Growing mangoes in Florida with Noris Ledesma

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Along with our scheduled guest Dr Noris Ledesma we had an early call in with one of the co-chairs of the Suncoast Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area.

Ray Vinson

Parks and Natural Resources

Manatee County Government


 They are hosting an “Iguana Rodeo”contest February 27-March 5th 2022 focused on identifying the range of invasive lizards in the area and educating the public on their impacts to gopher tortoises, scrub jays etc. The event is free, just sign up on Eventbrite, download the IVEGOT1 app and go hike around your neighborhood or nearby park to look for lizards like spiny-tailed iguanas, tegus, redheaded agamas.

Or Mango expert Dr Noris Ledesma shared her love for mangos and is now volunteering as a courtesy professor at the University of Florida Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, FL. The goal is to develop the best quality mango on dwarf trees that have the right chill requirements for natural production. To force mango trees to produce with artificial stimulation eventually wears the tree out. To get the best tree for the environment it grows in should eliminate those stressors. Easier care, healthier tree, delicious fruit all working together for a longer life for the trees.

A surprise to me was that green mangos hold a higher vitamin C content than the ripe ones. Of course with the volume of around 300 different varieties, each mango type has a different reading. ( Dr Nina Ledesma)

Her favorite salsa includes green AND ripe mango💚

Take away= care closely for newly planted Mango trees for at least 2 years. Better choice for growing your own is buy a grafted tree so you know what fruit to expect in just a couple of years. Planting a mango seed is always going to be a surprise fruit AND it takes at least 7-9?years to wait.

Doctor Noris Ledesma is the Chairman of the Florida State Horticultural Society, a horticulturist specialist in tropical fruits. Her work experience includes throughout Latin America, Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa, India, Oman and Saudi Arabia. She is a courtesy professor at the University of Florida, Tropical Research and Education Center, Homestead FL. Currently work as a consultant with mango industry in Peru, USA, Mexico and the Middle East.
Her work includes collecting Mangifera species and their contribution to the people of Borneo. Undergoing research includes creating interspecific hybrids between Mangifera indica and selected species. She is looking for a perfect mango, a mango variety than possess tree dwarfness, attractive color with good quality fruit, and tolerant to diseases for new sustainable and organic crops and production systems. She is active sharing her knowledge in South Florida, lecturing and doing volunteer work.
Awards: Florida State Horticulture Society President Industry Award for three year: 2018, 2019, 2020.
Florida State Horticulture Society Outstanding Commercial Horticulturist Award for having made significant contributions to the commercial Horticulture in Florida, June 2017.
Books: Book Chapters: Mango encyclopedia, Oman, 2018. The Genetic Diversity of Mangos, Achieving sustainable Cultivation of Mangos, 2018, and Avocado, Sustainable Horticultural systems, 2017. For the Love of Mangos-India, (2008), Miami Children Hospital Foundation. 2008. “Miami Flavors: Our City’s Culinary Point of View”, Miami Florida. A Quick Guide of Mangos (2005), The Exotic Jackfruit: Growing the World’s Largest Fruit (2003); and Mangos: A Guide to Mangos in Florida (1992). She is a contributor to the Miami Herald.
She has authored over a hundred scientific and popular articles on fruit culture in the last decade, as well as coauthor of three books, and numerous scientific publications and popular articles.