Mangoes are a wonderfully simple plant to grow and very easy to get a seed. The next time you purchase a mango at the grocery store, save the pod, remove the seed and plant it. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide on how to grow a mango tree using a store-bought mango.
How To Grow A Mango Tree: Planting And Caring For A Mango Tree
You can plant mango trees in zones where the temperature does not usually dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if you live in a tropical to sub-tropical climate, take these tips for mango tree care, and you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor in just a few short years.
Mango tree planting should occur in autumn or early spring.
The soil should be nutrient-rich, well-draining, and acidic (pH 5.5 to 6). Those living in warmer zones may wish to replant the mango into a container that you can move inside or underground during cold months. This keeps the plant healthy and ensures that you will see fresh fruit.
Mango trees require full sun and ample airflow.
The best thing about growing a mango tree is the sheer size it may achieve; up to 60 feet (18 meters) in height! The average is around 30 feet (9 m). If you live in zones 8 through 11, your tree will require winter protection. You can achieve this by mulching the tree well and collecting any fallen leaves to place back over the root zone.
How to Plant a Mango Tree from a Store-Bought Mango
Once you’ve eaten your mango, you’re left with a rather large pod that looks like this:
Remove as much of the Mango flesh as you can from the seed pit. Although many sites state that you need to dry the seed out first, I’ve never been one to have a lot of patience (or time, for that matter). So rather than wait, slip a knife very carefully into the edge of the bearded side of the mango pit, also known as the husk or pod.
Be very careful not to pierce deeply into the pit as you only want to break the seal of the pod, you do NOT want to cut the seed itself.
Using your fingers, slip your thumb in between the pod shell and gently pry it apart, revealing the mango seed nestled safely inside.
Remove the seed from the pod. You may notice a string running from the pod to the seed, this is the seed’s “umbilical cord” if you will. You can remove that.
Plant the seed in well-drained soil about 1/4-inch deep. Some people prefer to germinate the seed first using wet paper towels, but in the past, I’ve noticed this only has a 25% success rate, with mold usually taking over. Instead, place the seed directly into some potting soil, allowing the seed to protrude over the soil, water it well, and then keep it moist, but not soaked.
It will sprout of its own accord within a couple of weeks.
How long before it fruits?
As soon as the trees are three to four years old, they often yield between 10 and 20 fruits (2 to 3 kg) per tree. This increases to about 50-75 fruits (10 to 15 kg) in subsequent years, and to about 500 fruits (100 kg) in its tenth year. A tree in the age group 20-40 years bears 1,000-3,000 fruits (200-600 kg) in an “on” year.
Mango trees can be grafted once the plant is over a foot tall with 1/4″ thick branches if you want multiple plants faster.
They produce well in hot dry areas but be forewarned a mango tree has the ability to grow 30-100 feet tall, so at some point, you’ll need to transplant your baby outside in a warm spot.
You can keep it indoors in a large pot, at least 2 feet deep as mangoes grow taproots, they will still produce fruit even when rootbound, unlike some plants.
Mango Tree Planting
Mango trees are beautiful plants that can thrive in many soil types. However, they are best planted in the late winter or early spring when they are not growing. Be sure to choose a variety best suited for your zone, and give the tree plenty of sun for optimum fruit production.
When planting a mango tree, be sure to dig a deep and wide hole and amend the soil with organic matter. Once the tree is planted, water it regularly and fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer twice a year.
Caring for your Mango Tree
The long taproot needs to be saturated deeply with water. Before watering again, allow the top layer of soil to dry to a depth of several inches. It would be best if you held off on irrigation for two months before flowering and then restart it once the fruit begins to appear.
The tree should be fertilized with nitrogen fertilizer three times per year. Apply 1 pound (.45 kg) per year of tree growth and space the feedings. You should prune the tree when it reaches four years old so that strong branches and a strong scaffold are formed.
Following this, you should only prune to eliminate broken or diseased branches. Use organic pesticides, cultural or biological controls, or horticultural oils to deal with pests and diseases as they appear.
Awesome Mango Recipes
How to Grow a Mango Tree
- Plant Pot
- Potting Soil
- 1 Mango Seed
- Remove as much of the mango flesh from the seed pit as you can.
- Carefully slide a knife into the pit's bearded side.
- Simply slip your thumb between the pod shell and gently pry it apart, revealing the mango seed; Remove the seed from the pod.
- Plant the seed in well-drained soil.
- Water the plant well, but do not soak it, else the seed will rot, rather than germinate.
Equipment & Materials
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