Is my mango seed dead?

eointremontMarch 10, 2013

Hi! I'm new to these forums and gardening in general! I planted a mango seed about a month ago and it's not sprouting. Here's What I did: I took the seed from its husk then I planted it straight into a small pot. I watered it and attached plastic wrap over the pot, bind with a rubber band, and let it in the sun all day. At night, I put it on my window sill.

I live in Southern California so the weather's been great and sunny for the past month. Today, I took my seed out out of curiosity and I noticed that the long part ( I don't know if its the root or the sprout ) is blackish in color. I posted a picture for a better understanding. Is it dead? Or do mango seeds generally take this long to sprout? Should I position the seed differently?

I tried the plastic bag method with another seed, but that doesn't seem to do much either. Thanks!

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HawaiiFruitGrower

Ya that looks pretty died already, the root is brown which is an indicator that its died. You should try a pencil box or small container and fill it up with spahgnum moss the germinate quickly mine started rooting in a few days. I think with the plastic bag there isnt any oxygen as to were a container there is a big space?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 5:34PM
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eointremont

Hi thanks! So the black part is the root huh?

So did you take the small box and fill it up with sphagnum moss and leave it in the sun or a dark place? And after it germinates, would I know how to position the seed into a pot?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 7:28PM
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HawaiiFruitGrower

Yes that's the root it will grow down and the leaves will come up right where the root comes out of the seed. And yes I had a small plastic container filled the bottom with moss and put seeds inside mangos, avocados even cuttings after when I feel the mangos should be planted I place them in soil the seed is flat the root should be facing down going down into the soil.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 7:48PM
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tropicbreezent

I wouldn't remove the seed from the husk. It gives the seed more protection until it's organised itself. As HFG said, which ever way it sprouts just plant the seeds roots down and stem up. I've found orientation of the seed doesn't really matter.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:41PM
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sapote(10a)

The photo shows a seed with root rot problem.

This is what I would do and had better than 90% success:
Use a pair scissor and cut around the fibrous edge of the husk ��" this is a safe way to get the seed out without accidentally damage it or cut oneself with a knife. Wash the seed cleanly in warm water (80��"85F). (Seed had been genetically programmed not to germinate while inside a fruit, and so wash clean the seed to set it âÂÂfreeâÂÂ.)
Place the seed in a clear plastic container, lying flat, with minimal water for moisture, and keep the container close to warm place to create an ideal environment for the seed at 80 to 85F. Within a week it should grow a root. When the root about üâ long, I use Scott tape to loop around the seed and hang it up from the containerâÂÂs bottom so the root has room to grow down ward instead of coiling around itself. About 2 to 3 weeks it should have a stem developed right above the root, and when it has several leaves then itâÂÂs safe to pot the young seedling into well-drain potting soil.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 9:47PM
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sapote(10a)

The photo shows a seed with root rot problem.

This is what I would do and had better than 90% success:
Use a pair scissor and cut around the fibrous edge of the husk ��" this is a safe way to get the seed out without accidentally damage it or cut oneself with a knife. Wash the seed cleanly in warm water (80��"85F). (Seed had been genetically programmed not to germinate while inside a fruit, and so wash clean the seed to set it âÂÂfreeâÂÂ.)
Place the seed in a clear plastic container, lying flat, with minimal water for moisture, and keep the container close to warm place to create an ideal environment for the seed at 80 to 85F. Within a week it should grow a root. When the root about üâ long, I use Scott tape to loop around the seed and hang it up from the containerâÂÂs bottom so the root has room to grow down ward instead of coiling around itself. About 2 to 3 weeks it should have a stem developed right above the root, and when it has several leaves then itâÂÂs safe to pot the young seedling into well-drain potting soil.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 9:48PM
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tropicbreezent

That's not actually correct, about having to remove the husk because "Seed had been genetically programmed not to germinate while inside a fruit". I always leave them in the husk to protect the seed and they always germinate. In fact I get a lot of volunteer seedlings where birds and flying foxes drop fruit they've been eating.Those not only have the husk but often half the fruit still on. The animals are quite wasteful.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 9:56AM
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sapote(10a)

tropicbreezent ,
Have you ever wondered why donâÂÂt we see more germinated seeds inside fruits? I believe itâÂÂs not happening as a result of Natural Selection ��" those that had germinated seeds inside fruits didnâÂÂt have the chance to pass down.
YouâÂÂre right that washing the seed is not required. Unwashed seeds eventually will germinate, as you had found out. But, wash off the âÂÂprotection chemicalâ would free the seed to germinate quicker.

Brian

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 6:36PM
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tropicbreezent

Sapote, I have over 500 mango trees and have been growing them for years. I've learned that seeds in the fruits are immature and still developing. When they mature they're not dependent on someone coming along, cutting the husk off, washing the seed, etc. Otherwise the species would have become extinct long ago. Sort of like coconuts, they don't need the husk cut off to germinate, they do it unaided when they're mature.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:01AM
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sapote(10a)

tropicbreezent,
There are many ways to germinate mango seed: the natural way as you have done, and many other ways well suit for specific growing conditions.
Of course the thousand year old natural way would work, especially in the tropical condition. IâÂÂm one of those that prefer doing many thing natural way too ��" the natural way have been tested and proven for million years. Well, there are exception. For example, mango trees would grow to 50 feet in nature, and many under-developed places people still let them grow this way in their orchard. But we think itâÂÂs better to prune and train the young mango tree to keep them lower and develop a more horizontal shape for a better management program. In the case of germinating mango seed, the same is applied here, that I think remove the seed from its husk will help to speed up the germination process.

As about why not many mango seeds germinated within the fruit, IâÂÂm talking about mature, ripen fruits and not green immature mango. Rarely we found mango seeds germinated inside mature ripe fruits, and I believe this is due to some growing prohibit chemical within the fruit that stop the seed from germinating. When the fruits dropped to ground, and after some time the chemical faded away and the seed will germinate, as you have known.
We like to tinker with things, sometime against the natural way. We grow tropical fruits in desert, in green house, in New York. I would think in the same growing condition, i.e. in California, seeds removed and washed will germinate faster than seeds within their hush. Have you tried both method in a non-tropical condition?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:40PM
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eointremont

Hi guys thanks for the advise! I planted a new seed and I think it's doing a lot better! In fact, something is sprouting! But, I'm not sure if its the root or sprout itself. Here's a picture of what I have now.

Is it the root? Or? And if it is, should I manipulate the position if the seed right away, or just let it do its thing? Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 11:00PM
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sapote(10a)

It's the sprount that rising up from ground (you're on the earth and the seed or plant knows which way is up and down.) Root will never rise up -- not on this earth.

I would leave it this way until it's about a foot then transplant to a bigger pot.

Brian

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 9:07PM
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eointremont

Thanks Brian, I thought it was the root at first because it had finger-like threads on the top and because it was red. However, now that I know it's the sprout, do I make a small greenhouse around it (made of a waterbottle that is)? Also it's bending at a right angle while growing... will this be fixed in time or do I force it to grow straight by means of Popsicle stick,etc? It's also turning a bit brownish towards the 'leaves' of the sprout-- I hope my baby isn't dying on me!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 8:28PM
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sapote(10a)

Leave it in the exact same condition that the seed had sprounted, except more light for the plant to grow. Don't water until the soil feel dried.

In what enviroment condition that the seed had sprounted? Knowing your condition will help us to lead you to the next step if it's not ideal.

As for the angle you asked, it's not the stem angle -- it's the leaves angle and it's normal. As about the color, I could not see detail on the photo to give you advice.

Brian

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 8:43PM
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eointremont

I don't know if you can see it well enough, but here's the sprout after 2 days since the last picture. The conditions for this plant is the same as how it germinated, however, I bought a plant light so that on cloudy days and cold mornings the plant will not be harmed. I use a water bottle by means of a small greenhouse and I poked holes in it to promote air circulation for the plant. The 'leaves' are actually a little green up close (you cannot see well in the picture) but you can definitely tell the sprout is growing crooked. I water everyday. And leave it in the sun after watering (about 1:30pm to 5:30pm), then place it inside a sink with the plant light shining until 9pm where I turn it off. In the morning, it is a bit cold outside, so I turn on the light until I come back from school (1:30pm) where the cycle starts again. I use my 'greenhouse' only when the plant is in direct sun.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:53PM
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eointremont

EDIT: Sorry this was an accidental double post

This post was edited by eointremont on Wed, Mar 27, 13 at 0:19

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 11:03PM
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sapote(10a)

Do not water it everyday -- especially you're not in a tropical area. Feel the soil with fingure and water the whole soil wet with warm water (80 --85F) when soil is dried below 1 to 2" below the surface.

As about the crooked trunk, don't worry about it for now -- the young trunk is too fragile to do anything. Later, if it still bent at an angle, then when repot or replant, you could tilt the whole root-ball to have a vertical trunk in the new pot or place.

Brian

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 2:13PM
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eointremont

Thanks Brian for being so helpful!

I definitely agree that I watered it too much. Ill it it down to every 3-4 days. The tips of the leaves are kinda brownish and yellow.... Is this a sign of overwatering or too much sunlight? Or possibly air circulation? I know it's not exactly dying on me because it grew a little taller today, but I am interested in the color of the leaves. This picture you can see the color of the sprout much more clearly and you can tell its a bit brownish than the deep reddish color in the first picture.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 9:50PM
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sapote(10a)

Everyday, then 3-4 days... you still don't get it; water only when the soil feel dried, regardless of time.

These leaves may not be the permanent ones -- just like baby teeth -- and they will be replaced by a bigger permanent leaves. it color will change from red to green and so does the trunk. Everything looks fine.

Brian

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 5:21PM
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eointremont

Alright thanks Brian for your help!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:31PM
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Saching556

what exactly is the cause for the seed to be dead? my 5 mango seeds which germinated after a month were dead with root rot and foul smell. what is the reason behind? excess of water?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 5:57AM
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sapote(10a)

Too much wet soil, not good drainage potting material, too cool, pathogen in soil...

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 2:15PM
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MadMike1970

I just planted 6 seeds laying flat just under the surface, and I had a 50% success rate on germination. 3 seeds went to rot. The little plants look pretty cool. They grow at a alarming rate. If its not too complicated, I'll try and post some pics.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 5:53PM
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MadMike1970

Here is a pic of a mango sprout on day one. If you look closely, you can see two others behind it that are four days old.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 6:03PM
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MadMike1970

This is the same plant on day two, today.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 6:04PM
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MadMike1970

I ave two plants like this about 4" tall. They are four days old. They grow super fast!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 6:06PM
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