How to Plant a Mango Seed in 5 Easy Steps

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Over the past 10 to 15 years, mangoes have exploded in popularity in the United States. These delicious tropical fruits are now on sale in all parts of the United States, even as far north as Alaska. Besides indulging in the sweet treat, you might be surprised to be able to grow mango seeds from the fruit into a new plant in your home. And if you live in the warmer parts of the United States (USDA zones 9+), you can even plant mangoes outdoors. In cooler climates, you can successfully grow mangoes from seed and keep them as houseplants.

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Plant a mango seed

The process of growing mangoes from seed is actually quite simple. Although care must be taken when extracting the seed, both adults and children may find the process fun and useful. Before you begin, make sure all your gear is in place and ready to go.

  • Mango

  • Knife

  • Scissors

  • Paper napkins

  • Zippered plastic bag

  • potting soil

  • Container

Step 1

The first step in the process is also the best: eat the mango! Before the large seed can be removed, the flesh of the fruit must first be removed. Depending on the maturity of the mango in hand, the rind can often be peeled off relatively easily; the bright orange flesh can be sliced ​​with a knife or eaten much like an apple. In both cases, it is recommended to have dental floss on hand afterwards.

2nd step

After the envelope has been thoroughly cleaned, allow it to dry for approximately 24 hours. Then, remove the seed from inside the white outer husk. With the seed husk in hand, use scissors to cut off part of the “thin side” of the husk. Once an initial hole has been opened, use the scissors to cut along the side of the husk to reveal the seed inside. Be very careful during this step, as the husk and seeds can be slippery. The seed inside the husk should be white in color. Any brown or black staining or spotting usually means the seed is no longer viable.

Step 3

Remove the seed from the husk. You can potentially get more than one seed. Whether you see one or two depends on the variety. If you see multiple seedlings, they can be gently separated and planted individually.

Related: How to grow and avocado indoors

Step 4

Wrap the seedling(s) in damp paper towel. A standard sized damp towel will be sufficient to completely wrap an individual seedling to prevent it from drying out. Once wrapped, put the seedling(s) in a plastic zip-top bag and store in a warm, bright place until green growth begins to appear. Depending on the heat of the place and the maturity of the mango at the time of picking, this waiting period can range from a few days to a few weeks. Be patient and avoid moving the bag.

Step 5:

Once green growth has appeared, take the seedling out of the plastic bag and carefully unwrap the paper towel. In your container filled with fresh potting soil, place the seedlings just deep enough to cover the majority of the seeds without covering the new green growth. Keep the soil for your new plant moist at all times and place it in a warm, sunny location. If you want to move your new mango tree outdoors, first give it a week in dappled shade before moving it into full sun.

How to Care for a Mango Plant

Mangoes are in full sun (more than 8 hours of sun per day) in the tropics; these plants do best with lots of light, warmth and humidity. If you live in southern areas of the United States like Florida or the southern California coast where frosts are rare, you can plant your mango seedling directly outdoors. For the rest of the country, mangoes can be grown indoors along a south-facing window. The addition of artificial lighting will be necessary in northern climates and areas that do not receive strong sunlight.

Otherwise, caring for your mango tree as a houseplant is as simple as growing other well-known indoor trees such as the common weeping fig. Give your mango tree a well-balanced fertilizer for the first few years of growth, then switch to a mix higher in phosphorus and potassium. A little is enough, so don’t be tempted to add more than the package directions say. And only apply fertilizers during active growth in spring and summer. Be sure to keep the soil moist for the first two years. Once the seedling has outgrown its first pot, transplant it into a larger size pot.

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