The Germination of Mango Seeds

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The Germination of Mango Seeds
Ripe, fresh mangos are best for seed harvesting. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Mango trees are semi-evergreen specimens that produce sprays of flowers during dry seasons. Each spray produces a few fruits; each fruit is large, edible and sweet when fully ripe. There is a single seed encased in each fruit, and the germination of this seed depends on the type of mango that produced it.

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Monoembryonic

When a mango seed is monoembryonic, it produces only one embryo, or one sprout. This sprout arises from pollination, and the mango tree that grows from this seed may or may not resemble the parent plant. Most monoembryonic mangos are known commonly as Indian mangoes. These trees almost never are propagated by germinating the seed, since the results are so unpredictable. Instead, they are propagated by grafting a branch from the mother tree onto favourable root stock.

Polyembryonic

Polyembryonic mango seeds will produce one or more sprouts that genetically are identical to the mother tree in addition to an embryo with crossed genetics from pollination. These often are called Hawaiian mango trees and can be propagated by seed germination as opposed to grafting.

Methods

Germinate mango seeds either in their final growing place, or in a container that effectively blocks the taproot, which in turn promotes successful transplanting. Plant the seed from a fresh, soft-ripe mango to ensure its viability since mango seeds have a very short shelf life. Place the seed with the convex side emerging 1/4 inch above the soil surface instead of burying it completely buried in the ground. Remove the outer husk (the part that comes into direct contact with the edible flesh of the mango fruit) to prevent crowding and ease germination.

Considerations

The seed can take two to three weeks to germinate, depending on the weather; colder temperatures delay germination. The ideal temperature for germination and growth is 23.9 to 29.4 degrees Celsius. Divide germinated sprouts from a polyembryonic seed to prevent crowding, since one sprout eventually will crowd out and dominate all the others if they are left together.

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