Mangoes are easily one of the most underrated food forest crops. Mangoes taste delicious and pack ample healthy antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. We can also show you how to grow mangoes from seed – even if you don’t live in the subtropics. Sound like a fun project? Here’s how to start.
- How to Easily Grow Mangoes From Seed to Harvest
- Germinating Mango Seeds and Transplanting Outdoors
- Germinating Mango Seeds In 6 Easy Steps
- Step 1. Select a Source Mango – And Eat the Fruit
- Step 2. Clean and Dry the Mango Pit Husk
- Step 3. Remove the Mango Seed From the Dried Pit
- Step 4. Wrap the Mango Seed In a Warm, Wet Towel and Store In a Plastic Bag
- Step 5. Monitor for Green Root Growth
- Step 6. Transplant Your Germinated Mango Seed Into a Pot
- Transplanting Mango Trees Outdoors
- Mango Tree Growing Requirements
- Mango Tree Planting and Growing Schedule
- Choosing the Best Mango Tree Varieties and Cultivars
- Common Problems With Mango Trees
How to Easily Grow Mangoes From Seed to Harvest
Mango trees grow best in warm climates near USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11. Luckily – even if you don’t live in Southern Florida, you can still grow mangoes indoors as a houseplant. You can also grow them on your front porch or balcony in containers.
But no matter where you grow your mango tree, it requires warm temperatures and full sunlight to produce noteworthy fruit. So – stop throwing away your mango seeds. Follow the ensuing tips to germinate them from scratch.
Germinating Mango Seeds and Transplanting Outdoors
Mango seeds are one of the easiest fruits to grow from seed. First, let’s gather our supplies. You’ll need a fresh mango, a clean kitchen knife, a small and sharp pair of scissors, some paper towels, a plastic, sealable baggie, potting soil, and a twelve-inch terracotta pot.
Germinating Mango Seeds In 6 Easy Steps
Here’s our easy 6-step process to germinate and grow mangos from seed.
Step 1. Select a Source Mango – And Eat the Fruit
Before germinating the mango seed, we must remove the tasty mango fruit. Removing the mango flesh is our favorite part. We get to eat the yummy mango! Carefully slice away the fruit with a knife. Or – gently nibble on the fruit until nothing but the seed husk remains.
(Double-check to ensure you start with a polyembryonic mango cultivar. Polyembryonic mangoes produce seedlings identical to the parent plant – as opposed to monoembryonic mango seeds, which can vary from the parent tree.)
Step 2. Clean and Dry the Mango Pit Husk
Mango seeds live inside a hard outer covering called the mango husk or pit. We need to clean the husk. This step is the trickiest part. You may notice that thick chunks of flesh stick to the mango husk. You might have to gently scrub fleshy bits from the pit using a rough sponge or soft scrub brush.
(Mango gardeners also use wool pads to remove the excess mango flesh. But be careful not to scrub too hard here! We don’t want to risk damaging the mango pit – or the seed within. We only want to remove all the excess fruit fibers.)
Step 3. Remove the Mango Seed From the Dried Pit
After your mango pit (husk) is nice and clean, we remove the mango seed waiting within. But first – let the pit dry for 24 hours. This drying period makes removing the seed ten times easier. Once dry, gently pierce a small hole in the husk – and continue slicing or cutting the husk to reveal the mango seed waiting within. With luck – your mango seed will appear white, which indicates a healthy seed.
Some mango cultivars may also produce multiple seeds. If so – then don’t panic. It’s a bonus! Grow more than one if you wish.
Step 4. Wrap the Mango Seed In a Warm, Wet Towel and Store In a Plastic Bag
We can’t let our germinating mango seed dry out. That’s why we wrap a damp paper towel around the seed immediately. (I find using warm water works best.) Then, place the seed in a small sealable bag and store it in a bright, warm location.
(I’ve also had luck germinating seeds by placing the bag atop a warm electronic device – such as a Bluray player, gaming console, or heating pad to help increase the ambient temperature. But a warm, sunny windowsill works best.)
Step 5. Monitor for Green Root Growth
Now, we play the mango seed waiting game. The idea is to watch out for green growth – the mango tap root. Germination can occur anywhere from 48 hours to 21 days! So – stay patient during this step. Before long – you’ll notice the greenish baby mango root growth developing. And – the growth should be substantial enough to witness through the paper towel.
Step 6. Transplant Your Germinated Mango Seed Into a Pot
Gently and carefully remove the germinating mango seed from the plastic bag and paper towel. Place the sprouting seed in your favorite terracotta clay pot – a half-inch below the soil surface. Gently cover the seed with soil. Place your pot in the warmest, sunniest spot in your home. And then give it a deep drink.
Transplanting Mango Trees Outdoors
What happens after your mango seed germinates? You can always keep it as a houseplant. You might also decide to transplant the mango tree outdoors if it gets too big for your living room or kitchen counter. Luckily – mango trees aren’t fussy regarding dirt or site selection – as long as they get plenty of sunlight and a warm climate consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow these easy steps to transplant your mango plant correctly.
Step 1. Choose a Spacious Location With Ample Sunlight
Consider the mango tree’s mature size when choosing a transplant site. Mango trees can easily reach 90 feet tall and 80 feet wide. They’re also tropical plants that love ample sunlight. So – always choose a transplant site with at least six hours of sunlight and plenty of space on all sides.
Step 2. Dig a Hole Slightly Wider Than the Mango Tree’s Root Ball
We want to dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball. That way, we don’t suppress or stifle the mango tree’s developing roots. Once you dig the hole, gently place the entire mango tree into the hole. Pay close attention to the mango tree’s flare root or the first lateral root – because it should stay level with the ground – or slightly above it. Cover the rootball gently with loose soil. (Native garden soil should be sufficient.)
Many mango gardeners transplant their mango trees too deeply. Ensure the flare root sits close to ground level – it’s the best way to gauge the tree’s correct depth.
Step 3. Add a Protective Mulch Layer
Freshly planted mango trees benefit tremendously from a thick mulch layer around their roots. Mulch can include coarse wood chips, aged animal manure, and autumn leaf litter. A fresh mulch layer helps to protect the sensitive baby tree roots from mechanical damage. Mulch also helps to stifle competing weeds – and lock in moisture. We usually mulch our developing fruit trees twice yearly – and add a three-inch layer around the tree’s three-foot perimeter.
Step 4. Water Your Mango Tree Deeply
Your newly transplanted mango tree requires a deep drink. You’ll also want to continue watering your mango tree a few times weekly for the first 24 months. Watering your mango tree becomes less critical after it matures for a few years – but you should always keep the soil moist during prolonged dry spells. (Never let it dry out!)
Mango Tree Growing Requirements
Mango trees aren’t suitable for outdoor growing in all US states. But if you live in California, Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or some Texas regions, you can most likely grow this yummy fruit outdoors. Even if you live in a colder state, many gardeners keep beautiful mango plants indoors all year. No matter where you live – all mango trees require the following conditions.
Mango trees are arguably among the most sun-hungry trees we’ve ever studied. They demand full sunlight for worthy fruit and a bountiful harvest. The more sunlight hours – the better. Also – remember that mango trees can easily reach 90 feet tall. Or higher! So – always choose a transplant site free and clear of any competing buildings, trees, shrubs, or crops that might block sunlight. If cultivating your mango tree indoors, seek a sunny spot, warm spot, or sunny location.
Mango trees developed in the tropics and subtropic lowlands. For that reason – mango trees hate frost and cold weather more than anything. They want a tropical climate. Mango trees thrive best with temperatures between 75.2 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mango tree twigs and leaves cannot reliably sustain temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit – and fruiting begins failing at below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. And, unlike avocado trees, which vary in their cold tolerance, all mango tree cultivars universally despise the cold.
Related – How To Grow Lemon Trees From Seed
Mango trees can thrive in various garden soils – sandy, clay, or loam. Any fresh potting mix or rich soil will usually work fine. But – they prefer well-draining, sandy-loam soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. The main thing to watch for is that your soil never gets waterlogged. (You can always plant your mango tree in an elevated mound to help provide ample drainage.)
Don’t use a nitrogen-heavy mix for mango trees – or other fruit trees. Excess nitrogen may force your mango tree to focus exclusively on leaf production – but we want fruit. Fertilizers with a 10-20-20 or 16-16-16 ratio can work for your mango tree. If you’re curious about how to read fertilizer labels, peruse our guide about choosing the best fertilizer for your garden. It’s a must-read for new gardeners.
Newly transplanted mango trees require frequent waterings – at least a few times per week. Once the mango trees mature, you don’t need to water them unless you experience a drought. During the hot, sweltering heat, a once-weekly watering is adequate.
Most mango fruits are ready to harvest around May to August – usually three months after they flower. Unlike avocadoes, mango fruit can ripen on the tree. However, many gardeners harvest mango fruit while they are still firm. (They can then place the fruit on their kitchen counter or pantry and wait a few days for the mango fruits to ripen.)
Still unsure when to harvest? Look to the mango fruit’s nose and shoulders for the best indication of harvestability. The nose and shoulders are on the opposite side of the mango fruit’s stem – and when they enlarge and widen, they’re ready to harvest.
Mango Tree Planting and Growing Schedule
Here are the critical dates all mango growers should know.
|April is a unique time for mango farmers growing Rosigold mangoes. That’s because Rosigold mangoes are one of the few cultivars that mature in April! Some gardeners swear that Rosigold mangoes are inferior to other, more popular cultivars. But Rosigold reigns supreme in parts of the year when other mangoes aren’t ready to harvest.
|May is likely the best month to transplant your mango tree outdoors. May is usually warm enough to accommodate the warm soil conditions of your baby mango tree. And – it’s also cool enough so it won’t put undue stress on your developing mango plant.
|June is another excellent month to transplant your mango tree outdoors. The warm and gentle weather will offer your baby mango tree ample comfort – while not being too hot. June is also when many older mango trees will begin maturing and readying for harvest. June is a vital month for mango growers!
|Most of your mature mango trees will be ready to harvest by July. You’ll likely enjoy ample fruit from various mango cultivars during this time! It’s okay to transplant your mango tree outdoors in July. But – we would advise planning your transplant in May or June instead. July tends to be tremendously hot – and we don’t want to stress the tree or cause it to get too dry. (Make sure new mango transplants get plenty of water during this hot summer weather.)
|Most of your mango trees will have matured by August. The sun can be tremendously brutal during this late-summer month, so give your mango trees plenty of water – especially during droughts or dry spells.
|Some mango cultivars, like Keitt, Pope, and Rapoza, can flourish and fruit wildly into September – and even October. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. September is also an excellent time of year to lay fresh mulch around your baby transplants.
Always get to know the specific mango cultivar you grow. Mango varieties can vary slightly – especially across different growing zones.
Choosing the Best Mango Tree Varieties and Cultivars
There are hundreds of mango cultivars and mango varieties. And while we haven’t tried them all, we’re fans of each one we’ve tried! But of all mango cultivars, the following three are our favorite.
Nam Dok Mai Mangoes
Nam Dok Mai is a yummy mango cultivar from Thailand. It’s a smaller variety, perfect as an indoor mango tree. You’ll notice the fruits also have a uniquely elongated shape. We should note that indoor Nam Dok Mai mango trees might not produce edible fruit. But – they’re still lovely houseplants that will brighten nearly any kitchen, living room, or home office.
- Tree Size: Up to 20 feet tall.
- Maturity Month: June to July
- Fruit Weight: 12 to 14 ounces
- USDA Zone: 9 to 11
- Fruit Appearance: Slender, elongated fruits with prominent beaks.
Tommy Atkins Mangoes
Tommy Atkins mangoes are most famous for their long shelf-life. Many mango growers will tell you that Tommy Atkins mangoes aren’t as delicious, sweet, or tasty as Carabao, Alphonso, Kent, or Dasheri mangoes. But they’re prominent in regions that cannot grow mangoes – and must import them. (Tommy Atkins mangoes have a reputation for storing well and tolerating abuse more than other cultivars – making them ideal for transportation.)
- Tree Size: Up to 25 feet tall.
- Maturity Month: June to July
- Fruit Weight: 18 to 22 ounces
- USDA Zone: 9 to 11
- Fruit Appearance: Broad oval shape with dark bluish tint on their skin.
Rosigold mangoes are tiny, compact mango trees. They are perfect as an indoor plant. Rosigold mangoes are also famous for having a unique maturity range – from May to April. Many mango growers swear that Rosigold isn’t as delicious as other cultivars. But their size and maturity dates make them one of our favorites.
- Tree Size: Around eight feet tall.
- Maturity Month: May to April
- Fruit Weight: Around ten ounces.
- USDA Zone: 9 to 11
- Fruit Appearance: An oblong mango fruit that turns yellow upon ripening.
Common Problems With Mango Trees
Mango trees are usually easygoing plants that grow fine as long as they have well-drained garden soil with plenty of warm sunlight. But – there are a few mango-growing issues you might encounter. They are as follows.
Anthracnose is a devastating disease that can wreak havoc upon your mango trees and crops! It’s most prevalent when mango tree flowering occurs around the same time as prolonged, wet weather.
Anthracnose fungal spores attack mango fruits, flowers, sticks, twigs, and leaves. It can even hit your mangoes when they ripen in your kitchen pantry!
Symptoms include black leaf spots, blossom blight, rotting mangoes, or stained fruit.
Luckily – it appears copper fungicide sprays are an effective deterrent to anthracnose. Spray your mango tree when infection occurs to help prevent damaged fruit.
Splitting Mango Fruit
Split fruits are one of the most annoying things that can happen to mango growers. Your mango fruit might split during extreme temperatures, tremendously wet weather, or unusually high humidity.
(We’ve also read that overly dry weather can cause your mango fruit to split. So – when the climate swings out of control in either direction, it can hurt your mango harvest.)
Mango Tree Pests
Various insects feast and snack upon your mango fruit. We can’t blame them. The aroma is too good to pass up. That said, look out for the following pests on your mango trees.
- Fruit flies
- Inflorescence midge
- Mango hoppers
- Mango mealybugs
- Mango nut weevil
- Mango tree borers
- Mango scales
- Mango spider mites
- Shoot gall psyllid
Management for insect mango pests often involves proactively burning and discarding fallen fruit, leaves, and twigs. The idea is to stifle the habitat and reproduction of pests. Emulsive oils and pesticides can also help during extreme cases. Always follow the instructions of any pesticide you use – and try to use organic pest management methods when possible!
Thank you for reading our guide about how to grow mango seedlings from seed to harvest.
We wrote this guide for mango lovers who want to increase their success rate when cultivating this delicious fruit.
Luckily – mango seeds are relatively easy to grow. But we confess it’s way easier if you live in Southern California, Hawaii, Florida, or any other region with a hot, humid climate.
What about you?
- Have you ever had fresh, homegrown mango fruit?
- Do you grow your mango trees outdoors? Or as an indoor potted plant?
- Do you harvest ripe mango from the tree? Or do you pick them while still firm?
- If you live in a colder growing zone, do you bring your potted mango trees outdoors in the spring and summer?
- How does your mango tree react to the winter months?
- Do you have any tips for mango gardeners living in somewhat cold climates?
We hope to hear your feedback!
Mangoes are likely our favorite tropical fruit – and we love hearing from like-minded gardeners.
Thanks again for reading.
Have a great day!
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Growing Mango Tree From Seed – Resources, References, and Works Cited
- Guam University | Western Pacific Tropical Research Center | Mango Production Guide for Guam
- UC Davis | WIFSS | Mangos | Presented by the FDA
- University of Florida | IFAS Extension | Common Questions Concerning Mango Trees
- Mango Diseases, Pests, Uses, and Propagation | PennState PlantVillage
- Fruit and Nut Resources | Texas A&M | AgriLife Extension
- Mango | Mango General Crop Information | Knowledge Master
- Hawaiian Mango Varieties Origin and Classification | University of Hawaii at Manoa
- Mangoes Growing In the Florida Home Landscape | University of Florida IFAS Extension
- Mango Anthracnose | the University of Hawaii at Manoa | Coop Extension Service
- Mango Anthracnose and Its Management | University of Florida | St. Lucie County Extension
- Cracking of Mango Fruits | PlantVillage | PennState
- Psyllid Pests of Horticultural and Forage Crops | University of Agricultural Sciences, India