- The mango, like other tropical and subtropical fruit trees is propagated by several methods, which can be grouped under two main heads, sexual and asexual methods.
- In the sexual method, seed raises the plants.
- Mango is cross-pollinated and heterozygous and propagation by seed leads to enormous variability in the progenies.
- Therefore, asexual or vegetative methods are adopted to get true to type plants.
- The technique of grafting in mango was practiced in India since ancient times.
- Now various methods of grafting, budding, air layering and cutting etc. are being adopted with varying degree of success in different regions of India.
Sexual Method of Propagation(Seed Propagation)
- Almost all the mango varieties are monoembryonic except few which
are polyembryonic and can give true to type seedlings from nucellar
- However, polyembryonic varieties have not been used on large scale
to raise the plants.
- Generally mango stones are collected from local trees, market places
etc. irrespective of the cultivar during the mango season.
- The fresh collected stones are sown in raised nursery beds of 1x5
m size in July.
- The beds are prepared in semi-shade area.
- The stones are placed without leaving any space among them and plumule
point is kept upwards so that straight tap root and stem is produced.
- After placing the stones, the moist leaf mould is placed over them.
- The seeds germinate within 20 days after sowing.
- In initial stage the colour of seedling leaves remains coppery red.
When the leaves colour changes from coppery red to green, then the seedlings
are shifted to permanent nursery beds.
- In nursery bed seedlings are planted in August at 45 cm apart from
row to row and 25 cm from seedling to seedling.
- Then they are irrigated immediately after planting and are nourished
in nursery till February and then shifted to another nursery bed to
check the root growth.
- Regular irrigation and weeding is practiced in nursery.
- To get faster growth & healthy seedlings ammonium sulphate or
nitrate @ 110 kg/ha is applied.
- Bolder stones give seedlings with more vigour irrespective of whether
these were collected from grafted or seedling trees.
- The viability of mango stones is lost very quickly.
- The fresh stones collected from canning unit give high germination
while stones embedded in peels or in sun for long period or dried stones
are poor in germination.
- Stones sown within one month of extraction germinate about 80 per
cent and none after that.
- By proper storage of stones, viability is preserved by keeping the
stone in charcoal powder and polyethylene bags 40 per cent and 53 per
cent germination was obtained when stored in polyethylene bag with charcoal
and polyethylene bag alone, for 103 and 90 days respectively, if the
stones are treated with r-hydroxyauinolene sulphate and stored in polyethylene
bags of 100 guage at 10 C temperature, viability is preserved
for one year without decline in vigour.
- Before sowing, the stones should be washed pulp free and treated with
1 per cent organomercurial compound to check the incidence of fungus
Sclerotium causing collar rot and thus reducing mortality of
seedling and grafts.
- There is immense variation in mango seedlings, raised
even from a single tree due to highly cross-pollinated nature of mango.
- Although seedling trees produce heavy crop but fruit
size and quality is inferior and does not fetch good return in market.
- The seedling trees have long juvenile period and have
more vigorous growth habit, which creates difficulty in taking plant
protection measures and harvesting of their fruits.
- The fruits of seedling trees do not mature in one stroke
and thereby affect their marketing.
- Keeping these disadvantages of seedling trees in mind
and to obtain uniformity in plant performance, a monoembryonic cultivar
should be propagated through asexual methods of propagation.
- The vegetative methods of mango propagation in India
are being adopted since ancient times as mentioned in Sanskrit Literature.
- The European missionaries in Goa first introduced the
technique of inarching in India.
- The asexual methods of mango propagation can mainly be
divided in three groups viz. 1. Grafting, 2. Layering and 3. Cutting.
1. Operated stock. 2. Operated scion.
3. Stock & scion united . 4. Stock & scion tied
5. Inarched plant.
- For inarching, first the seedlings are to be raised.
Stones are sown in beds immediately after extracting them from the ripe
- If extracted and kept for a longer period, stones lose
their viability completely.
- Stones when stored in the open lose viability completely
after 70 days, whereas those buried under sand retain 12.5% viability
after 90 days.
- Similarly, the seeds mixed with charcoal and sealed in
tins or earthen pots retain their viability only for 80 days at room
temperature. But those sealed in polythene bags with charcoal retain
37.5% viability after 100 days at room temperature and 17.5% viability
after 120 days at 20-230 C.
- However, storage of mango stones at 5-80 C
seems to be harmful, as there is complete loss of viability after 20
- A spacing of 22 cm from seed to seed in the row and about
45 cm from row to row is usually adopted. Beds should be kept clean
- After about a year, the seedlings become ready for inarching.
Seedlings should be carefully watched for vegetative malformation in
the nursery bed and these must be culled in the beginning, as there
is as yet no method to cure this in the nursery stage.
- Such seedlings should invariably be avoided for grafting.
These seedlings can later on be transferred either to pots or taken
out (with ball of earth around the roots tied with grass all round to
check the evaporation of water and to keep the roots intact) for inarching
- These should be taken to the tree from which the scion
part is to be selected and kept or tied up conveniently to facilitate
the process of inarching.
- Sometimes the scion parent is headed back to produce
a large number of conveniently available branches for grafting at ground
- The technique of raising mango seedlings for inarching
followed by the nurseries in Malihabad (Lucknow) is a scientific one.
- Seeds are sown in the nursery bed, and when the seedlings
are about 12 cm the whole bed is scrapped with the help of a khurpi
taking care that stones remain uninjured and only the main root is cut.
- These seedlings are transplanted afresh, and after about
a few months these are again transferred to other beds.
- This checks the development of main root and thus ultimately
facilities the lifting of the plants with smallest ball of earth without
any undue injury to the roots.
- The scion plant is about 2-3 years old. It is kept prostrate
in the bed during rainy season so that a few branches arise from the
exposed side of the plant.
- The seedlings are ultimately taken out from the nursery
bed and planted just near this parent scion plant.
- The actual process of inarching consists of removal of
a strip of bark, about 6.0-7.5 cm long with a small layer of wood attached
to it, from the potted seedling at a height of 22 cm from soil surface.
- A similar strip is then removed from the scion
shoot selected for inarching. The scion shoot should be healthy with
- Care is taken to ensure that the 2 exposed surfaces
on the seedling and the scion shoot fit together securely, leaving no
gap when the 2 treated shoots are held together by hand with the exposed
parts in contact with each other.
- In this position they are tied firmly with raffia
or banana fibre. The complete operation should be done at the commencement
of rains for successful raising of the plants.
- The inarching is done in October by the nurserymen
in Malihabad when the rains are over.
- Mango leaf and ordinary sutli are used for
wrapping and tying the cut portions. While raising of mango stock seedlings
is very scientific, for root distribution and for the small ball of
earth required while taking out the plant from the nursery the method
of raising scion material is unscientific-because the scion wood is
taken without the knowledge about the performance of the parent material.
- However, it has the following disadvantages:
- The rootstock seedlings are brought near the
mother plant, so it is more cumbersome.
- It is laborious and time consuming.
- The inarched plants are irrigated regularly and
care is required for 2-3 months at the place of mother plant.
- Only one plant is obtained from a long scion
shoot so it is uneconomical.
- Usually one-year-old rootstock seedlings are
planted/potted which causes high percentage of mortality during inarching.
1. Operated stock. 2. Operated scion. 3. Stock & scion
united . 4. Bandaged union & girdled stock. 5. ready graft.
- This is the best method of propagation for mango. It
is easier, more economical, gives a high percentage of success and is
ideal for establishing in situ orchards.
- It is also known as detached method. In this method
1-2-year-old (50 mm diameter) rootstock is used.
- The scion is also selected of similar thickness having
3 to 4 months age, preferably a terminal non-flowering shoot.
- The selected scions are defoliated on the mother plant
about 7 to 10 days prior to detaching, keeping a part of petiole intact
on the selected terminal shoot.
- This helps in forcing the buds to swell and icnreasing
the percentage of success in grafting. This method can be adopted from
March to September, preferably from July to September.
- A slanting downward and inward cut, 2.5 to 4.0 cm long,
is made on rootstock 15 cm above the crown portion of stock. At the
base of cut, another shorter cut is given to intersect the first, so
as to remove the piece of wood and bark.
- The base of scion is given a long cut along one side
and a very short cut on the opposite side so as to match the cuts on
- The scion is inserted into the stock so that the cambium
layers match on the longer side.
- The graft union is tied lightly with transparent polyethylene
(200 gauge thickness) strip.
- When scion shoot starts growing and produces the vigorous
sprout, the rootstock just above the graft union is cut back.
- Then care and maintenance of graft is done in nursery.
The percentage of success is about 96 per cent when done in June and
1. Operated stock. 2. Operated scion. 3. Stock & scion
united . 4. Protection of the union. 5. ready graft.
- It is also known as Nakamura method and popular in Japan,
commonly practiced in coastal regions.
- It is exactly similar to that of veneer grafting except
that in veneer grafting the vertical flap of the root stock bark is
completely removed whereas in side grafting this flap is retained and
tied over scion.
- Another difference between two methods is that only one
side of the scion is sliced away in sloping manner in veneer grafting,
whereas in side grafting the scion is sliced on both sides of the lower
portion in the form of wedge.
- Germinating seeds about 4-8 days old are used as rootstocks.
- The scions are prepared by prior defoliation of shoots
of comparative thickness.
- Splice and wedge methods are used for grafting. For splice
grafting the epicotyl is cut slantingly for 2-3 cm length and the lower
portion of scion is also cut to match it.
- The cut surfaces of both the stock and scion are tied
together with alkathene so that the cambium of each other comes in close
- In wedge grafting, a vertical cut 4-6 cm long is given
into the beheaded epicotyl, to receive the wedge-shaped scion. This
is then tied with alkathene film.
- The grafts prepared by these methods are planted immediately
in pots and watered. Grafting is done in rainy season when there is
high humidity in the atmosphere.
- The scion sprouts within a month of operation. The percentage
of success in splice and wedge methods is 50.0 and 33.3% respectively.
These techniques enable preparation of more grafts during rainy season.
- When 1-year-old seedlings raised for rootstock commence
putting on new growth and the leaves turn bronze, these are ready for
- Shoots of 3-4 months, which have prominent apical bud,
are taken as the scion material. Leaf lamina from such shoots is removed
about a week before detaching them from the parent tree.
- At the time of removal of these shoots, the apical bud
should remain intact. The top of the new growth of the stock is cut
and the scion is fitted by wedge grafting.
- The union is tied with 200 gauge polythene tape. If the
selection of rootstock and scion is proper, success is 100% when the
grafting is done during July-August under north Indian conditions.
This method is utilized for establishing in situ
mango orchard in gravelly soils.
Cleft or Wedge Grafting
1. beheaded stock. 2. beheaded stock split. 3. side &
front views of scion. 4. scions inserted & wound sealed with wax.
- Primarily this technique is adopted for rejuvenation
of old orchards by top working the trees.
- The rootstock due to more thickness which is not fit
for other grafting technique is used in this method for grafting.
- The scion selection is similar and procured similarly.
The stock is beheaded from any desired height and cut is made at right
angle to the main axis of the branch.
- A vertical split 5.0 to 7.5 cm down the centre of the
cut stub is made with the help of a sharp knife.
- The lower end of scion shoot is given two 5.0 to 7.5
cm long slanting smooth cuts on either side.
- The scion is inserted into split of rootstock, and tied
with polyethylene strip.
Selection of Grafts
- Before actually embarking upon any plantation of mango,
one should select the desirable grafts from the nursery. A good graft
should be straight and established for a year in the nursery.
- Grafts which have been in the nursery only for 1-2 months
should not be purchased, as there are fair chances of their mortality.
- The union should be clean and complete and should be
at about 22 cm from the ground level.
- The scion should be green and healthy, not showing any
sign of withering. It should indicate excellent growing condition and
be free diseases like galls and malformation.
- It should not be purchased from nurseries which do not
maintain the high-yielding and healthy mother plants for propagation.
It will be still better to select own mother plants and prepare grafts
Cuttings and Air-Layering
- There is no commercial practice of propagating mango
either through cuttings or air-layering.
- owever, experimentally these methods have been tied with
varying degree of success.
- Experiments at the IARI have shown that juvenility could
be induced in a mature mango tree by beheading and successive disbudding.
- The cutting cuttings taken from forced shoots root and
establish better than those taken from unforced shoots.
- Rooting capacity of both forced and unforced cuttings
is further increased when both the types of shoots are subjected to
- In all these cases the application of IBA 5,000 ppm in
lanolin paste is essential.
- A mixture of peatmoss and sand (1:1) has proved the beat
medium to induce rooting in the cuttings.
- Analytical studies have revealed that apart from carbohydrate
content or C:N ratio, some other unknown factors associated with the
forced shoots of juvenile nature play more active part in better root
- Anatomical studies have shown that the propagation capacity
of mango cuttings is inversely proportional to the abundance of resin
canals, close proximity of arch-shaped fibre bundle, suberization of
endodermis and thickness of cortex consisting of selerosed cells.
- The hardwood cuttings from mature mango trees generally
fail to root outdoors.
- Under intermittent mist, however, hardwood cuttings from
ringed shoots of mature plants have been found to root successfully.
They reported that ringing + IBA treatment of 'Himsagar' cultivar gave
up to 80% rooting in 2-year-old woodcuttings of a 35-years-old tree.
- Etiolation in combination with 10,000 ppm IBA and 5,000
ppm NAA induced 100% rooting in mango air-layers. Their corresponding
survival, noticed up to 1 year, was 95 and 90% respectively.
- The rooting was 41.66% in the mango cuttings kept in
normal daylight and 50% in those held in continuous darkness.
- When the cuttings were etiolated for 5 days and then
transferred to normal light conditions, rooting was 33.33%.
- However, etiolation followed by normal light + red light
for 30 min at 12 hr intervals resulted in 91.66% rooting as was also
observed with etiolation and red light without any normal light in between.
- When the cuttings kept in darkness were exposed to far
red light for 30 min at 12 hr intervals, rooting was again 41.65%. However,
rooted cuttings could not be established into plants in the field.
- The pre-treatment of the rootstock with cycocel and ethrel
induced rooting on cuttings and air-layers of mango (a difficult-to-root
- Application of IBA to the cuttings and air-layers from
pre-treated shoots improved the rooting, though pre-treatment with chlormequat
was more effective than that with ethrel. Morphactin pre-treatment inhibited
- Air-layering with the application of 5,000 to 10,000
ppm IBA proved successful. Shoots of less than 2 years give higher percentage
of rooting than the older ones.
- Shoots are first ringed about 3 cm in width just below
a leaf bud. On the upper portion of the ring, IBA in lanolin paste is
applied and the girdled portion is covered with moist sphagnum moss,
as it can retain moisture for a sufficiently long time.
- The complete portion is wrapped in a piece of polythene
film ensuring that the film is firmly bound and fastened on top and
bottom to make it air-tight, so that there is no loss of moisture from
the moss through evaporation.
- The polythene wrap allows exchange of the respiratory
gases without any loss of moisture. If there is no other cover over
the polythene wrap, roots can easily be seen without removing the wrapping.
Generally rooting is initiated within 2 months of the operation.
- The air-layered shoot is then detached from the mother
plant by giving 3 cuts near the base at intervals of 10 days.
- Rainy season is the optimum period for layering in mango.
- Although the root initiation in such air-layers is fairly
good, the establishment of such air-layered shoots is poor.
- This is due to initiation of thicker roots, which do
not possess optimum absorbing power and consequently when the rooted
shoots are transferred to pots the mortality is appreciable.
- As a precautionary measure, the potted plants are kept
in the shade and regularly watered.
- Besides, about 20% of the leaves are pinched off to minimize
transpiration. However, an advanced technique is required to ensure
initiation of thinner roots in the air-layered shoots.
- The air-layers of mango show appreciable varietal difference
in their rooting capacity. They found that while in 'Langra' the rooting
was only 35% and survival of the rooted layers only 40%, in 'Gulabkhas'
these were 70% each. The varieties 'Bombai' and 'Himsagar' exhibited
- They also observed that in the air-layers ringed and
treated with IBA, there was significant accumulation of carbohydrates,
enhanced protein synthesis and greater accumulation of rooting co-factors.
- The shoots of less than 2 years, on old trees up to the
age of 30 years, gave higher percentage of rooting than on the trees
of more than 30 years.
- Of the 7 different combinations of rooting media and
wrapping materials tried, sphagnum moss plus vermiculite wrapped with
polythene and then with gunny sack was found to be the best. Establishment
of the layers was better in sand-garden soil-leaf mould mixture than
in sand-and-garden soil alone.
- This is the most economical method but uniform good success
has not been obtained in different types of agroclimatic regions.
- The budding technique is highly suitable to those areas
where general atmospheric humidity remains high. the most commonly employed
methods are patch, shield and forkert budding.
- The rootstock seedlings are raised in similar fashion
as done in case of grafting. The best-suited time of budding in North
India is February to June while in South India august to September.
- The bud wood/scion should be of last season growth and
shoot should be round in shape having Grey colour.
- The middle bud is considered best for good success.
- This is one of the commonest methods used for propagation
of mango in Florida, Hawaii and Philippines.
- The term shield bud is derived from the shield like shape
of the bud, before its insertion in the stock.
- Seedlings which have attained about one year age and
pencil thickness in diameter are given a transverse cut about 15 to
20 cm above the ground level.
- The cut is kept just deep enough to cut the bark and
about one-third distance around the stock. A perpendicular cut starting
from the middle of transverse cut and about 2.5 to 4.0 cm long is made.
- Then bark is loosened on either side of the cut, without
tearing the bark.
- To remove the shield of bud, a cut and about 2 cm. A
horizontal cut at the required portion separates the bud shield which
carries a thick piece of wood.
- Now shield piece containing a bud is inserted in stock
plant. The bud is inserted in between the two flaps of bark without
tearing the bark.
- Then the bud union is wrapped lightly with polyethylene
- During tying the bud portion remains open. If the budding
is successful, the bud piece unites with rootstock in two to three weeks
- The union is completed after about 30 days. The stock
is cut back about 2.5 cm above the union.
- After a season's growth in nursery, plants are shifted
to some other place before planting to their permanent location.
- In this method a transverse cut of 8 mm width is given
on root stock at 25 cm above the ground level and two vertical cuts
of about 2.5 to 4.0 cm on both sides of transverse cuts.
- The bark is removed carefully along these cuts. The
bud is prepared in similar manner as in case of shield bud.
- The size remains equal to the cut on the stock. The bud
is placed into the exposed portion of stock and the bud is covered by
the flap, then budded portion is wrapped with polyethylene strip.
- After a month when union takes place, the wrapping material
is removed and the flap is cut off. When the bud shows symptoms of growth,
the rootstock portion is given half cut above the union leaving some
leaves attached to the stock such operation stimulates the growth of
- After attaining new growth from bud, the remaining portion
of rootstock is cut from 2.5 cm above the bud union.
- Now plant is allowed to remain in nursery for one season
before shifting to permanent location.
- This method of mango propagation is common in Florida.
A rectangular patch of bark of 2.5 cm long and 1.0 to 1.5 cm wide
is removed from rootstock from 15-20 cm above the soil surface.
- A bud shield of similar size or slightly smaller is taken
from the scion shoot and placed over the exposed portion of rootstock.
- Then tying is done with polyethylene strip. To get success
in patch budding, it is essential that stock as well as scion should
Rootstocks and Parental trees
- Rootstock may either be grown from seed as a seedling
rootstock or may be vegetatively propagated as a clonal rootstock.
- Some rootstocks though produced from seeds are in effect
clonal because the seedlings are of nucellar origin from polyembryonic
- However, the seedling rootstocks are mostly from monoembryonic
seeds and hence are quite variable. Therefore any propagation technique
that may aid in easy multiplication of clonal rootstocks will advance
the standardized rootstock programme in the mango plant.
- Rootstocks affect many facts of plant growth and tree
performance. Besides, these are helpful in growing plants under adverse
soil and climatic conditions.
- Disease and pest resistance obtained through specific
rootstocks may be of special importance under certain situations. Recently,
however, rootstocks have especially been, recommended for inducing dwarfness
in fruit trees, in apple.
- Such dwarfing rootstocks produce the dwarfing effect
even when interposed as interstock between a non-dwarfing rootstock
and a scion variety.
- Interstocks have also been used to act as a bridge between
a desirable rootstock and a scion by being compatible with both. The
manner of inducing dwarfing effect by a dwarfing rootstock is not fully
- However, it may be due to restriction of upward translocation
of inorganic nutrients through the rootstock, shallow root system of
the rootstock, restriction of downward phloem transport or other physiological
disturbance caused by graft incompatibility.
- In mango, however, the work for selecting different types
of rootstocks has just been initiated. In a study on chlorophylls, dry
matter and leaf area in relation to vigour of different mango rootstocks,
'Goa' variety to be very vigorous, followed by 'Bappakai', 'Chausa',
'Kurukkan' and 'Villaicolamban', whereas 'Taimuria', 'Moovandan' and
'Kalapady' appeared dwarf on the basis of different chlorophyll fractions
and dry-matter content.
- The trees of 'Villaicolamban' were the smallest both
in height and area covered and those on ' dashehari' seedlings the largest.
The latter gave the highest yield, followed by 'Ambalavi' and 'Mylepalium'.
- The scion variety used was 'Dashehari'. In a study on
the performance of mango on polyembryonic and monoembryonic rootstocks,
the trees of 'Neelum' (12 years old) on 'Olour' were smallest and those
on 'Bappakai' largest.
- The cumulative yields were more with the trees on 'Bappakai'
followed by those on 'Olour'. Differences in fruit quality were slight.
- Polyembryonic varieties also offer great possibility
of being tried as rootstocks for different commercial varieties of mango.
- However, the exact criterion for distinguishing a nucellar
seedling from a gametic seedling in polyembryonic varieties is not yet
- In polyembryonic seed-stone the zygote usually gets degenerated
and the seedlings emerge from nucellar embryos alone. Uniformity in
the colour of emerging leaves of the seedlings may, however, provide
futher proof to this finding.
- The parent trees which provide scion material are equally
as important as the rootstocks.
- The scion wood should be taken only from the mother trees
whose performance has already been assessed over a number of years.
- This will ensure raising of true-to-type plant. Sometimes
one may come across mutated branch on the same tree, varying considerably
in sex ratio and the final fruit set than the rest of the tree.
- Such branches should invariably be avoided while taking
scion material for raising plants from the mother tree.
Technique of Stool-Layering in Mango
- Freshly germinated mango seedlings are headed back near
the ground in July.
- It induces sprouting of 3-5 side-shoots from the main
shoot. Subsequent application of 5,000 ppm indole butyric acid in lanolin
to the surface, after removing a ring of bark of 2 cm from these side-shoots
just near the ground, induces profuse rooting when the soil is formed
into a mound around them.
- The time taken from ringing to potting of the rooted
side-shoots is only 1 month.
- The fibrous root system, unlike the thick and non-rooting
behavior of the young side-shoots is possibly due to their juvenile
- This method of stool-layering can be directly used by
keeping the plant in juvenile phase by repeated pruning.
- The rooted side-shoots may be headed back again and multiplied
further in the same manner.
- Thus from one seedling it is possible to obtain in a
few years a large number of uniform clones for rootstock experiments.
- Further research on stooling has shown that the same
clone can give 3-8 rooted shoots per year for 7 years and more.
- Stooling potentiality is the highest in seedlings, followed
by veneer grafts and air-layers.
- Similar trend has been observed in the production of
primary and secondary roots and the establishment of the stooled plants.
- However, a successful stooling of veneer grafts prepared
from a desired rootstock plant can help quick multiplication of rootstocks.
Veneer Grafting in Sity
- The saplings raised from 5 different methods (inarching,
budding, air layering, veneer grafting and stooling) when grown in the
nursery for 20 months differ in their growth capacity.
- These workers reported that among the plants propagated
by various methods, those grown by veneer graft in situ exhibited
the highest the highest growth.
- Establishment of a grafted mango orchard of uniform trees
is somewhat difficult when done by inarched plants. There is sizeable
mortality once the inarched plants are put in the field.
- This involves a lot of periodical replacement, resulting
in a heterogeneous group of trees. Besides had appearance of the orchard,
these different trees take different time to produce an economic yield.
Veneer grafting in situ is the right answer for this problem.
- Freshly extracted mango seed-stones are placed at appropriate
distance in the field, and thus the seedlings are raised in situ.
- These vigorous seedlings when 2-year old are veneer grafted
with scion sticks of the variety one desires to plant.
- Such plants grow very fast and attain a stature
in a few years, which the inarched plants would have taken many more
years to attain. Thus the advantages of this technique are
- early economic yield,
- better growth,
- no mortality,
- less expenses, and
- an orchard of uniform trees.