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Can You Plant a Mango Seed Bought From the Grocery Store?

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Growing mango from seed inside the fruit you buy at a grocery store often yields a beautiful houseplant or warm-weather patio plant. As a tropical plant, mango (Mangifera indica) is only winter-hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 11 and 12. But even gardeners in these warm zones who grow mango trees outside year-round may be surprised if a seed-grown mango does not produce similar fruits to the one purchased at a grocery store that produced the seed.

You can often grow a mango tree from a viable seed that’s inside a fruit from the grocery store, but it may never bear fruit; and if it does, the fruit may not be like the one from which you harvested the seed.

Mango Seeds Information

Some seeds from grocery store mango fruits are completely viable, while others are treated to sterilize or chilled until the seed dies. The seeds usually turn gray if they are no longer viable, so the only reliable method of determining whether the seed will sprout is to check the seed’s color.

Even seeds that have a healthy tan color may not sprout if they’ve experienced chilling damage or the fruit was picked underripe. Sowing more than one healthy-looking grocery store seed improves your chances of successfully growing a mango tree.

The University of Florida IFAS Extension notes that mango produces one of two types of seeds. Monoembryonic seeds have one embryo, possessing genetic traits from both parent plants. Polyembryonic seeds have more than one embryo, most of which possess identical genetic traits from the mother plant. Plants grown from polyembryonic seeds are identical to their parent plant, but plants grown from monoembryonic seeds are hybrids.

Mango Seed Preparation

Sowing the seed quickly after opening the mango improves the chances of it germinating. Mango seeds cannot dry out before you plant them or they won’t sprout. Wear gloves when handling the seed because the latex sap inside can cause skin irritation.

Carefully remove the hard outer husk from the seed by cutting it off with sharp scissors, without damaging the seed inside. Once removed, the seed is ready for immediate planting.

Sowing and Germinating Mango Seed

Seeds will sprout in soil or you can also germinate mango seed in paper towel in a plastic bag. To germinate it in a plastic bag, soak the seed in warm water for 24 hours then wrap it in damp paper towels. Place the wrapped seed in a plastic bag, leaving one corner open so air can circulate.

The seed usually sprouts within one to two weeks if you keep the towel moist. You can also sow the seed in a pot of moist soil with the top of the seed even with the soil surface. Soil-planted seeds generally sprout within two to four weeks if the soil remains moist. Providing bottom heat, such as from a germination heat mat, can improve the chances of sprouting with grocery store mango seeds.

Mango Seed After Germination

Once a mango seed germinates it requires full sun and warmth to continue to grow. Those started in plastic bags require immediate transplanting into moist soil as soon as they sprout, but take care not to break the sprout when you plant it. The plants can’t tolerate temperatures below 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and young plants can experience damage at 30 F, so overwintering indoors is necessary with young plants. In mild climates, you can transplant the mango outdoors once it’s 1 or 2 years old.

Can You Plant a Mango Seed Bought From the Grocery Store?. Mango trees can grow up to 65 feet tall at full maturity. You can sometimes grow your own mango tree from grocery store seeds if you select a healthy seed and plant it correctly. The mango plant grows well as a houseplant for several years, or until it …

How to Plant a Mango Seed

Mangos have been called the, “king of fruits,” because they are luscious, juicy, delicious and sweet. They’re widely cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical climates. The best time to plant a mango tree is in the summer when it’s warm, as they like lots of sun [source: California Rare Fruit Growers]. It helps to start growing the mango tree indoors and to re-plant it outdoors after it begins to sprout. That’s what we will do.

  1. Take a very ripe mango, and cut the fruit away from the husk at the center of the mango without cutting through the husk. Remove any leftover fruit from the husk.
  2. Cut the husk open with a sharp knife. Do this carefully, as you don’t want to damage the seed that is inside.
  3. Remove the seed and throw the husk away. The seed will be in the shape of a lima bean with a lighter area on top called the eye.
  4. Fill a planting pot with potting soil. Be sure to use a pot with drainage holes.
  5. Wet the soil a bit.
  6. Make a small hole and place the seed inside the hole with its eye facing up.
  7. Cover the seed with half an inch (1.27 centimeters) of soil. The seed should sprout within a few weeks.
  8. Water your plant with lukewarm water whenever you see the soil is a bit dry. Mangos don’t need a lot of water.
  9. Replant the plant outdoors when it’s strong enough [sources: Which, Morton].

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Do you know how to plant a mango seed? Find out how to plant a mango seed in this article from HowStuffWorks.