How to Plant a Mango Seed: 7 Step Method Grows Juicy Mangos Every Time

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | March 11, 2024

Woman holding a glass of mango juice and thinking about a mango seed wonders how to grow mango tree from seed and if there is a complete guide for how to plant a mango seed to grow a mango tree.

Have you ever wondered how to grow Mango tree from seed that you remove when eating mangoes?

You may not realize it, but many Mango tree species can live a very long time (over 100 years), producing fruit about every 2 years or generating a beautiful harvest every year.1

But, there are a few things to consider before preparing the ground. Gardeners should understand that when learning how to plant a mango seed there are specific conditions required.

This complete guide outlines how to grow Mango tree from seed, so that your fruits are juicy and delicious.

How To Grow Mango Tree From Seed: 8-Step Method

How to grow Mango tree from seed is not a complicated process, but following these steps will not only increase the yield but also ensure that your Mango tree stays healthy and productive during its life.

A graphic that shows the 7 steps on how to grow a Mango Tree which is cleaning the mango seed, cracking it, planting it in a pot, repotting the seedling, and using soil improver.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Choosing Seeds

Choose a mango from the polyembryonic type that has up to 20 actual seeds inside the husk to increase the probability of germinating several seedlings.

A tree grown from a mono-embryonic seed will produce just one seedling which may not germinate successfully and will also take 10 years to bear fruits.

Step 2: Prepare the Seeds

Thoroughly clean the newly extracted seed and allow it to dry out, and use a knife to open the seed.

Store them wrapped in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag in a warm area until the roots and seedlings start to appear.

Step 3: Plant the Seed

Fill a medium-sized planter with quality (slightly acidic) soil that is specific for starting seed growth, and gently insert the seeds with the bulging sides facing upwards.

The seeds should be placed about 1/4 inches from the soil surface.

Step 4: Monitor Growth

Water, maintain a 70°F temperature and within 2 weeks it will start to sprout. Provide full sun for over eight hours.

Make sure that the seedlings aren’t soaking, but that the soil remains moist.

Step 5: Separating Seedlings and Re-Potting

When you use a poly-embryonic seed, you’ll notice a number of seedlings emerge.

These seedlings need to be gently separated and placed in1-inch pots while they develop an individual root system. Then, gently re-pot the seedlings into larger individual containers as the plants grow until they are ready to be put into the ground.

This process can take some time, and it’s advisable to use graduating sizes of containers. Starting with one inch, move up as the roots spread (usually a couple weeks).

Once the seedlings are large enough, you can move them outside.

Make sure that the new location has sandy, loam soil that drains adequately and is bathed in 8-10 hours of sun a day.

You’ll only be able to grow mango trees outdoors in growing zones 9-11.

Step 6: Dwarf Options

If you live in a zone that doesn’t facilitate Mango growth, choose a dwarf variety.

A Dwarf Mango tree that will be just as easy to grow and you will be able to control the height so it stays between 6-15 feet depending on how it is pruned.4

If the sunlight and the temperature inside are insufficient, use a growing lamp to provide both elements and employ a plant food specifically designed for citrus fruits.

Step 7: Care

Whether wintered indoors or grown fully outside in sustaining temperatures, use an organic soil improver in spring that will not only enrich the soil but also your fruits.

Make sure the tree is adequately watered, and that the soil is treated each spring.

Mangifera indica (Mango Tree): How Long It Takes To Grow Mango Trees

Originally native to the subcontinent of India, mangoes have been adopted in the West Indies, Africa, South America, as well as parts of China.

Even with competition from these widespread growing zones, India is still the world’s biggest exporter, averaging over 24 million tons of fresh mangoes shipped from its shores every year.

Mango tree fruits, ripe with attached fruit stalks in a red crate.

(Image: Mr-Den’ OoDp10)

In a distant second is Indonesia with 3.6 million tons exported per year.

Even though they have mastered the art of how to grow Mango tree from seed, commercial enterprises will not grow mangos from seed as the time before the fruits will be ready for harvesting can be anywhere from 5 to 8 years and the demand is just too high.

To shorten that time, and to have the exact same replica and quality of mangos, they prefer the grafting technique. When grown from a sapling, that time to harvestable fruits is reduced to 4 years, and then every year thereafter the mangos can be harvested.

There are some species that bear fruits every other year, and in other instances where some Mango trees bear fruit sporadically, especially as they age or get damaged in some way.

Growing Zones for Mango Tree: Where To Grow

Suitable temperature zones in the United States for this delicious fruit are slated at USDA hardiness zones 9-11 such as California, Florida, and Hawaii, as well as Puerto Rico.

These hardiness zones have subtropical climates where mangoes trees prefer to set down roots.2

The lowest temperatures of about 40°F are just tolerable in some areas while 70°F is the sweet spot that will virtually guarantee a good harvest.

The main reason why a Mango tree will fail to produce a good harvest, however, can be attributed to diseases that go unnoticed or over-watering which can happen in an orchard.

Related Reading: How Many Trees Are Planted Each Year?

When first learning how to grow Mango tree from seed, or how to grow a peach tree from seed, the importance of being aware of pitfalls in the form of pests and diseases cannot be stressed enough.

How Long Does It Take To Grow a Mango Seed? (How To Grow a Mango Seed:Variety)

By following a simple step-by-step guide on how to grow Mango tree from seed, the fruits of your labor will be yummy.

In fact, there is at least one advantage to growing from seed over cuttings.

Graphics showing the Mango tree growth stages including Mango tree dormant seed, Mango tree swollen bud, Mango tree bud burst, Mango tree green cluster, Mango tree flowers bloom, and Mango tree fruits set.

And that advantage is in the strength of the roots. With a stronger root system, nutrient absorption, and tree stability are enhanced which leads to a healthier tree and better harvests.

How long will it take my Mango tree to produce fruit is going to depend on the variety of mango that your seed is taken from.

If it is any type other than a polyembryonic variety, it can take up to 12 years before fruits appear.

Mango tree growth chart showing full grown Mango tree on a line graph with Mango tree age on the x-axis and Mango tree height on the y-axis.

Do it right, choose the right seeds, and discover how do you germinate a mango seed quickly, and as soon as 2-4 years your mangos will be ready for harvesting.3

How To Grow a Tree From a Branch

Using the tried and tested methods of how to grow Mango tree from seed will make sure that the root system is strong and healthy, but using a branch or a cutting is also possible, although not as reliable.

This technique is fine when considering if the best way how to grow a Lemon tree is from seed or from a branch as a cutting provides a truer representation of the fruit than from seed.

There are trees that this growing method is not suitable. It is not appropriate for apple trees, for example, so it would be better to learn how to grow an Apple tree from seed to avoid disappointment.

If deciding to pursue this method for a Mango tree, it is imperative that the age of the tree be considered as well as the location where the cutting is taken from.

  • Propagate the cutting from a mature tree
  • Select the cutting from near the base of the tree
  • Snip the branch off in summer to increase the chances of success
  • Use an appropriate rooting media in a sterilized pot
  • Dip the ends of the cuttings in a rooting hormone solution before planting
  • Wrap the entire pot in plastic to simulate a tropical environment
  • Keep away from harsh direct sunlight but store in a warm position

When To Plant Mango Tree for the Best Yield (How To Plant a Mango Seed)

Timing is part of the key to how to grow Mango tree from seed to get the best possible fruits at harvest. When learning about some plants, such as when researching how to grow a Cherry tree from seed, you’ll discover that for some species of trees, there is an optimal time to plant the seeds which is when the frost has melted away, the ground has thawed, and spring is in the air.5

Related Reading: How Many Tree Species Are There?

For mangoes, the best time is when summer has already begun and the temperatures are already up, rather than just gradually warming up.

Top shot of Mango Seedling in a pot.

(Image: patt11)

In USDA hardiness zones 9-11 it is possible to transplant 18-month-old seedlings directly into the soil. To do that, follow these steps:

  • Half-fill a hole 3 times as big as the root ball with a potting mix
  • Support the seedling in the middle and fill the hole with a mixture of the potting mix and the garden soil to help with acclimatization
  • Water and fertilize sparingly as overdoing either one will bring a harvest of bountiful leaves but very few mangos

How To Grow a Mango Tree From Seed: Can You Grow a Mango Tree Inside?

It is possible to grow Mango trees indoors, but it will take a great deal more effort for them to produce any fruits. Here are some indoor mango plant care tips.

For starters, a fertilizer specifically for houseplants needs to be applied in summer and a grow lamp is often necessary to simulate the required 8-10 hours of sunlight and heat the plant is constantly going to require.

How big will an indoor Mango tree grow will depend on the time dedicated to removing the top leaves to control its growth. Whether viable mangos will bloom will be down to patience, tender loving care, and a pot full of luck.

How Far Apart To Plant Mango Trees and Watering Needs for Mango Tree Plants

When planting rows of Mango trees, the distance between them is dependent on the specific types of trees to be planted.

For the dwarf variety, the space between them has to be a minimum of 12 feet, while traditionally-sized Mango trees have to be planted 25-30 feet apart.

Wide shot of Dwarf Mango Tree showing how far apart to plant Mango trees.

(Image: sarangib12)

The watering requirements vary with the age and location of the plant. Young trees need the soil to be constantly moist so often require a daily watering schedule for the first 2 weeks and then just a couple of times a week.

Even in commercial enterprises, this should continue for a couple of years, and then water only when the soil becomes dry to the touch about an inch deep.

The exportation of mangos is big business and have to follow certain guidelines and adhere to strict health regulations, with proper irrigation playing a crucial component in the entire process.6

Types of Trees (Mango Tree Seed Pods Identification)

Mango tree seed pods identification will be easy. The pit of the mango fruit is uniform across all tree species – oval, flat, and hairy yellow. However the trees can come in all shapes and sizes.

There are over 500 different types that encompass dwarf varieties at heights of between 6-15 feet, Semi-Dwarf Mango Trees, and regular tall sizes of up to 100 feet.

Name of Mango TreeNativePolyembryonic or MonoembryonicUSDA Hardiness ZoneHeight
AlphonsoIndiaMonoembryonic9b-1110-15 feet
PickeringWest IndiesPolyembryonic9-116 feet
Bailey’s MarvelUnited StatesMonoembryonic9-1150-60 feet
CarabaoPhilippinesPolyembryonic9-1115-30 feet
BowenAustraliaPolyembryonic10-1220-30 feet
Bailey's Marvel Mango tree showing its dense and wide canopy situated in a mango orchard.

(Image: Squam25614)

Name of Mango TreeNativePolyembryonic or MonoembryonicUSDA Hardiness ZoneHeight
Dwarf GrahamTrinidadMonoembryonic9-113-8 feet
IvoryChinaPolyembryonic10b-113-4 feet
Tommy AtkinsUnited StatesMonoembryonic9-1110-12 feet
MallikaIndiaMonoembryonic9-1110-15 feet
BaptisteHaitiPolyembryonic9-118-10 feet
Tommy Atkins Mango tree showing its leaves and ripe fruits with deep red skin.

(Image: Asit K. Ghosh Thaumaturgist15)

Name of Mango TreeNativePolyembryonic or MonoembryonicUSDA Hardiness ZoneHeight
Valencia PrideSouth AfricaMonoembryonic9b-1125 feet
FairchildPanamaPolyembryonic9-1110 feet
LancetillaHondurasPolyembryonic9-1110-15 feet
St JulianJamaicaMonoembryonic9-1110-30 feet
Nam Doc MaiThailandPolyembryonic9-1110-15 feet

Many of these mangos can be grown indoors if the winter months become too cold outside for any lengthy periods. A grow lamp would be needed and if planned properly, this system can be employed yearly basis.

With this method of how to grow Mango tree from seed, it would be possible to grow mangos in USDA hardiness zones 4-11 with the potted trees sheltering indoors for the winter and then bathing in natural sunshine during the summer months.

Common Pests of the Mango Tree and Natural Pest Control for Mango Trees

One of the advantages of selecting a seed that is polyembryonic is that the embryos have a high level of resistance to a disease caused by fungi that can be deadly to Mango trees if left unchecked called Anthracnose.7

Invasive pests should also be included in things to watch out for when the how to grow Mango tree from seed phase has been mastered and it’s time to care for your fledging Mango tree.

There is a long list of pests that are particularly dangerous to seedlings but can also inflict significant damage to mature trees. The ones to watch out for are:

Mango Leafhopper: Idioscopus clypealis (Lethierry)

This pest just wants to suck the last drop of sap out of your Mango tree, starting with the leaves, stems, and even the bark. But they also leave behind a nasty secretion that causes sooty mold which attacks the fruits.

Ignore them and they will obliterate your tree with the help of the hundreds of larvae that the females are capable of laying.

Treatment: Doses of insecticidal soap sprayed vigorously will eliminate them as will a powdery substance called Diatomaceous Earth.

Closeup of Oriental Fruit Fly on white flower.

(Image: ignartonosbg16)

Oriental Fruit Fly: Bactrocera dorsalis

Only 7mm in length, these pests can wreak havoc on a healthy Mango tree very quickly. The damage is not initially severe just by the females puncturing the fruits with its ovipositor, but by the eggs she then deposits within the mango.

When hatching, the larva devours the mango from within, out of sight, and for all intent and purposes, it appears just like a normal healthy fruit from the outside.

Treatment: Apart from disposing of the infected fruit, spraying with a mixture of apple cider vinegar, dish soap, and water, will help to rid your trees of these pests.

Stone Weevil: Sternochetus mangiferae

The female mango weevil can lay up to 300 eggs in a month. She deposits them on the outer skin of the mango and lets them do all the work when they hatch a few days later.

Stone Weevil on Mango fruit.

(Image: PJeganathan13)

Barely 1mm in size, they are unnoticeable as they burrow through the pulp and into the very seed itself. The minute holes seal behind them to mask their presence and they are often only detected when the seeds themselves are split open.

Occasionally, a gardener with an extremely keen eye will spot them before they begin burrowing into the fruit and may catch them in time.

Treatment: Homemade repellents for Stone Weevils can be made from peppermint oil and water, or hot chilly peppers boiled to produce a mixture the weevils will hate.8

The beneficial feature of this particular concoction is that other pests can be controlled by spraying them with it. Pests such as aphids and caterpillars find this mixture just too hot to handle.

How To Plant a Mango Seed: Growing Mangoes

Countries like India, Pakistan, and the Philippines have crowned the mango as their national fruit, fully embracing the diverse shapes, colors, and sizes that these delicious fruits grow to.9

Gardeners, both casual and professional, acknowledge the benefits of planting trees to combat climate change. They also appreciate that there is an art to understanding how to grow Mango tree from seed and nurture it properly over the ensuing years so that the mangoes grow healthy, tasty, and pest free.

The process is fairly easy, the maintenance and upkeep are not very challenging, and the rewards for mastering it are more than worth the minimal effort required to become an expert in how to grow Mango tree from seed.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Grow Mango Tree From Seed

What Are the Best Growing Conditions for Mango Trees?

Mango trees grow best in temperatures of 70°F – 95°F with 8-10 hours of direct sunlight a day.

Will My Indoor Mango Tree Grow Fruit?

If a Mango tree is grown completely inside it is unlikely to produce fruits.

How Long Does It Take for a Tree To Grow?

For trees grown in cold climates, it can take from 30 to 40 years to get to full maturity. In warmer environments, the time to maturity is between 10-20 years. An avocado tree, for example, takes about 13 years to grow.

Can You Grow a Mango From a Store-Bought Seed?

No. Seeds from a grocery store have probably gone through a stage of cold storage which will render the seed unviable.

Is Growing a Mango Tree From a Seedling To Bear Fruit Possible?

A Mango tree grown from a seedling will grow faster than from a grafted tree but will take longer to bear fruit, typically from 12-15 years.

How Much Sunlight Does Mango Tree Need Each Day?

One of the first things to understand when learning how to grow Mango tree from seed, is that 8-10 hours of direct sunlight is what Mango trees require daily to bear fruits and stay healthy.

What Are the Steps To Learn About How To Stop Mango Tree Disease?

Fungicides, bacterial sprays, and pruning are some of the best ways to stop diseases from decimating your Mango trees.

Is Growing a Mango Tree From a Cutting Possible?

Yes, Mango trees grown from cuttings are possible but they will have weak roots and a very low success rate at fruit production.

What Are Beneficial Companion Plants for Growing Mango Trees?

Growing Wildflowers, Jasmine, Ginger and Turmeric, and even Bananas, will aid in repelling pests and in pollination.


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