Need advice rooting mango cuttings. I know that rooting cuttings is not the preferred way. I got a little too over zealous and bought more mango scions that I can graft on available trees. I figured instead of letting them go to waste, I would try rooting them. Has anyone tried before? Do I need a warm environment and bottom heat? I want to do this out in my grow shed but its starting to get colder outside. I do have heating mats. I assume some sort of top cover to create a humidity dome. Do they need light while rooting? Figs don’t until the leaves form which is why I am asking.
I have experience rooting passiflora, fig, and a few other type of cuttings.
I was thinking of using the same rooting mix I use for passiflora which is 50% perlite and 50% vermiculite. Here is my thought process:
Wrap all cuttings in buddy tape
Scrap an angle at the bottom of the cutting
Dip in rooting Hormone
Place in a clear 20 oz cup with slits in the bottom that I use for my other cuttings
Place plastic bag on top and seal it to the cup to create a humidity dome
Water but not over saturate the rooting medium
Place in a tray that has a warming mat underneath it. Not sure what temp to aim for
Keep out of direct light to help with algae issues until leaves start to form
Aim for 25-30°C according to the attached findings from this 1991 study, full text PDF is attached below. However, they emphasize that you need leaves on the cuttings to encourage root formation, and they suggest cutting an entire flush and keeping all the leaves from that flush, and using mist, bottom heat, and hormone. So I’m not sure if it’ll be possible to root scions that have the leaves removed, and you probably want it in bright light to encourage photosynthesis in the buds at least.
Here’s the abstract:
Best results were obtained by retaining 4 – 6 leaves on semi-hardwood cuttings and dipping the cutting bases in talcum powder containing 1% Benomyl and 1% potassium salt of indole-3-butyric acid. Aerated media [e.g. peat: polystyrene shredded flakes (1:1/v:v)] and bottom heat of 25° to 30°C were optimal.
Under optimal rooting conditions, differences were found in the rooting capability of various clones, ranging from 75 to 100% for cuttings taken from young seedlings and from 0 to 100% for cuttings taken from grafted stock plants of selected clones.
In the nursery trade, Mango is grafted to the central leader of 3’ - 4’ saplings at about 32" above the soil. A banana graft or similar is used. The grafting is usually performed in the late Spring / early Summer growth flush. Branches on the saplings below the graft are left on the plants until at least 18" of vigorous growth develops above the graft. The most common rootstock saplings in the U.S. are Manilla - which are available in bundles from production nursery and orchard suppliers. This “Manilla” has nothing to do with the large mango fruits sold in Manilla, PH. Note that Home Depot / Lowes shamelessly buy these and sell them as fruit trees.
You are in zone 8b, so apparently you would overwinter mango indoors or more preferably a greenhouse. For this situation I’d recommend the cultivars Valencia Pride and Timotayo, available from retail sources in California.