Skip to content

How to graft mango 1 – Modified cleft grafting

July 5, 2010

Why would you do grafting at all?

If you wish to multiply a delicious variety of fruit, then the seedlings will be genetically different from the mother, i.e. shape, taste, colour and texture of the fruit might be different, just like a daughter is different from her mother. This applies to many fruits, but not to mangosteen as explained in an earlier blog. You can take cuttings from some fruit trees, and stimulate rooting, and the resulting trees will be identical to the mother plant. However, in some cases this is not possible, and in other species like lime (Citrus x aurantiifolia, Rutaceae), the roots are very sensitive to nematodes, which is why lime needs to be grafted on another species’ root system, quite often limeberry Triphasia trifolia (Rutaceae). The growth of a wanted cultivar in a new environment is usually  enhanced if it is grafted onto a local rootstock.

Generally, if you taste a fruit in a friend’s garden and simply love it, then plant the seed, let it germinate, and then you take a young shoot from your friend’s marvellous tree, and you graft it onto the seedling.

In the case of mango (Mangifera indica, Anacardiaceae), people here in Thailand often use seedlings of the varieties ‘geu’, ‘talap naak’ and ‘chog-anan’ as rootstock. As the seeds are polyembryonic, one seed results in many seedlings. Chog-anan is delicious in itself, produces several crops a year, and given you allow it to produce some shoots, it will stimulate grafted mango cultivars to produce multiple crops too, even if they normally only produce once a year.

This is how to graft a young mango shoot onto a young rootstock (modified cleft grafting, study the picture below):

1. Buy a good knife, which you only use for grafting, and buy a sharpening stone. Sharpen the knife carefully every time before use. A right-handed person should only sharpen the right side. Hold the blade almost parallel to the stone, and move it in one direction only, away from you. Use water while sharpening your knife. After use, clean the knife and oil it to prevent rust.

2. Cut the shoot of a root stock so no leaves remain. The resulting tall stump should have a grey bark. Make a split (cleft) in the stump, about 2-3 cm deep.

3. Take a young green shoot of your wanted mango cultivar, preferably 20 days old. If you cut a mango branch, new shoots will form, and you simply harvest after 20 days.

4. Cut the end of the shoot, or scion, so it looks like a wedge. Make the side cuts of a length equal to the depth of the cleft, so the inside cells (cambium layers) of the two plants can merge.

5. Take a rubber band and tighten it just near the end of the split or cleft, making the rootstock elastic.

6. Insert the peg of the scion into the cleft and tie a string around the top of the rootstock.

7. Since the young shoot is brittle, cover it with a plastic bag rather than using grafting tape. Tighten the plastic bag at the bottom using a string.

8. Keep it in the shade for two weeks. If it is still green after two weeks, leave it for another two weeks, and then you remove the plastic bag and admire your new child.

Practice a lot, because although the theory is simple, it takes many mistakes to get an experienced hand and eye.

More mango grafting techniques:

Silvania grafting

Bark grafting

Eric Danell, the Tropical Gardening School at Dokmai Garden, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

(Sharing the advice of Dr Saha).

Did you find this blog helpful? If so, click ‘LIKE’ on our website!

Modified cleft grafting is a technique for grafting a young rootstock with a young shoot (scion).

About these ads
36 Comments leave one →
  1. jankipersad permalink
    October 9, 2010 10:52 PM

    please send me new development on horticulture

    • October 10, 2010 9:00 AM

      If you bookmark us you can actively read several new articles a week. You can also sign up for e-mail subscription by clicking the button to the right. We also announce our blogs via Twitter. If you live in Chiang Mai, we should be happy to include you on our mailing list which we use to announce activities. We currently have 249 recipients on that list.

      Ketsanee

  2. aminu bala rungumi permalink
    January 26, 2011 9:02 PM

    ihave been working under zonal horticulture office in sokoto,nigeria for almost 20yrs but when ever i try grafting in mango it will not be succesfull so we only do budding all the time.pls can u tell me why
    ?

    • January 26, 2011 11:21 PM

      The techniques work fine here on a routine basis. I have to see how you do the grafting to find out what is wrong. I propose you ask for a grant to go to Maejo agricultural university in Thailand to study mango grafting.

      • Vidalito S. Lomahan permalink
        July 25, 2011 12:23 AM

        Dear Dokmaidogma:

        Is this ‘chog-anan’ the same as ckoke anan or honey mango in Thailand? I have a few hundred double root-stock chocanans planted in Pangasinan,Philippines.They bear fruits after two years between 400 to 500grams each. They seem to bear fruits three to four times a year,from December to July. The only problem is you have to go to the farm and harvest 3 to 4 times.This mango has less fiber and super delicious

        I live in Illinois,USA and visit my farm twice a year. I have Guimaras, Sweet Elena.Golden Queen, and Chocanan planted in double root-stock ranging in age between 2 to 6 years old.

        Lito S. Lomahan

      • July 25, 2011 1:32 AM

        Yes, transliteration is hard but they should be the same varieties. There are about 500 mango varieties.

        Cheers, Eric

  3. January 28, 2011 8:01 AM

    For this type of grafting I don’t think you need to bother with a knife and sharpening stone. Just use a cutter – they have very sharp blades and when the blade is blunt you just snap off the end and push out a new section.

    • January 28, 2011 8:56 AM

      Yes, that would indeed facilitate things! I have never tried it, but usually such cutters demand cutting against a table or floor. A knife has a stronger blade. I guess a surgical disposable blade would work well too.

      Thanks, Eric

  4. Tom permalink
    July 5, 2011 11:35 AM

    What are your thoughts on using grating wax? Other websites have suggested using it to cover the exposed wounds at the graft. Is that what plastic bag is for?

    • July 7, 2011 5:03 PM

      Dear Tom,

      One can use wax too, but clinging plastic film and rubber bands may do the same trick (sealing the two tissues). The plastic bag is needed to maintain moisture.

      Good luck!

      Eric

    • Vidalito S. Lomahan permalink
      July 24, 2011 11:57 PM

      TOM:

      I THINK PLASTIC WAX IS USED AS AN AIR BARRIER TO PREVENT THE UNION FROM
      DRYING. PLASTIC WRAPPED AROUND WOULD SERVE THE SAME PURPOSE.

      I READ ON SOME TECHNIQUE, THAT SOME PEOPLE USED TO SOAK THE CULTIVAR IN HONEY IN ROSE GRAFTING BECAUSE THE SUGAR WOULD AVAIL THE GRAFT TO HAVE MORE SURVIVAL IN THE UNION. iS THERE ANYBODY WHO USED THIS HONEY IN MANGO GRAFTING.I WISH SOMEBODY COULD TELL ME.

      LITO LOMAHAN

      • July 26, 2011 9:06 AM

        Dear Lito,

        No I have not heard of anyone using honey in mango grafting. However, the techniques I have described still work.

        Cheers, Eric

      • May 9, 2013 8:24 AM

        Gud day Lito,

        How are you?

        You said your chokanan 2 to 6 years old chokanan bears fruit 3 to 4 times a year. May I know how many kilos can you harvest from each tree? And may I know where did you buy your cultivars.

        Hope to hear from you soon. More power! Godspeed!

        Best regards,

        DENNIS YOUNG DEMA-ALA
        Managing Director
        Bayanihan Farming-Entrepreneurship & Fund Raising

  5. jomar permalink
    July 29, 2011 8:33 AM

    Hi. I just want to ask why 20 days old scion is
    recommended?

    • July 29, 2011 8:40 AM

      A truly scientific question from an intelligent mind! As with so many techniques there are routines, and if they work they become part of the manual. A scientific mind would try for himself, and maybe find something better? In this case the 20 days is a balance between shortest possible time of waiting and the minimum time for a scion sturdy enough and large enough to handle.

      Good luck!

      Eric

    • June 10, 2012 6:15 PM

      How can i get big breed size of a mango?

      • June 12, 2012 3:03 PM

        That depends on your local dealer. If you have particular interests, ask the nearest pomology department.

        Good luck!

        Eric

  6. jomar permalink
    July 29, 2011 9:15 AM

    Thanks Eric..I’m a hobbyist and this is a new technique to practice..hope you could post grafting technique for lychee, rambutan & longan…

    Good day

    • July 29, 2011 9:17 AM

      The mango grafting technique works for many species. Play around and have fun!

      Eric

  7. July 30, 2011 9:26 AM

    Hi
    Could you please tell me where can I purchase grafted chok anan mango trees in Thailand,in Bangkok preferably.
    Thanks a lot.

    • July 30, 2011 10:00 AM

      Your Thai neighbours would know, but go to any market for garden plants! Here in Chiang Mai you can buy them at the Khamtieng flower market, at Maejo University and sometimes even at gasoline stations.

  8. Shrikant V. Gokhale permalink
    April 20, 2012 5:14 PM

    I have gone through the procedures of grafting and I will try the same during mansoon perios and then report

  9. Iamemjay permalink
    May 13, 2012 6:15 PM

    Is the same technique used for avocados? I have tried it a number of times without success – but it could be that I’m attempting to graft a tropical Guatemalan variety (grown in Thailand from a seed brought from Australia) onto a Thai variety rootstock … or is what I’m attempting just too difficult?

    • May 14, 2012 9:47 AM

      Modified cleft grafting should work. Make sure the scion is kept moist. Avocado is less drought tolerant than mango. The age of the scion could be important. Grafting a seedling onto a Thai name variety seems a bit backwards. Maybe you wish to keep growing your seedling on its own root system?

      Good luck!

      Eric

      • Iamemjay permalink
        May 14, 2012 10:13 AM

        Thanks for that. The seedling is of a type that remains true to its type – and I want a number of similar trees, but don’t want to wait the additional time that seedlings require or their additional risk of non-fruiting. I’ll keep trying. Thanks for your reply.

      • May 14, 2012 10:37 AM

        Interesting – keep us posted about your progress!

        Good luck!

        Eric

  10. Giwa Yusrat permalink
    June 8, 2012 5:03 AM

    I am interested in budding and grafting

  11. Sadeeq b karofi permalink
    June 30, 2012 11:59 AM

    What are the problems encounter when graft mango.?
    You said the scion should be cover with plastic bag why

    • June 30, 2012 4:14 PM

      Dear Sadeeq,

      The main problem is to get started. With practice you will find a simple routine method that suits you.

      The plastic bag is needed to preserve moisture, or the the cells of the cut ends will dry out and die and no fusion is achieved.It is also a mechanical barrier against fungal spores which may infect the wounds.

      Good luck!

      Eric

  12. hans permalink
    December 12, 2012 1:57 PM

    http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php

    Look this forum is about tropical fruit, i think you love it.

  13. WASIU OMOTOSHO permalink
    June 23, 2013 2:36 AM

    I AM A STUDENT OF HORTICULTURE AND LANDSCAPE,I HAVE GAIN ALOT IN THIS TECHNIQUE WHICH AM ABOUT TO IMPLEMENT.BUT I WANT TO KNOW IF THIS GRAFTING IS POSIBLE DURING RAINING SEASON AND DID GRAFTING REQUIRE ANY ROOTING HORMONE.

    • June 26, 2013 5:35 PM

      Dear Khun Wasiu,

      The rainy season is a good time for grafting. No rooting hormones needed.

      Good luck!

      Eric

  14. ENGR.VIDALITO S. LOMAHAN permalink
    June 29, 2013 10:11 PM

    MR. DENNIS DEMA ALA, TANKS FOR ASKING. I GOT THE GRAFTED CHOCANAN SEEDLINGS FROM CLSU UNIVERSITY FRM KA BERNIE DIZON. LAST OCTOBER 13TH 2013, I GRAFTED A CHOCANAN SCION TO A 2 INCH DIAMETER INDIAN MANGO. APRIL 2013 IT BORE FLOWERS AND HAVE A DOZEN 300TO 400 GRAMS OF FRUIT..THATS INCREDIBLE 6 MONTHS. MANGOES BEAR FRUITS EVERY OTHER YEAR.. HOWEVER IF YOU PLANT DUAL ROOT STOCKS THEY BEAR FRUITS EVERY YEAR WITH THE RIGHT AMOUNTS OF FERTILIZER.,PLANTED THOSE MANDOES AT SISON, PANGASINAN.WHERE I RESIDE. AT PRESENT, I AM IN CGICAGO, ILLINOIS FOR 4 MONTHS VACATION. RETURN TO SISON BY SEPTEMBER.YOU COULD VISIT MY FARM AT SISON.PANGASINAN LITO LOMAHAN

  15. ENGR.VIDALITO S. LOMAHAN permalink
    June 30, 2013 11:29 PM

    MR. DENNIS YOUNG DEMA-ALA:

    GOT THE CULTIVARS FROM KA BERNIE DIZON AT CLSU,PHILIPPINES. I HAVE A FEW HUNDREDS OF DUAL ROOT STOCK CHOCANAN MANGOES IN MY FARM AT SISON,PANGASINAN, PHILIPPINES.THEY ARE PROLIFIC FRUITERS.HARVEST 3 TO 4 TIMES A YEAR. FRM DECEMBER TO JULY. IN THE FARM THERE ARE GOLDEN QUEEN FROM TAIWAN BEAR FRUIT 1TO 1.5KG, SWEET ELENA 700 T0 800GRM FRUITS FRM ZAMBALES , LAMAO,AND GUIMARAS.ARE ALSO PLANTED.. YOU COULD VISIT ME IN MY FARM IN THE MONTHS OF OCTOBER TO MAY. JUNE TO SEPTEMBER I WILL BE IN CHICAGO ILLINOIS TO ENJOY THE SUMMER HERE. I SUSPECT YOU ARE A PINOY ENGR. LITO S. LOMAHAN

  16. Jose Valdez permalink
    July 7, 2014 6:33 AM

    Good day Lito,
    I’m interested and planning to have small mango orchard farm with varieties like yours. Can you PM your farm address and/or contact number?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 470 other followers

%d bloggers like this: