Gardening From the Grocery Store - MANGOS




Introduction: Gardening From the Grocery Store - MANGOS

About: I was born in the Chicago, Illinois and spent my formative years in a small community known as Wonder Lake. I moved to Greers Ferry. Arkansas while I was in high school. I joined the Navy as a Photographer a...

I have never tried to grow mangos before but after seeing the Gardening Contest Instructable I thought I would give it a try.

I did a quick check on Instructables and youtube and came up with the basics for this project.

I live in San Diego, CA so it is usually pretty easy to find almost anything you want at one of many local specialty and farm-fresh produce markets.

Step 1: Know Your Target and Grab Your Weapon

I started on May 2nd  with a ripe Green Mango for $.79.

I also found Yellow Mangos on the 7th at 2 for a dollar and thought I would try them as well. A softer and smaller mango (also called Manila Mango).

If you have never eating a mango it can be a little hard to figure out what to do with it. A ripe Green Mango (the type of mango, not referring to the color) should just be slightly soft, not squishy. If it is still rock hard just leave it on a counter for a day or two.

If you look at your mango you should be able to feel or see a left and right side, almost like there is a keel at the bottom.

Make a cut and slice off each side of the fruit. There is a large flat pit in the center and you are trying to slice right next to that to get the most amount of fruit off.

Step 2: Your Fruity Reward

You can scoop the fruit off of the skin with a spoon but I like cutting a crisscross pattern on the flesh side, cut to the skin but not through it and then POP the side and enjoy.

Step 3: And We Have SEED!

As for the pit, I remove the strip of peel and I munch on the mango flesh until I get to the pit. I take the back of a butter knife and scrape of the pulp to make the pit easier to hold.

Work around the pit and you will find a place that you can pry open the pit. Online says that it is like shucking and oyster but I haven't done that so I will take their work for it. 

You want to take a little care in this and try not to damage the seed inside.

Step 4: Getting the Seeds Ready and Planting

I found out that there are a couple of sprouting methods.

One method is to wrap the seed in a damp paper towel and then place it in a zipper type plastic bag and check it every few days for root growth.

Another method is to put the seed in water and wait for it to sprout.

Since I can’t seem to follow instructions to well I kind of took what I read and did my own thing.

I wrapped the green mango seed in damp paper towel and put it in the plastic bag. For the yellow mango seed I put one start into dirt and the other seed went into water for a couple of days.

On May 9th I saw the start of a root on the green mango and the yellow mango had a little swelling at one end.

I put the green mango seed flat on the dirt with the root pointing down. I put the yellow mango seed in the dirt vertically.

Step 5:

On the May 18th I saw the start of a shoot on the green mango seed, it almost looked like a worm crawling out of the seed.

I didn’t see any growth on the yellow mango seed bit it did turn a lot greener. I pulled the seed from them the dirt and noticed one large root and one smaller root.  I replaced it in the dirt and waited.

The green mango shoot has continued to put on growth and is trying to form leaves.

The yellow mango is showing signs of putting out a shoot on may 24th.

Step 6:

I also have an update on the yellow mango seed that went straight into the dirt without any moist paper towel or soaking in water.

The seed is sending out a root and is splitting across the top. I can see a tiny little shoot forming.

I DO NOT recommend pulling seeds or seedlings out of the ground to see how they are growing. I only did that for this project so I can document what is growing and what is happening.

Step 7: Wrap Up!

What did I learn making this Instructable?

Start with a ripe mango
Eat and enjoy the fruit
Remove the seed from the pit and either put in it a moist paper towel or soak it in water for a couple of days
plant it (seed on its side or vertical - I don't think it really matters.)

It actually sprouts pretty quickly and now I am just waiting for it to GROW!

Mangos are on sale this week, 2 green for a buck and 3 yellow for a buck… these seeds are going to be going into a pot in the garden and I will let them fend for themselves.

Happy gardening and who knows what my next trip to the produce section will reveal.

Step 8: Mango Update

I ended up with about 9 mangos at various stages of growth. I have 4 green mango and 5 yellow or manila mangos.

The green mango seeds are much larger and seems to be giving my the most growth/

Of the 9 seeds I have above grown growth (stems and leaves forming) on 4 of them, 3 green and 1 yellow, and the other five has some degree of root growth.

I can only attribute my success to soaking the seeds for a few days in water before putting then in soil. Since I live in zine 10 to 11 I did put a seed directly in the ground to see if that will have any difference, At this time I am only detecting root growth. I know I am only talking about 9 seeds but I am 9 for 9. I like those odds.

For the first few days after the leaves come out the leaves look very droopy but after that they have gotten a rich deep green and seem to be getting ready to take off.

Happy gardening and enjoy growing something.

Step 9: MANGO UPDATE -- Almost One Year Later

I thought I would update my Mango instructable with some new photos.

These three are the same plants as the last step. I sprouted them and then planted them in a pot outside. They overwintered outside. I should tell you that I am still in San Diego, CA so that isn't a real issue but I didn't give them any special care or love. I just watered them along with everything else thatI am growing outside.

I recently repotted them in a larger pot and moved them from 4 to 6 hours of sun per day to more like 6 to 8 hours of sun.

The largest tree/plant measure just a little over 21 inches and has lots of new leaves coming out. I also have a bit of branching near the base of one. I decided to do a little pruning and removed a couple of those new branches.

I believe the two large plants are the green mango type and the small plant is the Yellow type. The leaves are very fragrant.

I have one plant that is growing in the house and it has plenty of leaves but is very slow to add height. I may be time to move that one outside as well.

I currently and down to only 4 mango plants -- the others have either gone on to new homes or been lost to neglect. out of sight, out of mind on my side yard.



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    20 Discussions

    put them into a soda bottle greenhouse the haden seems to have died but the manillas overcame the mold and one is now 1 1/2 feet tall! they seem to like maxsea fertilizer!

    A few months ago I read this ible and i tried it and sure enough I have a mango seedling. One thing that I noticed while growing the seed was that mold started growing on the pit, so I tried mixing a pinch of sulfur into the water because I heard that it could stop fungus from growing. The mold slowed but is beginning to speed up growth again. I hope that the tree can detach from the seed and produce some thin bark to protect itself from the mango loving virus! (I love mango too!) Another weird thing that happened to me was that the manila mango grew A LOT faster than the haden mango that I started weeks earlier.

    1 reply

    You can move it into a pot with dirt and that may help with the mold issue. Currently I have four seedling/ trees growing. My largest is a bout 14 to 16 inches and has a lot of leaves. I have trimmed up the lower half of the stem to make it easier to water. I think I am going to move them into larger pots very soon. Good lunch with you trees!

    Mangoes can take a while to grow, next thing you can do is find a mature tree and try your hand at grafting. This can lesson the time it will take for your tree to produce fruit, and your guaranteed to have the same characteristics as the mother tree.

    I wanted to ask if this project would become a tree or something that you can harvest in a year?

    1 reply

    I would think that any fruit would take at least a few years. Right now I have around 8 or 9 plants and the largest is about 9 inches tall. I think if I can keep them growing I would be surprised to get something before 5 years.

    Thanks for the comment. I think that the best point I learned doin this is to let the seed soak in water for a couple of days. I have been putting them into a medium size pot with good quality potting soil. Keep it watered but not soaking. Good luck!

    Nifty. I love mangos and have tried to grow them a few times with no luck. I will try again though now that I see real sprouts!

    I am told that they do not like frost. If you are in a growing area that doesn't get frost you should not have a problem. You could try growing it in a large pot that can be brought inside. I would try growing one, it is just a matter of time and effort, the cost is really nothing if you already eat mangos.

    Happy growing.

    I maintain Adam could resist an apple but not a good mango! Will trees produce in SC, near NC or am I too far north?

    Thanks, I will look that up.
    I've got an instructable in the gardening contest about my avocado. About twelve years old and loaded with avocado right now. First time it produced a couple of fruit was at about 7 years old (growing in a half barrel at the time)
    I grew up with growing oranges, apples and what not in our indoor window box. Oranges and lemons are easy, most limes I see are pretty much seedless so just need to find a seed or pip.
    I also started reading Mother Earth News back in college ('76) and still do. It's a good source of inspiration.
    Thanks again for an enjoyable comment!

    Hey all, I have started doing a little of this too after hearing many years ago about a book from the 70's (my era) named "After Dinner Gardening". Look it up on line, you may find something on it. I have been doing this too with avocados. Have a six foot plant that like growing indoors more than outside here. Because both of these normally grow in more tropical environments it is likely they may not receive long enough sun/photo period to produce flower and fruit. I grew up in WV, now living in NC and in the mountains of both States, there is the relative plant/tree "paw paw" that grows naturally; I've eaten many times as a kid; appalachian folks call it "hillbilly banana" as when truly ripe, about first frost time, it tastes like banana. Enjoyed many as a kid, break peeling and squeeze and suck out flesh. Tons of seeds in these, about the size of a quarter. I'd be interested in any attempts at growing citrus seeds (lemon, lime, etc).

    Just be careful. I started this at the beginning of the month and I know have 7 or 8 seeds trying to sprout. It can be addictive. Glad that Craigslist is around, I can always find new homes for them as needed.

    Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!

    Awesome Instructable. Thank you for being the Mad Scientist and unlocking some mango mysteries. I'm trying this with my next mango.

    To be honest... I don't know. I do not see a reason why they should not. As with ant long term project to have to set reasonable goals.

    My first goal was to see if I could sprout a seed (ACCOMPLISHED)

    My second goal is growing a tree (in progress)

    My final goal is producing fruit ( to be determined)

    If my only goal was to produce fruit I would have purchased a tree from a grower/nursery.

    All the steps along the way are what give me pleasure. That's why I do it!

    Thanks for the comment.

    I just find it amazing at the drive to survive that some plants and seeds have. It just gives more credit to that warning about swallowing watermelon seeds!

    I had a weird one happen to me, a coupple of years ago. I bought 3 mangos, ate two and forgot I had the other one in the refrigerator, about a month later I found it in the fridge with a 4" green sprout coming out of one end, I threw it away thinking it wouldn't survive, wish I had hung on to it just to see if it would have. I could have had a nice mango tree by now.

    This is a case of the journey being more important than the destination. Mango right now are fifty cents a piece. I also understand that when mangos ripen it it the whole tree at once. I think I'll be happy with the tree and count any fruit as a happy bonus.


    So how long till we see bushels of fruit!?

    (grafting seems to be a much better option)