fruit production.
Mango trees usually begin flowering when mature after 5-8 years of growth, before which the flowers should be plucked. The flowering season of mango in North India generally begins in mid-February. Mango flowering initiation requires 20-25°C during the day time and 10-15°C during the night with bright sunlight. However, depending on the timing of flowering, fruit development begins by May–June. High humidity, frost, or rain during the flowering period affects flower formation. Cloudy weather during flowering helps in the spread of mango hopper and powdery mildew and anthracnose diseases, which hampers the growth and flowering of mango.
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Mango flowers are small, yellow, or pinkish-red depending on the mango species, clustered in clusters that hang down from the branches. They are bisexual flowers but cross-pollination by pollinators contributes to the maximum fruit set. Common pollinators include bees, wasps, moths, butterflies, flies, beetles, and ants. The number of flowers produced and the duration of the flowering stage directly affect fruit yield. However, flowering is influenced by many factors such as temperature, humidity, sunlight, insect and disease infestation, and availability of water and nutrients. These factors affect the timing and intensity of flowering. If the above factors are not optimal during the flowering stage, it will result in fewer or smaller fruits. Not all flowers produced will produce fruit. Proper pollination is essential for the fruit to fully set and develop. Even after adequate pollination, only a certain proportion of flowers form due to the mass dropping of flowers and fruits due to several factors such as weather conditions and insect infestation. This ultimately affects the yield and quality of fruits. The timing, duration, and intensity of flowering significantly affect fruit production in mango trees.
Proper cutting and pruning of mango trees after harvesting of the fruit results in good and healthy flowers. Pruning – Due to lack of pruning, the mango canopy becomes dense, due to which light is not able to penetrate the internal parts of the tree and thus flowering and yield are reduced. Pruning the tips of the branches triggers flowering. The best time to prune is after the fruit has been harvested, usually from June to August. Tip pruning, done 10 cm above the last internode, improves flowering. Girdling is a method used to induce the formation of fruit buds in mangoes. It involves removing strips of bark from the trunk of the mango tree. It increases flowering, fruit set, and fruit size by increasing foliar carbohydrates and plant hormones in the aboveground parts of the girdle by blocking the downward transfer of metabolites through the phloem. By making a circle at the time of emergence of inflorescence, the accumulation of fruits increases. The depth of girdling should be kept in mind. Excessive girth depth can damage the tree. This work should be done only after expert supervision or training.
Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are used to control flowering and increase yields by influencing the physiological processes that control plant growth and development. NAAs also help prevent flowering, bud drop, and fruit ripening. They help in increasing fruit size, increasing and improving fruit quality and yield. Planofix @ 1ml The medicine should be dissolved in 3 liters of water and sprayed just before the flowers emerge and the second spraying should be done when the fruit is equal to a pea. This spraying is necessary to prevent the tikolo (small mango fruits) from falling. To promote flowering, apply phosphorus fertilizer at the pre-flowering stage. Adequate potassium levels can enhance flowering in mango trees and increase the number of flowers and fruits. Potassium helps transport nutrients and water to the fruit, which is essential for its growth and size. It also helps in increasing the resistance of plants to moisture stress, heat, frost, and disease. The use of micronutrients gives better results by improving flowering, fruit quality, and controlling fruit drop.
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During flowering and fruit formation, the chances of insect and disease infestation are high, leading to premature drop of flowers and fruits. Mango hopper, flower gall midge, mealy bug, and leaf webber are the major pests attacking mango flowers. Mango powdery mildew, mango malformation, and anthracnose are diseases that affect mango flowers resulting in reduced fruit growth. Check the symptoms and management of pests and diseases in mango flowers to increase the fruit yield - Diseases and pests in mango flowers should be managed.
For the last 4-5 years, the problem of the mealy bug (Gujiya) has been increasing year by year in Bihar. For the management of this pest, it is necessary to clean the garden around December-January and sprinkle Chlorpyrifos 1.5 D. dust @ 250 grams per tree in the soil and to prevent mealy bug (Gujiya) insects from climbing the tree, a 45 cm strip of alkaline should be tied with twine around the main stem of the mango. By doing this this insect will not be able to climb the tree. If you have not done this before and the Gujiya insect has climbed the tree, then in such a situation apply Dimethoate 30 EC. Or Quinalphos 25 EC @ 1.5 ml should be dissolved in per liter of water and sprayed. In mango orchards that are not managed properly, there are a large number of hoppers or maggot insects, hence the sunlight must reach the ground in the orchard. Where the orchard is dense, there also the number of these insects is higher. When insects appear on trees, these insects are very good food sources for these insects, due to which there is a huge increase in the number of these insects. The second sign of the presence of these insects is when we go near the garden. When we go, swarms of insects come near us. If these insects are not managed, they suck the juice from the plant and the plant falls. When 10-12 maggots are visible per blossom, then we should spray Imidacloprid 17.8 SL @ 1 ml dissolved in 2 liters of water. This spraying should be done before the flowers bloom, otherwise, the bees coming to the garden get affected, which reduces pollination and affects the yield.
For the management of Powdery Mildew/Kharra disease, it is necessary to spray soluble sulfur @ 2 grams/liter dissolved in water before the arrival of the disease. When the temperature exceeds 35 degrees Celsius, the severity of this disease starts reducing automatically.
Also read: How to manage if the mango tree is drying from top to bottom (top dieback)?
The blossoms suffering from Gumma disease should be cut and removed. If there is a problem with stem borer or leaf-cutting insects in the garden, then use Quinalphos 25 EC. @ 2 ml of medicine should be dissolved in / liter of water and sprayed. But it is worth noting that from just before the flowers bloom to when the flowers are in bloom, do not use any chemicals at any time, otherwise, pollination is badly affected and there is a possibility of the soft parts of the flower getting injured.
The mango flower has both male and female reproductive organs in the same flower. However, mango flowers are relatively small and do not produce large amounts of pollen. Therefore, they rely heavily on pollinators such as flies, wasps, and other insects to transfer pollen between flowers. Without pollination, mango flowers may not produce fruit, or the fruit may become small or misshapen. Mango yield increases through cross-pollination. It is important to note that insecticides and fungicides should not be sprayed during the full bloom stage as pollination by insects will be affected at this time which will reduce the yield. To get a good yield from the mango orchard, it would be good to keep bee colony boxes in the mango orchard, this helps in good pollination and more fruits are produced.
Optimum weather conditions during flowering increase successful fruit set rates and yields. For example, excessive wind speed causes flowers and fruits to fall en masse. Thus, it is necessary to protect mango orchards from wind by installing windbreaks or shelterbelts.
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Mango trees require adequate amounts of water, especially during the growing season. Insufficient or excessive watering can reduce fruit yield and quality. Proper water management also helps prevent diseases and pests, which thrive in moist environments. In hot and dry climates, irrigation can help increase humidity levels and reduce temperature fluctuations, providing a more favorable environment for mango growth. Excessive irrigation can reduce soil temperature, resulting in reduced plant growth and development. On the other hand, inadequate watering can increase soil temperatures, damaging plant roots and reducing yields. Thus, effective water management is essential to ensure healthy plant growth and fruit production. Irrigation should not be done between 2 to 3 months before flowering and when the fruit becomes the size of a pea. Some gardeners irrigate the mango at the time of flowering and flowering, due to which the flowers fall. Therefore, it is advised not to irrigate until the fruit becomes equal to a pea.
Mango flower management for higher yields involves a combination of strategies aimed at optimizing plant growth, managing pests and diseases, and ensuring optimal environmental conditions for flower development and pollination. Following these management practices can increase flower and fruit production, leading to higher yields and improved fruit quality.
Dr. SK Singh Professor (Plant Pathology) and Head of the Department, Post Graduate Department of Plant Pathology, Principal Investigator, All India Fruit Research Project, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, Pusa-848 125, Samastipur, Bihar
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