Sunday, April 18, 2010

How to Grow a Mango from Seed: What Works, What Doesn't

Over the past three months, I've experimented with about a dozen or so mango seeds.   I've pretty much tried every mango seed germination technique that I've read about in other sites.  I won't tell you what's right or wrong, but I'll tell you what worked for me and what didn't.
  • Germination Technique # 1: Dig a hole.  Put your basic mango seed in.  Wait.   There was neither seed drying nor fibrous husk removal.  Initially I thought it didn't work.  I put in about 5-6 seeds (Carabao and Indian mango) in a big pot. Water it once in a while.  Guess what?  In about a month, to my surprise they all started sprouting.  So I had to transplant.  It's not very elegant, but it works apparently. 
  • Germination Technique # 2: Dry the seeds. Put it in a zip locked bag with water and a paper towel. Leave it out in the sun.   After three weeks, nothing happened.  Useless seeds.  Tsk.
  • Germination Technique # 3: Remove the seeds from the fibrous husk.  Put it in a zip locked bag with water and a paper towel. Leave it out in the sun.   After three weeks, all the seeds have roots.  The longer you leave it out, the better the chances of seed survival
And that's it!  Try all of it out just for fun and see what works for you. 

Here are pictures of my best looking mango plants. The first one was courtesy of technique #1;  the second one was from technique #3. 

Once you're in the plant growing stage, do make sure you apply a regular amount of organic nitrogen fertilizer or just use diluted urine and water your plant regularly.

And if you have time, just do a mango search in the this blog and read my various mango planting chronicles.


  1. You have done a lot of experimentation on germinating mangoes. I like tha fact that you listed yout three different processes. Both #1 and #3 are okay...I can tell you why #2 failed: Mango seeds should never be dried if you want them to germinate. The embryo die when you dry or freeze them.
    Keep experimenting!

  2. Hello there! No, I did not know that. All the while I thought they should be dried. I see that advice in a lot of blogs.

  3. Anonymous9:22 AM

    Nice... I am on my first Mango seed. I had no idea what was in the husk but it was opening when I first cut up my mango so I decided to take a peek. To my surprise the seed was already green and looked like it was going to start growing... no roots, so I don't even know which end is up. I have mine in a glass jar in some water in the green house. Hope it works out!! Good luck to ya and thanks for the advice!!! Much needed. :)

  4. I planted my seed streight in the ground where I wanted it to grow, in less than two weeks it spouted and is still growing nicely. Cant wait for the fruits.

  5. Anonymous7:35 PM

    May I please use your pictures for a project? :) I'll credit you.

  6. Shena9:09 AM

    Here's a method that works very well for me: Get the seed as clean as you can - scrub the hairy shell or - as silly as it sounds - shave it! Then I stick it in a solo cup, fill it about 2/3 up with water and put it in a dark warm spot. Usually the root appears first and a week or so later the sprout pops out. At that point I plant the seedling in a pot and move it to a bright but not sunny spot, gradually moving it to full sun. Mangoes are beautiful plants and so far I've had good success growing them in pots and moving them indoors in the winter. Even if I never get actual fruit, I still love the trees! Good luck!


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