Can I Grow a Mango Tree From a Neighbor's Tree?

Unlike many tropical fruit trees, the mango (Mangifera indica) grows well from seed. It’s the easiest method for home propagation and can yield a fruit-bearing tree in three to six decades, depending on the cultivar. A seed from a home-grown fruit in your own tree or your neighbor’s tree is favored over those bought from a grocery shop, since commercially produced mangoes are often treated or cooled to render their seeds sterile.

Seed Collection and Preparation

Starting mango trees in home is easy, but it requires new seed to be successful, since the seeds are most viable when new. Take seed out of a ripe mango in late summer or fall, based on the local climate. Evaluation for ripeness by gently squeezing the fruit; it must yield to stress without being too soft. Remove the flat, kidney-shaped seed with a knife and then gently wash it with warm water to remove any clinging flesh. Using a paring knife, score the husk along the convex outer border. Take care not to slip the knife within the seed because it might harm the kernel inside. Pry open the husk and slip out the flat, beige kernel.

Sowing Tips

Mango seeds germinate reliably without any pretreatment, even though they do require the right bud, medium and alignment to execute well. Sow the mango seed in a draining, 6- to 8-inch bud full of sterile seed-starting compost. Mango seeds have a convex and a concave border. Sow the seed with the concave, or hollow side from the expanding medium. Press the seed on the soil and cover it with a 1-inch-thick layer of dirt. Sprinkle a light layer of mud over the soil to help regulate its moisture level during the germination process.

Germination Procedure

Mango seeds demand very little during their germination process apart from constant warmth and dampness. Water the seed whenever the expanding medium feels hardly damp beneath the surface. Don’t saturate the soil, since excess moisture may cause fungal or bacterial growth. Heat the pot with a seed-starting mat put to between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not have a seed-starting mat, set the pot in a warm place such as atop a refrigerator or near a hot water heater. Wholesome mango seeds will sprout in two to three weeks, at which stage move them to a warm, sheltered place with bright, indirect sunlight.

Aftercare and Transplant

Mango seedlings mature relatively fast and require just a while under nursery conditions. Transplant newly sprouted mangoes to 1-gallon nursery pots full of standard potting soil and grow them under bright, sheltered conditions until their foliage turns from bronzy-red to green. They can be planted in a sunny, fast-draining garden bed or in a permanent pot as soon as they hit two feet in height. As tropical trees, mangoes will only grow outdoors within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10b to 11. Outside their preferred variety, they may be grown as potted trees in a greenhouse or well-lighted room indoors.

Unique Factors

Although seeds are the easiest means of growing new mango trees in home, there is one significant drawback that has to be considered. Mango trees might not grow true from seed, meaning that their fruit quality and quantity might not resemble their parent tree. However, their glossy, evergreen foliage and umbrellalike growth habit aren’t altered by seed propagation, which makes seed-grown specimens worthy of use in ornamental cultivation.

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