Introduction: How to Grow a Mango Tree

Picture of How to Grow a Mango Tree

Mangos, especially here in North Carolina, are very expensive (about $1.50 each) and are not usually good. So I decided to grow one. I looked up how to grow one from seed, but I never found a clear description of how you would. So I improvised and tried my own way. Although the success rate is about 20%, it is very easy and I do have two tiny mango trees.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

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All you need to grow a mango is: •A mango •Paper towels •A plastic bag •A pot with soil You will not need the pot or soil for a couple of weeks.

Step 2: Get the Seed

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Eat the mango any way you like but save the pit. Once you have gotten the pit out of the mango, clean it off first by eating the rest of the "meat" and the scrubbing it under a faucet. After you have dried the pit, pull out the little hairs on the side. Keep on pulling until they rip off. After lots of pulling, you will have a hole that you should use to open the shell with. After you have it open, pull out the seed. It might look a little ugly. The seed sizes can range from the size of a quarter to the size of your palm.

Step 3: Germinate the Seed

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Once you have the seed out of the pit, wet a paper towel. Put the seed on one half of the paper towel and fold the rest on top of it. If you have more than one put them side by side. I would not recommend more than two per bag. Then, put the paper towel with seeds inside the plastic bag and blow up the bag. Then set the bag near a window.

Step 4: Plant the Seedling

Picture of Plant the Seedling

Wait for the seed to sprout, which may take a couple weeks. Be warned: the paper towel may look disgusting. If you planted one and the bag is moldy, throw it out. If you planted two and the whole thing is moldy, throw it out; but if you planted two and only half is moldy, don't throw it out. After it has sprouted, take it out of the bag and plant it in good soil. Be careful not to disturb the roots. Be sure to give it full sunlight and lots of water.


Mauibuck (author)2013-06-10

WARNING, mangos do NOT grow true to seed. You have no idea what the fruit will be like till the tree is 7-10 years old. It is better to graft a branch from a tree that produces mangos you really like when your seedling is about 1/4 inch thick at about 10 inches above the ground. Mangos produce very well in hot dry areas, better than in wet areas. The best mangos in Hawaii come from the hot dry areas. I have 3 great trees, a new experimental one and cut down a 25 year old producer of poor fruit.

Pheline (author)Mauibuck2016-01-22

Apparently some varieties do, according to the gist of which is to avoid the monoembryonic varieties, the type that comes from India. I see "Manila" quite a bit, a variety from the Philippines that is polyembryonic but only has a 20% success rate.

RexGilangPN (author)2017-03-07

how long does it take for the seed to be like the first picture on step 4? I've kept mine for around 2 weeks, no sprout yet, only root. And the root is basically stuck inside the paper towel, so if I force to open it, the root might break. And also, what is the sign of the seed being moldy?

nihonhime (author)2013-06-10

I actually had a mango tree years ago that lasted 4 years but I think I needed better soil because it eventually died off. I have tried with the method you suggest but it goes moldy and rancid everytime. Will it germinate if you just stick the seed in soil? or is there a reason for the germinating in a baggie? Maybe its the climate here (Western Canada close to the US border) but unless seeds sprout in under a week the black mold gets them :(

mr.m19 (author)nihonhime2016-10-04

What you want to do is you a mix between water and hydrogen peroxide to kill off bad entities

SundayM (author)2016-04-21

I live in california

SundayM (author)2016-04-21

I live in california

SundayM (author)2016-04-21

How do get rid of the little black flys that crawl over the soil of a mango tree?

zalalou made it! (author)2015-09-17

This is the first of three mango trees we tried. They will strictly be indoor plants here. The only thing I did differently was change the paper towel before it started to get moldy.

sanchitsharma420 (author)2015-07-01

Great to know about growing mango tree from seed. But I read on that it takes a lot of time to mature and produce fruits.

Now I am confused that should I grow it from seed or buy from nursery.

OttG (author)2015-05-20

dana-dxb (author)2015-01-02

Thats great i soo wonted to grow my own mango
Thanx a bunch

lmirage (author)2014-09-21

I've just sprouted some seeds. Should I take them outdoors? One of the seedlings (about 3 weeks old) is starting to look pathetic (it was growing rigorously when it first sprouted.

jeorfevre made it! (author)2014-08-16

Thanks loved it!

Silence (author)2013-06-09

Mango trees can get 30-100 feet tall... Its not an indoor plant. So much for that Idea, I live in an apartment in Canada :P

vampire lord (author)Silence2014-04-04

i think that if u keep the tree pruned well that it might say low and still might produce fruit, that's what i'm hoping on because i have the same problem, i live in the cold of Canada.

rcollard (author)Silence2013-06-17

I don't know if it works the same way with Mango trees but often large fruit bearings trees are stunted to grow indoors simply by keeping them in a pot. It restricts the root growth and thus keeps the plant small, however it should still produce fruit after a couple of years. I have seen this done with citrus trees quite often although other types of fruit bearing trees are much less common to see as indoor plants.

Back-2-Basics (author)2013-12-13

And yes there are varieties called "condo mangos" I had a Julie that was only about 4' tall and had three fruit on it at time of sale.

Back-2-Basics (author)2013-12-13

Anyone trying to grow these in non-tropical conditions need to remember to plant in containers , tip regularly to keep it smaller and bring inside when temperatures go below freezing. I've heard of people as far up as North Carolina being able to harvest a few mangoes of here own, so it is possible with proper attention. Just be patient some trees can take years to become mature, and that's down here in south Florida where growing seasons are longer.

T3h_Muffinator (author)2013-06-15

Growing mangoes is so much fun! I'm glad you posted this instructable.

I live in boston and started growing my first mango tree this winter, just after that huge blizzard!

sridhara (author)2013-06-11

The seed need not be taken out from its shell .A simpler way would be to directly place it in an earth filled plastic flower pot or even a plastic bag with soil filled in . Place the seed with shell vertically with narrower part facing down . Keep watering for a couple of weeks till the seed germinates into a small plant .The plant can be transplanted after it grows to a height of a foot. If you have large open ground space even the shell thrown out after eating the mango would bring in a mango plant after it rains ...
Sridharrao Uppala

Trash2829 (author)2013-06-10

Not true, I live in Phoenix, Just stuck the pit in the ground and watered it daily. The tree is now about four feet tall. No fruit yet, I'm trying to decide weather to graft onto it or just take a chance. Don't know what the odds are of getting anything eatible w/o grafting.

mokee (author)2013-06-09

I tried this several times, I can always get them to sprout, but when I plant them in the soli, they grow a short time and then die. I think the climate must be wrong here for them to grow well.

sukkeggs (author)2013-06-09

Here in Queensland (Aus) mango trees are like weeds.

jamesvs400a (author)2013-06-09

i'm growing two mango tree seedlings! i skipped the bag step though and got 2 out of 3 germinated. the third sent down a root but never sent up growth. they are inside for the winter by a window where they get sun all day. :)

throbscottle (author)2013-06-09

I once had a mango where the seed had started to sprout, so I planted it in some soil. Didn't grow though. I will try this - maybe have more luck :)

gacuna2 (author)2013-06-09

my husband plants the pit (after letting it dry for a couple of days)...just makes a hole in the pot of soil, plants the pit, covers it with soil and waters it. Then when the leaves start breaking through the soil, he waters it every 3rd day. Our tree is now in its 2nd year of growth and is starting to thicken up the trunk. Looking forward to fresh another year or two.

CopterRichie (author)2013-06-09

Awesome and Thank you very much for sharing. I heard that Mango Trees will only grown in very humid environments but we will soon put that to the test.

Monty^ (author)2013-06-09

This brings back memories.

I've done this a few times, but being in Zone-5 means it needs to stay in a pot as a house plant and I've never been able to keep it alive for longer than 2-3 years. Think I'll try again!

ericCycles (author)2013-06-09

A few thoughts on starting a mango from seed, as I did so about 8 years ago.

Like most fruit trees, your mango grown from seed won't be productive for at least eight years unless you graft on it, which of course suggests you can find somebody with a mature mango tree to supply an appropriate twig. It will be somewhat large by then because you won't be grafting onto dwarf root stock (as I understand things, the root stock determines the size of the tree).

After giving up with my own seedlings, I ordered some from in Florida. They have a good selection of "Condo" mangoes ($50 apiece plus shipping), dwarfs that live in a pot. As Mangoes die if the temps go below freezing, I brought them inside where it never got below 60F. They still failed to thrive and died, one leaf at a time.

My recommendation would be to skip mangoes, and do pomegranates. They don't take as long from seed, deciduous so they can handle lower temps.

Someday, hopefully somebody will genetically engineer squashes that produce fruit like mangoes and papayas so you could get fruit in a single season. Just have to wait for tech to catch up.

dwahoo (author)2013-06-09

I've sprouted and grown avocados, mangoes, naisberries, and mamey zapote (zapodilla) from seeds after eating the fruit. I have never removed the husk as you demonstrated, but it makes sense and looks to be more successful. Also, blowing up the plastic bag increases the carbon dioxide and greenhouse effect. I wasn't sure about whether to have them shaded or not until they sprout, so I've always placed them near an electronic device that is constantly warm such as a CATV or DVR box. I keep them in my sunroom for decorative purposes and the zapote has grown into a beautiful small tree about 9 feet tall with the avocado and mangos about 6 - 7 feed tall. However, in this Georgia climate, I don't think transplanting them outside would be successful especially in bearing fruit since they are all tropical.....and the zapote will grow to about 80 feet tall in an unrestricted native environment.

danielcervantesph (author)2013-06-09

see page 11

thatcactusgirl (author)2013-06-06

Im not too familiar with grafting. Could you post an instructable on how to?

The End of A Heartache (author)2013-06-05

I live in south miami in the redland area, I grow mango down here along with plum figs and avocado trees. There are several species of mango. The angie are hardest to graph but pair well excel or with common and it grows short but bare lots and lots of fruit by the 4th or 5th year after a 3 year growth. We use 12-6-12 a mixture soil that is tropical and know very well to boost production of the fruit I think this is a good idea for anyone who wants to grow there own but keep in mind to grow good size (over fist) and very tender sweet and less fibrous mango find variety fruit and after a year of fruit grown graph and plastic wrap the joined area to produce hybrid mango :) I am pleased with this year harvest of mango 4 tree over produce but as I always say what nature provide we take and leave the rest back to where it came from/

thatcactusgirl (author)2013-06-04

No, just keep the bag closed but do not add water. But yes, you could use a lamp instead of sunlight.

Horef (author)2013-06-04

should i keep watering the plastic bag? also, could i use a lamp insted of sunlight? we dont get it that much lately :) thanks!

The Manchanic (author)2013-06-03

WOW, I feel stupid, I've repeatedly planted the entire pit thinking it was a part of the seed....gunna try this the right way now :P

cupcake lover (author)2013-06-03

OMG! If u knew me u would know I LOVE MANGOES!!!!!! So awesome

tbonilla1 (author)2013-06-03

Saw this post, and that song about a mango tree from "Dr. No" won't leave my head!

jessyratfink (author)2013-06-03

I want to try this! I've got a lemon tree I started from seed and I think he needs a friend. :D

About This Instructable




Bio: My name's Alexis, I'm just a girl who likes to mess around with things.
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