Grow Your Very Own Tree from a Mango Seed
A mango seed is very large and takes up a good chunk of the center of the fruit. One way to use the seed instead of throwing it away is to try to get it to sprout and grow your own mango plant. All you need at first is a mango seed, a jar or plate, a paper towel and some water.
There are several ways to get a mango seed to germinate. With all of them, begin by scrubbing the seed with a kitchen scrubber to remove any pulp that might remain. Then you should dry the seed for a couple of days. Once dried, you should remove the seed from its outer shell. If it is still not opening, try using a knife to very gently slit the side of the seed covering and remove the seed.
The next step is to wrap the mango seed in a paper towel and place it on a plate. Wet the paper towel and make sure it stays moist but not soaking wet. Soon a little green shoot will appear. When your shoot is approximately two inches long, plant it in a plant pot with good quality planting mix.
Other ways in get the seed to germinate include putting it in a small jar of water, and when it sprouts and grows an inch or two, plant it in a pot. Some people cut the seed covering open with a knife immediately (without letting it dry out first), and place it in a jar of water.
Another method of growing a tree from a mango seed is to take off the outer covering on the seed, and then put the seed immediately in a small pot with planting mix. Cover the pot with plastic, such as a kitchen wrap, leaving a couple inches between the soil and the plastic covering. Another good thing to do is to put a large rubber band around the pot and bottom of the plastic to hold it together. Make sure the soil is moist, not wet, and place the pot in a warm cupboard or closet. The seed should sprout in one to two months.
Once you have a stem with leaves growing, you will need to continually repot the plant in larger pots as it grows. You can fertilize it periodically with a mix like Miracle Grow or a tomato fertilizer. Even if you get the plant to grow, it will probably never produce fruit. Still, it can be a nice little tropical plant for the living room.
If you live in an area that is very warm year round, such a Florida, Hawaii, or California, and you are really determined to grow mangos, try putting grafted plants into your soil. That or seedlings is the surest way to grow a mango tree. Growing the plant outside will still require hand watering when it is very dry and periodic fertilizing.
Mangos require incredibly warm temperatures--at least 70 degrees and over year round. Not every seed that you plant will sprout. It might, in fact, take half a dozen tries before you have the beginnings of a mango plant. Also, make sure there is enough green growth before planting it in a pot. There has to really be a good shoot growing, a couple inches long before putting it in the dirt.
If you do meet with success, you will have a nice looking plant regardless of whether or not it ever grows mangos. And if you do grow mangos, be sure to show them off before eating them.