Is it just me or are mangoes the most delicious fruit in existence?
It’s not just me!
The sweet, juiciness of mangoes is so refreshing on a hot day, I just couldn’t live without them.
And if you’ve ever tasted a mango straight off a tree, you’ll be as excited as I was to learn that you can easily grow these delectable morsels at home (provided you can keep them warm).
If you’re here to find out how to grow mangoes at home, you’re in the right place. Read on to find out everything you need to get started.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you shop through the links on YardThyme, we may earn an affiliate's commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. For more information, read full disclosure here.
Mango Growing Conditions
Unfortunately for us mango lovers living in cooler regions, mango trees are warm climate specimens.
They thrive in tropical and sub-tropical regions or hardiness zones 10-11 (and if you’re lucky, some warmer parts of zone 9).
They don’t cope well with frost so temperatures ideally need to stay well above freezing level. If grown in a cooler climate, your mango tree may survive but not fruit.
Alternatively, you may have some luck growing your mango tree in a pot or container that can be moved indoors or into a greenhouse in the winter, especially if you choose a dwarf variety.
Worst case scenario, you keep your mango as an attractive house plant inside your home. It probably won’t fruit but hey, it looks cool!
Mango trees are pretty easygoing when it comes to the soil they’re grown in.
Their main requirements are that the soil is free draining and that there is enough of it. They don’t appreciate getting stuck in a boggy environment and for this reason, they often grow well on slopes where excess water can drain easily away.
Mango trees also have deep roots which need some space to roam and access the water they need. But, the benefit of this is that you don’t need to worry too much about watering them once they’re established unless you experience a drought.
In terms of fertilizer, mango trees don’t have huge requirements for nutrients so you may actually do more harm than good if you fertilize your mango tree. In saying that, top dressing your soil with homemade, aged compost at the start of each growing season is a pretty safe way of keeping everything in balance.
Do you make your own compost? Have a look at my guide to the best kitchen compost bins and you won’t be able to resist completing your system with one of these good-looking vessels for housing your food scraps and keeping odors at bay!
As mentioned above, due to their deep roots, mangos have fairly minimal irrigation requirements once they’re established. However, they do need watering well while they’re young and getting established.
As you might have guessed, mangoes like a lot of light. They need to be planted in a position where they will receive full sun for the majority of the day (ideally around 8 hours).
This is a little harder if you’re growing your mango inside, but a good set of grow lights will ensure that your plant isn’t missing out.
If you’re worried that getting set up with grow lights is going to be a bit too far out of your budget, there are some great affordable options available. Have a read of my guide to the best cheap LED grow lights and you’ll be all set.
Mango plants are actually pretty easy to grow indoors provided you don’t have high hopes of them fruiting. For more ideas on vegetables that will provide for some food when grown indoors, I have a guide to the easiest vegetables to grow indoors.
How to Grow Mango from Seed
Mangos are relatively easy to grow from seed. The trick is to choose the right mango. And I don’t just mean variety. The mango needs to be completely ripe, and the best-case scenario, was ripe when it was picked.
Follow these easy steps for growing mango from seed:
Eat the Mango
Possibly the best part? This is self-explanatory. Enjoy!
Leave the Pit to Dry Out
This part is optional but can make it easier to peel and access the seed. Leave overnight or for up to a few days max.
Peel the Pit and Reveal the Seed
Squeeze the pit to find a part that is empty and gently insert a knife to create an opening. Tear apart the pit to reveal the seed.
Plant the Seed
At this point, you actually have some options. All are viable ways of sprouting a mango seed, so it really comes down to personal preference or whether you want to be able to watch your mango seed do its thing (or check that it is doing anything at all).
Option 1: Plant directly in the soil
The option with the least amount of work is to plant your mango seed directly in a pot of moist soil. Mangoes have long tap roots so you want to choose a tall, narrow pot. If your mango seed is viable, it should germinate in 1-3 weeks.
You’ll know when it’s started rooting as the seed will push up through the soil slightly due to the force of the root growing downwards. Shortly after this, the first leaves should start to appear.
Option 2: Soak
Option 2 is to speed up the germination process slightly by soaking the mango seed in water overnight. You can then either plant the soaked seed in moist soil or wrap it in a damp paper towel inside a plastic bag and watch for germination that way.
When it comes time to plant, you’ll need to be very careful not to damage the taproot.
Option 3: Sprout in water
Option 3 is the most Instagram-worthy, and maybe the most fun if you’re doing this project with kids. But, there is arguably little benefit over the method above. This option simply involves leaving your mango seed, rounded side up, in a dish of water until is germinates.
Keep Well Watered
Mango plants need constant moisture while they’ll young and getting established so water regularly, but make sure they aren’t getting waterlogged and that any excess water is draining away.
Transplant to a Bigger Pot or the Ground
Depending on where you live and what your goals are, your mango seedling can go into a larger pot or the ground.
The best time of year to plant a mango tree in the ground is spring. If you’re keeping your mango in a pot then you’re a little less constrained by timing provided it’s not too cold.
Put on your gardening gloves and dig a hole about 3 times the size of the root ball of your mango plant. This will ensure your mango plant has plenty of space to stretch out and establish itself before it encounters hard soil. Return two-thirds of the soil to the hole and plant your baby. Voila!
Water well and you should hopefully be enjoying sweet juicy mangoes in 3-5 years.
Mango Growing Tips
Mangoes are fast growing so make sure you can cater for their root spread if you are growing them in a container or pot. If you want to keep your mango in a container, you really need to choose a dwarf variety.
Mangoes are well suited (arguably better suited) to grafting. If you know what variety of mango you want to grow, learn how to graft and you will be rewarded.
If you were wondering how to grow mangoes at home and were worried that it might be too hard – it’s definitely not!
As you can see from the simple steps outlined above, growing mangoes at home is surprisingly easy. You may not necessarily reap fruit from your mango tree if you relegate it to a houseplant or experience cold temperatures, but growing mango from seed is definitely possible.
Have you succeeded in growing mango from seed? I’d love to hear which method you used! Do you have any more tips for how to grow a mango plant at home? Please go ahead and share them!