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Ever eaten some ripe mango fruit and wished you could have your own tree, with mangoes ready to pick?

Great news – you absolutely can get a mango plant from that seed husk. So if you want to have edible fruit on hand, save the seed inside for planting.

Growing mango trees from seed is relatively straightforward. Take the mango seed and run it under some water, then gently scrub or scrape off any leftover pulp. Carefully cut the mango seed husk open and peel it off.

Wrap the seed in a damp paper towel or cloth, then seal it in a plastic bag with air holes. If you see sprouting, that means the mango seed is good to go!

These golden goodies are the kings of summer food, but a mango tree is great as an ornamental plant, too.

Want to man-go and grow a mango tree? Here’s how to plant a mango seed (and care for it, too).


About Mangoes

The Mangifera indica is a tropical fruit tree native to Asia. Many consider it the “king of fruits”, and it’s a staple food during summertime.

Here down under, there are several Australian mango varieties, such as the ever-popular Kensington Pride or the Honey Gold.

But if you’re thinking about growing indoors, look for dwarf varieties that are suitable for pots. Just know these trees won’t grow fruit!

The trees are on the shorter side, reaching about 10m unless pruned to size. New foliage starts out pink, then turns reddish, before maturing into deep green.

The mango fruit has a different colour depending on the variety, from the typical golden yellow to a deeper orange-red.


What to Know About Planting A Mango Seed

hand planting mango seed on pot outdoors

While your seedling might appear after a few weeks, it will take 5–8 years before you see your mango tree grow and mature.

Keep caring for your plant, and you’ll see your efforts rewarded.

However, you should know that germinating mango seeds is simple, but the tree may not produce fruit.

A mango tree needs perfect tropical conditions over many years to trigger flowering and fruit. So if you don’t live where mango trees grow naturally, temper your expectations!

Grafted trees, however, can produce fruit if grown properly. Growing mangoes via grafting is also easy, and mature trees can yield plenty.


Before Growing Mango from Seed

Plant your mango seeds in autumn, so they have time to germinate and mature. You may want to consult a gardening service on soil prep and space – your mango tree will get big.

Here are some other considerations when planting mango seed.



Plant your tree somewhere it gets full sun, with shelter from strong winds.

Mango trees can grow in the shade, but will likely not bear fruit.



Mango trees aren’t picky about soil, but make sure it drains well. 

As a rooted plant, mango trees also need plenty of room for their roots to grow.



Tropical tree of fresh mango fruit

If you want to grow mangoes, know that they thrive in tropical or subtropical climates that are frost-free. 

They prefer hot summers with high humidity, while winters should be cool and dry.



Water an immature plant while it’s establishing its roots. 

However, once the tree is mature, it requires little water since the tree is deep-rooted.


Growing Mango from Seed

Want to know how to grow mango from seed in Australia? There are three common methods for mango seed germination:

  • Germinating seeds in a paper towel
  • Germinating seeds in potting soil
  • Germinating seeds in water

Some of the best mango varieties to grow from scratch are polyembryonic seeds such as Kensington Pride or Nam Doc Mai.

Note that broken mango seeds will not germinate.


How to grow a mango seed in a paper towel

mango seed on paper towel.

This is one of the most popular methods to grow mango from seed, with a good success rate. Just try not to unwrap your seed too often – patience is key!

  1. Separate the mango seed from the fruit and set it aside.
  2. Run the seed under warm water and scrub the outer husk to remove the flesh. You can also use a knife to scrape as much flesh as possible.
  3. Cut a small opening at the top of the mango seed husk and submerge the seed inside a glass of water for 24 hours.
  4. After a day, remove the mango pit from the water.
  5. Either peel off the husk (cut along the edge and pry it open with a knife) or widen the opening.
  6. Wrap the seed in a damp paper towel.
  7. Place the wrapped seed in a plastic bag with air holes poked in.
  8. Keep the seed moist and warm to help it germinate. In a few weeks (or sometimes even days), you should start to see it sprout.
  9. Once the seed has both a root and a shoot, transfer it to a container filled with potting mix.
  10. Keep the soil moist to encourage your new mango plant to grow.

NOTE: It’s best to germinate several seeds for a higher success rate. Avoid having the paper towels be soaking wet, though – that might cause the seed to rot.


How to grow mango seeds in potting mix

Closeup view of sprouted mango seed planted in a brown plastic pot on a wooden table.

This is a more low-maintenance way of germinating mango seeds since there’s no need to transfer the plants once they sprout.

You will, however, eventually need to repot the plants until they’re large enough to move to an outdoor setting.

  1. Prepare the seed by scrubbing off any remaining fruit pulp.
  2. Peel and separate the husk to expose the seed.
  3. Soak the seed overnight in water.
  4. Choose a tall, deep pot with drainage holes.
  5. Fill your chosen pot with well-draining compost about three-quarters of the way up.
  6. Press the seed directly into the compost (ideally sideways), then cover it with a few more centimetres of soil.
  7. Keep the pot in a warm place, and regularly check so the soil doesn’t dry out.
  8. When a shoot breaks the surface, move the pot to a sunny location so the mango seedling can grow.

Your mango plant will need repotting after several months, or after the roots start to overcrowd the pot. 

Transfer to a larger pot as required.


How to grow a mango seed in water

The most low-effort way to germinate a mango seed is in water. It’s the same method as growing an avocado from a stone or growing a pineapple.

Once you’ve removed the pulp and the outer husk, insert two toothpicks into the sides of the seed, about halfway up.

Fill a large glass with water and submerge the bottom half of the seed. The toothpicks will prevent the whole thing from going under.

Change the water every week. After about one to three weeks, you’ll start seeing signs of growth.

Once your mango seed has a second set of shoots or leaves, it’s time to transfer into a compost pot!


Moving Your Mango Tree Outdoors

hand moving plant outdoors

A mango tree has a central tap root that can reach 6m in depth, with many surface-level roots.

Avoid disturbing the central root when transplanting the mango seedling.

The roots aren’t destructive, so you can plant mangoes near pathways or structures. But know that the tree itself gets quite big!

Dig the planting hole twice as big as the root ball. You may have to stake a young tree while it grows.


Caring for Mango Trees

Pruning mangoes is a necessity to keep the tree at a manageable size and encourage fruit production.

Trim well in its first 2-3 years to keep it small – once it reaches over 1.0m in height, cut it down to 0.6-0.7m. Do the same with the horizontal branches.

Mulch your mango tree in the spring to encourage branching and fruiting. They don’t necessarily need fertiliser, but you can use one that’s rich in potassium.

Keep an eye out for any fungal problems – like white fuzz or spotting. Remove dead leaves and branches, maintain good air circulation, and keep your gardening tools clean.

Harvest mangoes when they’re mature but not quite ripe – check if the nose and cheeks have filled out. (Yes, really.) It should feel nice and firm but not squishy. The colour will be a green-turning-yellow, sometimes with an orange or red blush.

Once picked, ripen your mangoes with care. Then you can enjoy them as a smoothie or an icypole – or any way you like, really!

And now that you know how to grow a mango from seed, you’ll hopefully have plenty when the season rolls around. (Of course, you can store mangoes to eat even when summer is over.)

About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.


About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.