Although mango trees grow very large outside in the tropics, they can be grown as smaller plants in pots, or even as houseplants when they are young. Plants grown in the UK are unlikely to ever produce fruit.
Mangoes cannot be grown outside in the British Isles. They require a minimum temperature of 16°C.
Mangoes can be grown from seed, but the better and commercially popular cultivars Alphonso, Tommy, Atkins, Kent, Kesar) are grafted or budded onto seedling rootstocks.
Select a seed from the ripest fruit you can find. Carefully remove all the pulp with a sharp knife and wire wool. Rub the seed with sandpaper or make a small cut in it using a chisel. Put the seed in a jam jar of water and put the jar in an airing cupboard or other warm place. Change the water every day for 2 weeks. If your seed starts to shoot, remove from the jar and plant in a 10 cm pot of compost. If the seed hasn’t sprouted, pot it up anyway and put the pot inside a plastic bag. Seal it and return to the airing cupboard for up to 2 months.
If you grow a mango from a seed, especially if it is one you have obtained directly from India rather than bought from a supermarket, you may find many shoots developing from a single seed – this is called polyembryony. Not all mango cultivars produce polyembryonic seeds.
Pot up the seedling as it grows. After the first year, pinch out the top bud in the spring as the plant starts into growth, which will help to keep it bushy. Repeat the pinching as necessary. Mangos prefer being watered with rainwater, and should be fed once a week during the summer with a liquid feed suitable for tomatoes.
Usually trouble free. Plants whose leaves go yellow may benefit from being given a dose of sequestered iron. You can buy this in sachets from garden centres.
Use stones from really squishy, ripe mangos of the kind sold for food in supermarkets and greengrocers.
Handling of fruit skin (not the fleshy pulp) carries a risk of skin irritation in sensitive individuals.