There’s more to a luscious mango than meets the eye. After you bite down to the husk, there’s a wealth of growth just waiting to happen inside the seed, but it requires a little effort on your part to get the seed ready for planting. Although mango trees grow best outdoors in warm, tropical environments, they can still be grown indoors if you have a large, sunny area to nurture it and let it grow tall. Learn here how to prepare your seed and grow a mango tree indoors so you can have home-grown mangoes all year long.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Dull knife
- Small flower pot
- Large plant container
- Good-quality potting soil
- Watering can or mister
Buy a ripe mango and eat it until you get to the centre husk. Remove any excess fruit from around the husk. Let the husk dry out in a cool place for a couple of days.
Work through the husk with a dull knife until you get to the seed, which will look a bit like an over-size lima bean. It’ll take some effort to pry open the husk to get to the seed, but when you get there, remove the seed and place it on a paper towel to dry.
Scrub your mango seed with a stiff toothbrush to encourage softening of its hard outer layer. Drop the seed into a glass of warm water for two weeks to allow it to sprout. Change the water every other day to keep it clean. After the seed sprouts, you are ready to plant it.
Use a small flower pot that has adequate drainage. Add to the pot good-quality potting soil, and soak the soil with warm water using a mister or a small watering can. Insert the mango seed in the soil with its eye pointing up (interestingly, the eye of the mango seed is lighter in colour than the rest of the seed). Add about 1/2 inch to 1 inch of potting soil. Cover your pot with a plastic bag, and place it in a warm, dark area.
Water your mango tree seed regularly with lukewarm water every few days when the soil becomes dry. When the seedling eventually pokes through the soil, remove the plastic covering from the pot and set the pot in a sunny spot. Mango trees need full sun when they begin to grow, so choosing the right location for growing your mango tree indoors is very important. Transplant your mango seedling to a larger pot when the roots start growing out of the bottom of its original pot.
Tips and warnings
- A mango tree likes to be kept moist but not overly soggy.
- A mango tree prefers to remain dry during the winter months.
- A mango tree can grow 45-100 feet tall, so you may want to transplant it outside once it gets too large for your indoor space, but only if you live in a warm climate.
- A mango tree, because of its large roots, needs a very large container and plenty of room to grow.
- A mango tree that is cloned or grafted and grown outdoors in warm, tropical climates produces better-tasting fruit than a tree grown indoors from seed.
- A mango tree grown from seed will take about five to eight years to grow to maturity and bear fruit.
- A mango tree does not grow well in cold climates, so it should not be planted outside.
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