The Q&A Archives: Rooting Japanese Tree Limb & Starting Seed Plant (Mango Seed)

Question: (1) I have a Japanese Maple Tree I'm going to cut a limb off. Can roots grow on this limb if I place it in powder substance for rooting. (2) I took the seed out of a Mango Shell can it be placed in soil to grow a Mango Plant. THANK YOU

Answer: The answer to your maple question is complex. It really depends... You can take softwood cuttings from maples and make them root in moist potting soil. The cuttings should be from new growth that has matured to the point that it's rigid but you can still bend it without it breaking or splintering. To me, limbs are several inches thick; branches are less than an inch thick and stems (for propagation) are only about a quarter inch in diameter. So, limbs probably won't produce roots but branches or stems probably will. After cutting the limbs off the tree, find a few stems that are good candidates for rooting, dip the cut end in rooting hormone and stick them into potting soil. With any luck a few of them will sprout.

As for the mango seed part of your question, if you want to grow it as a houseplant, yes. If you're interested in home fruit production, probably not. Mangos are adapted to tropical and subtropical areas, meaning consistent summer-like temperatures are a major factor in determining their success. This fruit tree is extremely sensitive to cold. At temperatures below 40?F, a mango tree's ability to flower and produce fruit becomes seriously compromised. When temperatures drop below 30?F, the tree's leaves and branches will almost certainly suffer damage. Exposure to temperatures below 20?F, even for a short time, can kill the tree. At the moment, I'm afraid there are not any varieties of mango trees that are considered cold-resistant.

If you want to grow an exotic house plant, mango trees are an excellent choice. They develop large, beautiful leathery leaves. You can start your own by extracting the hairy husk from within the flesh of a mango you buy at the grocery store. This husk contains the seed. Clean the husk by removing any remaining fruit and cure it (leave it out to dry) overnight. After the husk is dry, gently pry it open with a knife and carefully remove the seed and place it into a plastic bag filled with damp moss or moist paper towels. Keep it in a warm place, preferably with temperatures as close to 80?F as possible. You can also plant the seed, round side up, directly into a pot filled with compost or a soil-less seed starting mix. Plant it about _ inch deep so the seed is just peeking out from the compost. Cover the pot with plastic wrap or a 2-liter soda bottle and keep the pot in a warm place until the seed germinates (a week or so). Leave germinating seeds in the pot (or bag) long enough to develop some good roots before transplanting them into soil and keep your eye out for developing mold.

Good luck!

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