For home gardens on the hunt for big flavor, the (Keitt Mango (Mangifera indica ‘Keitt’) is a very popular variety of Mango. It’s preferred by commercial growers and home gardeners alike. It produces extremely large mangos and has become the #1 variety in home gardens across the United States.
The size is where the Keitt Mango really makes a statement, they have been reported to reach 5 pounds on well-established trees. On average, the fruit weighs in is between 1.5 and 2 pounds. That is still a very large piece of fruit!
The flesh has a very smooth, dense texture. The flesh color is a bright yellowish orange with a single flat seed. The flavor is mellow mango, with just a hint of lemon, which gives this fruit it wonderful sprightly tang.
Introduced in 1946 in Homestead, Florida by Mrs. J.N. Kietts, this variety sets a crop of large bright green fruit. The skin is smooth with a shiny, bright green color. It develops a slight red-green cast when ripe.
This means that a green fruit is quite often a ripe fruit. When grown in Zone 10 or 11, the fruit can be allowed to hang on the tree longer, allowing the sweetness and flavor to fully develop on the tree.
Keitt Mango is considered a great variety for freezing for later usage. The variety is good for all things from juices and smoothies to chutneys, chili sauce, pastes, and even pickled. Nothing beats a mango fresh off the tree! Mangos are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals such as A, C, and B6.
Tips for Care
Plant your Keitt Mango in full sun with at least 8 hours of direct sunlight, favoring the morning sun to dry the foliage. Mangos will benefit from a location with good air movement in the winter to help avoid damage from cold temperatures. The Keitt Mango requires maximum heat, so choose a location with the most exposure to direct sun.
The plant has great appeal in a tropical garden setting with its long, narrow evergreen leaves. The plants offers ornamental landscape value because it be trained from an early age to make a visual statement.
Keitt Mango is a slower growing variety that does not get as tall as the average Mango. Because of the slower growth rate, the plant is easily held to under 10 feet tall with pruning. This should begin when the plant is young. Select low, sturdy branches to become primary scaffold limbs. You want to develop a strong structure to support the extremely large fruit.
Mangos are adapted to a wide range of soil types for sandy to heavy clay. They do require perfect drainage and will not survive in poor draining soils. If poor drainage is suspected, plant your Keitt Mango in a mound or a raised bed. Make sure that the mound is at least 24 inches high to begin with to allow for settling. In a raised bed, make your bed is at least 12 to 18 inches high and at least 3-foot square.
Mangos grow well in a pH of 5.5 to 7.5 and are tolerant of a little alkalinity. But good drainage is the primary concern.
Mangos can make nice container plants and the Keitt with its slower growth rate is a good choice. Plant using a general-purpose potting soil and add 25% Perlite to the total volume of the container you are using. Even in containers, mangos are very sensitive to overwatering. When growing mangos either in the ground or in containers, keep them on the dry side.
Indoor/Outdoor growers require a sunroom or greenhouse with maximum winter sun and heat to be successful with growing the mango. Grow lights can be very helpful in sustaining your plant indoors through the winter.
Mangos are heavy feeders and require feeding at least 3 times a year in the ground and quarterly in containers. Apply a general-purpose fertilizer like the Dr Earth Organic and Natural All-Purpose Fertilizer. The last feeding in the fall will help to increase the plants cold tolerance in winter.
If you are in one of the many areas that can enjoy the mango don’t hesitate to include the Keitt Mango in your home garden. If you have a warm winter location with plenty of winter sunlight, try the Keitt as an Indoor/Outdoor variety.