I have a mango seedling that I started from seed about mid-July, so it's a few months old. It is now about a foot tall and just sprouted few more leaves. I also have an avocado seedling growing, and looking online I see that it's recommended to cut the avocado back to about half its height when it reaches about 6-8 inches. Perhaps my Google-fu is a bit weak when it comes to horticulture, but I'm not seeing too many recommendations when it comes to mango seedling pruning, but I do see some tips on pruning(tipping) trees in general.

My question is, how much should be pruned, just the first few inches of growth, or a more dramatic cut/half the height? Also, is pruning a seedling that is a few months old too hasty of a move? I don't want to end up with a leafy stick, or worst, a dead stick.

Also, FYI, I'm growing this indoor year round since I live in an apartment, and I have a few grow lights set up as well.

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2 Answers 2


At the top of your plant between the two leaves is your "terminal Bud" If you cut the terminal bud it will cause the axillary (lateral buds) below it to grow into new terminal buds. So you will have two tops instead of one. When those grow you can cut them causing two more from each terminal bud, and so on...


At this stage, don't cut it. It's very small and growing indoors is less than ideal for trees like this, so I'd let it grow for at least 2 or 3 seasons, to let it establish itself and become accustomed to the 'climate'.

Yours looks healthy, maybe a little spindly, but healthy. They get quite large, so even if you train it into a shrubby form, it can still take up a lot of space indoors. It should begin branching on it's own, after it grows a bit more. It's still in the seedling stage. In the sapling stage, it will grow more vigorously, and that's the stage where it will take pruning in stride.

I'd let it go for now, and if it grows 2 or 3 feet or so, without branching, you could head it back lightly (just a few inches) in hopes for some branching.

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