Friday, 20 May 2016

Sprouting Mango Seeds in a Cool Climate

One must learn from one’s mistakes…

For the past two years, our young mango tree, a seedling of the Maha Chanok mango, has borne large, delicious late-season fruit. Despite the fact that the seeds are mono-embryonic and will not produce subsequent fruit true to the original tree type, it remains a fascinating exercise to sprout these seeds. What type of fruit will descendant trees produce?

A delicious fruit from a Maha Chanok seedling mango

Last year, I attempted to sprout the seed of a 1.1-kilogram behemoth by traditional methods… that is, by carefully removing the seed from its husk and planting it in a pot in a sunny location in the garden. Unfortunately, with our Sydney winter approaching, there were not enough warm days for the cherished seed to push out its tiny shoot, the seed eventually rotting away…

Clearly, a different approach was required this year. Having spent a great deal of time on research, I was lucky enough to come across this video, which provided me with a starting point for a renewed attempt to achieve germination.

My first step was to de-shuck the mango seeds as usual, wrapping each of them loosely in a moistened paper towel. Each of the moistened parcels was then slipped inside a zip-lock bag, and these were placed before the warmest window in our home.

Remove the mango seed from its husk...

Wrap the seed in moistened paper towel... Place it inside a zip-lock bag... This was our last and largest mango of the season

Within a few days, the seeds had produced a tap-root. At this stage, the rooted seeds were potted up. However, in order to provide continued warmth during the cooling weather, the pots were placed inside larger sealable zip-lock bags. They remained in their station near our warmest window. However, during the cold nights, they were brought back behind the heavy curtains, away from the glass, for added warmth.

The bagged pots were placed before our warmest window...

Five weeks on from the initial planting (April 12), the first of the mango shoots appeared (May 19). This is a little longer than the norm during the heat of summer. However, the method has proved itself to be a viable one.

The first seedling appears... May 19

Here’s hoping that the coming fortnight confirms the success of this experiment with the appearance of two more delicate mango seedlings.

Wishing you hours of enjoyment and contentment in your garden…

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