How to Graft Mango Seedlings

To sell mangoes you need good fruit of a preferred variety. But when you plant mango seeds, the trees will not give fruits of the same variety as the tree. If trees are grafted, you can get fruits within 2 to 4 years, and of the variety you want.

How to graft mangoes

1. Start with a seedling. This is called the rootstock. It develops into the roots and the base of the tree. The young shoot that is grafted onto the rootstock is called the scion.

2. Use any variety for the rootstock. Select undamaged seeds and remove the flesh by hand. Fill bags with soil and compost. Plant one mango seed per bag with the pointed end facing up, as the seed will sprout from this end. Place the bags in a sunny place, and water them regularly.

3. The rootstock should be thin, straight and about 8 months old, and have nice leaves. Grafting in warm weather helps the sap to act as glue to hold the graft together.

4. Collect scions from a mother tree of the variety you want. Avoid branches with tiny leaves at the tip because they will wilt. Green, upright shoots with smooth buds make the best scions. Cut scions about 20 centimetres long. Cut the leaves off the scions, but keep a short part of the stalks of the top leaves. This will protect the buds which will grow into the branches of your tree. Cut scions back to about 10 centimetres.

5. Cut off the top third of the rootstock. Make the cut just under a bud. Don’t remove the leaves of the rootstock. Cut the scion into the shape of an arrow tip. Cut the top of the rootstock in a funnel or V shape. The cuts of the scion and rootstock should match exactly, so that the sap can flow from the roots. Attach the 2 parts and tightly wrap the cut with thin plastic.

6. Six weeks after grafting remove the plastic strip, so it does not strangle the seedling. Plant the grafted plants in your garden. Cut off any branches that grow on the rootstock. Shoots will grow from the scion. If there are more than one, wait one to 2 weeks until the leaves of the central shoot are green, then remove all the other shoots. If you remove the flowers during the first year, the seedlings will develop more branches and yield more in the years to come.

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