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The Hidden Seed: Grow a Mango Tree

by Preston Brady III, Herbscapes.com 2023

Mango Seed, Herbscapes.com 2023

Over 5,000 years ago mango trees were discovered. Since that time the seeds have travelled around the world and are best suited for tropical and semi-tropical climates. One day I decided I would try and grow a mango tree from the seed of the fruit I had just eaten. As you may know, the orange pulp of mango is sweet and sticky. Once down to the large light brown seed, some of the pulp is stuck to the seed. You can pull off what you can but no worries, leave most of it on. I rinse the seed and place on a paper plate to dry. You can place the seed most anywhere inside or out, as long as it can dry, which takes several days. Below, select the Amazon link if you might want to order some fresh mangoes.

The beauty of the mango seed is it is hidden, protected inside a tough wooden-like husk. Once the seed shell is dry, use a small ping hammer to gently crack open the shell. Do not strike the seed so hard as to damage the seed inside (but if the seed is torn a bit, it’s still okay to plant.) The photo at the top of this article is a seed I used. Below is a photo of what grew, at age two. Plant the seed in ordinary soil about an inch deep. Keep moist but not soaked until the shoot appears. Then, water every few days and use a mist bottle to simulate light, tropical rain. Once the tree starts to gain height it needs water at least every few days.

Small mango tree, Herbscapes.com

Mango is delicious by itself, but I use it in salads and juices, and also use it as an added dimension to entrees such as baked chicken or baked pork chops. Mango slices on a cheese and salami board is an eye and taste catcher. It seems to be a fruit that is under-utilized and yet is inexpensive and delicious. I live in a semi-tropical climate and some winter days can drop below freezing, so I bring the trees inside a small greenhouse. When they grow larger and hardier, they may withstand mild freeze events, but inside a large enough greenhouse they can be grown most anywhere as long as there is a heat source if needed. Check out all of the small greenhouses on Amazon.com, some as inexpensive as $40.00 (USD.)


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