How To Grow & Care For Mangosteen


Mangosteen, known as the “queen of fruits,” is a tropical evergreen tree celebrated for its luscious, sweet, and tangy fruit. Native to Southeast Asia, the Mangosteen tree has dark-green glossy leaves and bears fruit with a thick, purple rind and juicy, aromatic white flesh. This fruit is renowned not just for its exquisite taste but also for its nutritional benefits, including being rich in antioxidants and vitamins.

Growing Mangosteen is considered a true gardening achievement due to its specific care requirements and slow growth. It is highly sensitive to temperature, needing a consistently warm and humid climate. The tree’s cultivation has been historically limited to regions where conditions are ideal, but with proper care and attention, it can also be grown in greenhouses or indoor tropical environments.

The Mangosteen tree has cultural significance in various Asian countries and is a symbol of prosperity and richness. The fruit is often used in traditional medicine for its purported healing properties. The journey of growing Mangosteen from seed to ripe fruit can be arduous but rewarding for patient and dedicated gardeners.

Common NamesMangosteen, Purple Mangosteen
Botanical NameGarcinia mangostana
Plant TypeTropical Evergreen Tree
Mature Size20-82 feet tall
Sun ExposureFull Sun
Soil TypeWell-drained, Acidic
Hardiness Zones10-11
Native AreaSoutheast Asia

Mangosteen Care

Mangosteen care requires a deep understanding of the tree’s tropical needs. It flourishes in warm, humid conditions with consistent care. Planting in well-drained, acidic soil, and providing ample water without over-saturating is key. Due to its sensitivity to temperature fluctuations, a sheltered location is preferable to protect it from cold drafts or wind.

Regular fertilization with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer is essential for healthy growth. Careful observation for signs of pests and diseases will allow for early intervention, which can be crucial for the tree’s survival and fruit production. Consideration of these factors can make the challenge of growing Mangosteen an attainable and rewarding goal.

Light Requirement for Mangosteen

Mangosteen requires full sun, meaning it should receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Lack of sufficient sunlight can lead to poor fruit development and weak growth.

Soil Requirements for Mangosteen

The soil for Mangosteen should be well-drained and slightly acidic, with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. Heavy clay or waterlogged soils can lead to root rot and other problems.

Water Requirements for Mangosteen

Mangosteen needs consistent watering but must not be overwatered. The soil should remain moist but not soggy. A drip irrigation system or watering in the early morning is ideal.

Temperature and Humidity

Mangosteen thrives in tropical temperatures between 71°F to 90°F. It cannot tolerate frost and requires high humidity, mimicking its native tropical environment.


A balanced, slow-release fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium is suitable for Mangosteen. Regular applications during the growing season will support healthy growth and fruit production.

Pruning Mangosteen

Pruning Mangosteen is essential to maintain its shape and remove dead or diseased branches. It helps in creating a strong structure that supports fruit-bearing.

Propagating Mangosteen

Mangosteen can be propagated through seeds or grafting. Grafting from a fruit-bearing tree is the preferred method as it ensures the offspring will produce fruit.

How To Grow Mangosteen From Seed

Growing Mangosteen from seed is a lengthy process. Fresh seeds should be planted in a well-draining medium and kept warm and humid. Germination may take several weeks.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Aphids can be controlled using insecticidal soap.


A fungal disease, anthracnose can be managed by using appropriate fungicides.

Common Problems With Mangosteen

Temperature Sensitivity

Mangosteen is highly sensitive to cold. Protective measures should be taken in unexpected cold weather.

Slow Growth

The tree’s slow growth requires patience. It can take 8-15 years for the tree to bear fruit.

Root Rot

Overwatering can lead to root rot. Ensure proper drainage and avoid waterlogging.

Pro Tips

  1. Always use fresh seeds for germination, as Mangosteen seeds lose viability quickly.
  2. Create a windbreak if planting outdoors, as Mangosteen is sensitive to strong winds.
  3. Provide shade to young plants, gradually acclimating them to full sun.