Everyone wants to know how to grow mango ( mangifera indica) from seed, but is it actually doable, and if so, will it grow in your climate? As you may already know, mangoes are a tropical fruit, and, therefore need a tropical or subtropical climate to grow in.
The mango tree needs lots of light and warmth, and is best suited for USDA zones 10 through 13. Alternatively, you can also grow a mango tree from seeds in a greenhouse or even indoors provided the tree has grow lights and the temperature is warm enough! If you want to learn more about how to grow mango from seed, keep reading this easy to follow gardening guide!
Before we get into how to grow mango from seed, let's take a quick look at some very important mango fruit information! Did you know that there are hundreds of mango varieties? They all taste different and look different, and that means they also have different ripening times. Growing different varieties of mango is great because you can stretch out the growing season and ensure you have freshly harvest mango all year round.
Mango trees grow to be pretty huge (especially if the mango plants come from a parent tree) – about 35 meters in height and 15 meters across, though you can prune a mango tree to keep it smaller.
When a mango tree is flowering, it will be covered with beautiful red flowers which can smell intoxicating.
How to Grow Mango From Seed
Procuring a Mango Seed:
There are two ways to procure a mango seed:
1. Use a seed from a mango purchased from your local grocery store.
2. Order a mango seed online (best option).
Using the seed from a store mango can be a bit tricky because you don't know exactly where it came from, or even if it's a viable growing seed. We always recommend you buy seeds from a reputable seed distributor, and mango seeds are NO exception!
If you do decide to grow a mango tree from a store bought mango seed, read these instructions on how to plant mango from seed!
As you may already know, the mango fruit is strictly a tropical plant. It loves warm weather and bright sun, and needs a frost free environment. And as such, should be grown under those conditions. If you live in a cooler climate, speak to your local nursery and farmers about which variety of mango you can grow. Alternatively, you can also try to grow mango trees in a greenhouse or using grow lights.
Planting The Seed:
- Prepare a large pot with soil and mix in some organic material such as compost. Mango trees like to grow in light and free draining soil, and as such don't need rich soil.
- Plant the seed and set the pot in an area with partial sun. The seeds will first need to acclimatize itself to the sun before it can be moved.
- Once the seedling has developed strong and healthy roots, you may transplant it directly into the ground. Choose a site with full sun.
- The thickness at the base of the trunk should be about 5cm or 2.5 inches.
- Dig a hole that's three times the size of the trunk, or, transplant to a bigger pot.
- To the soil medium, add 1/3 good quality potting mix, 1/3 garden sand, and the dirt that you just dug up.
- Plant into the hole and pat down. Water well.
- Mango trees that are planted directly from seed usually have an indestructible root system, as opposed to those grown from graft or purchased from a local nursery.
- Once seedlings pop up, thin every single one of them, but ONE. Apparently, the smallest seedling will give you the best fruit.
- Keep the seedling in the pot for several years, or until it almost outgrows the pot. This is to protect it from harsh winds and pests.
- Once grown, transplant outdoors to a sunny location.
Mango Tree Care:
- Water your tree on a regular basis depending on your climate.
- Fertilize young trees (first year trees) with 1-2 pounds of slow release fertilizer of 10-20-20. Divide this into 3 or 4 applications just before flushes of growth.
- Once the tree matures, fertilize twice a year: once before flowering and once again after the mangoes have been harvested.
Depending on the variety of mango you've planted, they can all be harvest at different times. The best way to tell if a mango is ready to be picked, is to give it a gentle squeeze – it should be just a tad soft, but still hard. Alternatively, you can also pick green mangoes, and they will ripen at room temperature.
For a mango tree to bear fruit from seed, it will take anywhere from 5 to 8 years, so have patience!
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