Purple Mangosteen

Purple Mangosteen

Diary Of Purple Mangosteen Bonsai


For the mangosteen, the best method of propagation is by seed.  Layering and cuttings usually fail, according to Purdue.  After obtaining a second set of fruit, the seeds were soaked and we started working on sprouting them.

"...only plump, fully developed seeds should be chosen for planting. Even these will lose viability in 5 days after removal from the fruit, though they are viable for 3 to 5 weeks in the fruit. Seeds packed in lightly dampened peat moss, sphagnum moss or coconut fiber in airtight containers have remained viable for 3 months." ~ Purdue

Purple mangosteen does best in temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees. For now, the tree will need a 15:15:15 fertilizer administered approximately 3 times a year. The natural environmental humidity for purple mangosteen is around 80%, which is like their home environment in Malaysia.  To create a more humid environment, people typically cluster plants together accumulating transpiration in a small microclimate.  Other measures can include a tray filled with gravel and in our area covered with mosquito netting just above the gravel to prevent mosquitos.

Patience And Shape
Cascade Style Bonsai


Purple Mangosteen needs to develop a deep root system.  As a bonsai, it would be best developed in a cascading style to meet the design purposes as well as accommodate the needs of the plant.

In a tall planter, the delicate tap root will have great depth and can be filled with rich, well draining organic soil and then amended or treated to have the proper PH value (between 5 and 7).  The planter doesn't have to be really wide as lateral root development is poor.

To balance the lush green and deep purple, I would go for a silver or charcoal colored planter.  Probably more towards the lighter grey tones and a matte metallic finish would probably set it off really well.

On To The Trials...


Garcinia Mangostana - Purple Mangosteen

2017-04-25 Determined To Kill The Mangosteen, Aparently


Looking at other people's mangosteen plants online is a bad idea.  I keep wondering why their plants look so green and wrongly assume ours isn't getting enough light.  I put it in the shade house with a bit more exposure and it got a pretty good sunburn.

So, this little plant may have been getting overexposed since moving it outside and it probably was a much better idea to have it growing indoors with indirect sunlight.  

All is not lost yet. There was great root development, and
Garcenia Mangostana 
there are still leaves on the plant, but no new topside growth.

To help alleviate the issue with being outside, the Purple Mangosteen was set in underneath some larger plants next to our small water garden.  This will filter a lot of direct light and maybe give it more humidity in its immediate environment.



2017-04-17 Gaining Color?
Garcinia mangostana Purple Mangosteen - Durga


I checked this evening and the coloring seems to be greening. The true test will be to check again in the morning and see if the tree still looks yellow toned.  
Just looking from yesterday's picture before re-potting to today's picture after re-potting, it seems pretty clear that the coloring is greening up again...  pretty sure!??!  Or wishful thinking. It does look closer to the original coloring when it first arrived.  

We addressed several possible issues yesterday...  It could be mangosteens do not like being root bound at all.  The ambient temperature was lowered by raising up the sides of the greenhouse. The ambient humidity was raised very slightly by making a small water garden in the greenhouse.  It could have been a nutrient deficiency which was resolved using the potting soil.  Lets keep crossing our fingers...

Garcinia mangostana Purple Mangosteen - Durga

2017-04-16 Browning Leaf Tips 

 

 Not a whole lot has changed since early March, except that the dried tips of the leaves are expanding. They look irritated with the flattened dark tips and the yellow damaged margins. 

There was some very slight browning on the leaf tips when these arrived, but it seemed to advance more when moving Durga to the greenhouse.  

The leaves aren't as vivid chartreuse as they were when the plant arrived, seems there is some color patterns starting.

The optimal soil PH for mangosteen is between 5 and 6.  They need constant moisture. They need dappled sunshine in the delicate young age and since there is no new growth yet there may be other issues.  So, we need to get to the root of the problem. 

A Repotting...
Garcinia mangostana Purple Mangosteen



I was hesitant to  repot the mangosteen because it is renowned to be so tempermental.  However, desperate times call for desperate measures and now is as good a time as any to rip off the old container and transplant.

As it turns out, Durga could be having a bit of a tantrum.  There is a thick root trying to find it's way to new soil there on the bottom of the old planter soil.


Garcinia mangostana repotting
Again, being very leery of how temperamental these little drama queens are, I didn't loosen the soil or try to seek out any other roots. I did grab up a tree pot, about 12" deep and a bit wider than the original shipping pot.

In the pot, we loaded up the miracle grow potting soil with coir moisture control (coconut coir recommended by Scooby).
New planter for Durga with Mikos


We dropped in some mikos powder to help the little princess go about the job of eating and drinking healthy plant nutrients since they have such frail root systems.

I'm usually kind of rough with plant roots, because most of the time plants droop a bit and then recover pretty well.  But this one is such a reputed prima donna I just gently placed it on top of the mikos powdered soil, packed in more planter soil around the old soil sides and then added some mulch on the top.

Durga Repotted
Viola.  Durga repotted and hopefully a soon to be happier plant.

Watered again, the leaves cleaned off a bit and now rooming with a sad kind of impromptu water garden to help get humidity higher.

Let's all take a deep breath and cross our fingers.

To be honest, this tree is reputed to be really hard to keep going.  However I see posts from other people that seem to be having no issues growing their little purple mangosteen trees. Very green eyed here...  Scooby's advice is the greenhouse was a bit hot.  We took the sides up half way and will change out the greenhouse cover for a 30% shade cover with more ventilation in the next few days.

Garcinia mangostana
Purple Mangosteen - Durga

2017-03-05 Macro Shots and 1816 Days To Fresh Fruit


Purple Mangosteen is notorious for slow growth up until about four years of age.  I didn't expect to see any new leaf growth, but I think there is a tiny start of a bud...  could be my imagination...
Garcinia mangostana
Purple Mangosteen - Durga
In any case, close up shots are in order to check the health and generall wellness of the plants.  These mangosteens are interesting plants in the macro view. They seem thick and rubbery.  The purple mangosteen leaves are really interesting on close inspection as they have what appears to be veins unlike most other leaf vein structures.

I'm still caught off guard with the chartreuse coloring of the leaves, so much more yellow than the other plants which makes me wonder if it is healthy or not. But... the leaves are firm, yet supple the stem is strong.

2017-02-24 Seedling Arrived!  1825 Days To Fresh Fruit
Garcinia mangostana, Purple Mangosteen - Durga


The seedling is tiny!  Maybe 3 or 4 inches tall. Nice chartreuse green leaves, thick  succulent-like leaves and a rubbery feel. It can take up to 4 years for this little thing to reach 48" tall. 

The seller is on Etsy (sc00bySnacks69) and provided great support to all questions about the plant and care.  Seller also shipped the plants very securely.  

This will probably be a slowly updated page since not much will be going on and I was instructed not to repot until it is kind of root-bound. 

Seller also confirmed that the plants require 48" deep pot to accommodate the long tap root.

2017-02-16 Seedling Found


A seedling was found for sale, so I bought it, of course! Trying to get seeds seems to be a huge ordeal.  Really looking forward to receiving this plant as part of a four-pack of Garcinia plants. Coconut Coir was recommended, so that is on order as well. We can probably put these understory trees under the Pepper Tree canopy for humidity and a similar growing environment.

Purple Mangosteen Tubercles

2016-09-25 The Real Deal


The seeds below are not the right seeds.  No idea what the previous seeds are.  Purple mangosteen does not have seeds, they have "...adventitious embryos, or hypocotyl tubercles, because there has been no sexual fertilization."

Purple Mangosteen Blossom
If the seeds are planted, then they must be planted within 5 days of being freed from the fruit, otherwise viability is lost.

The good news is that since these are not pollinated and reproduced sexually, you are guaranteed to get a tree/fruit true to the parent plant if you have any success in growing them.

I found an etsy seller with accurate seed pictures and will be trying again.  I requested the seeds be kept moist during transport in order to have some viability retained.  

Seeds sold as Purple Mangosteen Seeds

2016-09-24 Small Root Development

The bowl of water worked for the coffee beans, but the seeds required something more. We ended up rolling them up in wet paper towels and storing them in a zip lock baggie. They were separated to their own seed rolls so enzymes from one seed type would not interfere with other seeds in some way.  We checked the seed roll and were happy to discover these seeds have a couple of tiny root buds developing.
Seeds sold as Purple Mangosteen Seeds
There is speculation about whether these are actually purple mangosteen seeds or not. And if not, what are they?  These don't match common descriptions of purple mangosteen seeds, which are described as being more almond shaped and colored. 


Mangosteen, Rambutan, Lychee, Longen, Sapodilla
 and Coffee Beans

2016-09-08


We put all the seeds in a bowl of water with the other seeds.  We peeled off the external outer coating in order to keep the white insides moist.  All of the seeds sank to the bottom and are mixed in with the other seeds we are germinating.  Looks like they may be viable.

The water is changed when it looks a little cloudy.  This can be 2 or more times a day.  The Lychee seeds that were older and had dried out actually look like they're getting some growth activity (white spots on the rough ends) as well as the Longen developing cracks (on the rough ends) and the Rambutan developing root nubs (on the rounded ends).  I haven't noticed anything on the arabica coffee beans, but we peeled off the clear outer exterior a few days ago.  The sapodilla and mangosteen seeds are the recent additions, and nothing seems to be going on with these two yet.