After a particularly delicious mango, many people decide that it would not be such a bad idea to have a mango tree of their own. And you can start with the mango you just enjoyed. Mango trees are almost embarrassingly easy to grow from seed. For the best results, root your mango seed first before planting it. This will provide the moist conditions it needs to germinate and thrive.
Remove the seed from the fruit.
Rub the seed under water between your fingers to remove any clinging fruit.
Slit the seed along the thin side of it to break open the seed coat. Do not cut deeply enough to cut the seeds inside.
Wrap the seed in a moist paper towel.
Place the paper towel in a sandwich bag. Close the bag, but leave 1 inch of the lip unsealed to allow oxygen in.
Place the bag in a warm spot that receives indirect sunlight.
Re-moisten the paper towel as necessary. The seed will sprout a small root in three to four weeks.
Plant the mango seed when the root is roughly 1/2 inch long.
Purchase a very ripe mango and eat it.
Scrape off the extra fruit from the husk in the middle of the mango, which holds the seed.
Pry open the husk very carefully with a butter knife. This is difficult and will require patience and a little elbow grease.
Find the dried seed inside the husk that is shaped like a huge lima bean with a light-colored area on the top of it (called the eye). Remove the seed from the husk.
Use a medium-sized pot with drainage holes for your seed and fill the pot with a good quality potting soil.
Dampen the soil and place the seed with its eye up. Cover the seed with about half an inch of the soil. Let the seed germinate for a few weeks.
Water the soil with lukewarm water when the surface starts to feel dry, which will be in a few days after planting. Water the soil whenever it starts to look dry.
Flowers appear on the tree at the branch terminals. Each flower cluster can contain up to 2,000 tiny flowers, according to the California Rare Fruit Growers. In tropical locations, such as south Florida, the tree begins to blossom in November and continues to produce flowers until February or March, depending on the cultivar, according to Purdue University.
The mango tree depends on insects to ensure that pollination occurs for fruit production. The tree is self-fertile. Flower fertilization will not occur if the nighttime temperature plunges below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the abundance of tiny flowers, few are fertile and produce pollen. The flowers that do produce viable pollen often have difficulty releasing it if spring rains occur or the humidity rises.
Sensitive people often suffer an allergic reaction to the flowers of the mango tree when it is in full bloom each spring.
Check mango fruit to see if they have ripened before picking. This can occur from three to five months from the time they flower, depending on conditions and variety. Give the fruit a pull and if the stem snaps off easily, it is ripe. If it stays attached to the tree and requires a strong pull, it should stay on the tree a little longer.
Check the color of the fruit before picking. A purple or reddish blush should be present at the base of the mango. The fruit should feel soft like a peach and not hard like an apple.
Pick fruit by hand gently pulling off the tree or using pruning shears. Try to leave a 4-inch stem at the top of the fruit. If the stem is cut short, a sticky, milky sap is released, which is messy.
Cut stems to 1/4-inch long when ready to store and place stem down in trays so sap can drain.
Store picked mangoes in an area no less than 50 to 55 degrees F.
Use yard clippers or a picking pole to harvest mangoes when they are full, soft to the touch and begin turning color.