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Baobab Grow Guide

Location

Baobabs are tropical deciduous trees and can live outdoors in most climates that don't freeze. Older plants can tolerate occasional light frost, but your trees should otherwise be protected.

Watering

Baobabs have two modes - growth and dormancy. From late spring to the end of summer, your baobab will thrive with lots of water (along with the heat). As the temperature falls, hold back on watering. You are most likely to kill a baobab by overwatering during this time. Even during the growing season, don't worry about letting it be thirsty while you're on vacation. They are basically camels. 

Lighting

Baobabs are adapted to thrive in harsh, direct sunlight with high temperatures. Indirect light will encourage your tree to grow leggy and weak. During the growing season, give them direct sunlight if possible. They'll still adapt to other conditions, but it's not ideal.

Pests

Every part of the Baobab tree is edible to humans, which means its a tasty treat for most pests too. While the trunk can survive losing its leaves to an infestation, you'll want to prevent this as best you can. I recommend filling your garden with beneficial predators, but I still have to occasionally use a wet Q-tip to wipe down bad aphid infestations on young plants. 

Soil and Fertilizer

Baobabs are, by most means, succulents, and thrive in dry, well-draining soils. Make sure your soil isn't too rich in nutrients, the Baobab is accustomed to harsh, arid conditions. I recommend a base of sand and crushed pumice with 25-50% store-bought cactus soil mixed in.

Indoor Growing​

Your baobab doesn't need to become a giant if you don't want it to. These adaptable trees can be grown indoors, especially during the winter, and will grow to fit the size of the pot you choose. When growing in pots, quadruple the amount of drainage holes you'd typically drill to ensure proper drainage. 

Germination

Baobab seeds have a hard outer seed coat that can keep them dormant for decades. There are many ways to germinate baobab seeds, but the safest way is to soak and sow. It may take the longest, but it gives your seed the best shot of germinating without rot getting in the way. 

Step 1

 

Soak Your Seeds In Fresh Water Under Direct Sunlight for 8 Hours

Baobab Seeds Soaking
Step 3

 

Repeat Steps 1 and 2

twice more, but keep the soaking seeds out of the sun for days 2 and 3. 

Use fresh water each day and rub any decay from the seed.

Baobab Seeds Soaking
Germinating Baobab Seeds
Step 2

 

Lay Your Seeds Out to
Dry Overnight

Germinating Baobab Seeds
Step 4

 

Sow your seeds by pressing them slightly into a bed of sandy, well-draining soil. 

Pour a few inches of store-bought cactus soil on top of the seeds and water thoroughly each evening. 

Sowing Baobab Seeds
Baobab Seeds
Step 5

 

Your seedlings will pop up over the next weeks or months, depending on the climate, species, and 

They are ready to be gently transplanted after they've developed several true leaves.

Baobab Seedling Sprout
Baobab Seedling

"When it comes to fostering life, your best friends are trial & error, and google."

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BONSAI BAOBAB

By Cindy Quarters

How to Care for a Baobab Bonsai:

A baobab (Adansonia digitata) is an interesting addition to a bonsai collection. These trees are native to Africa and have an unusual structure and appearance. Some legends say that the tree was cast down from the heavens....

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Endangered Species

Africa’s majestic baobab trees are mysteriously dying

Africa’s iconic baobab trees are dying, and scientists don’t know why. In a study intended to examine why the trees are so long-living, researchers made the unexpected finding that many of the oldest and largest of the trees have died in the past decade or so.

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BAOBAB BASICS

Baobab Basics

Baobab trees are known for their immense bottle-shaped trunks which are used to store water in the dry environments where they grow. The bark is smooth and the branches and leaves are concentrated near the top of the canopy. The leaves are about the size of a human hand and are divided into five oval-shaped leaflets about 3 or 4....

AB3EDA31-057C-49EC-A3F5C6DAA6B7A623_sour

Mother Trees

‘Mother Trees’ Are Intelligent: They Learn and Remember

Previous ecologists had focused on what happens aboveground, but Simard used radioactive isotopes of carbon to trace how trees share resources and information with one another through an intricately interconnected network of mycorrhizal fungi...

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Spirit Trees

Baobab trees: Mysterious
link to the other world

Locals believe tree hosts spirits, both good and evil, some of which need to be appeased to ward off any bad omen on the community

Baobab trees, a widespread species all over Africa, provide for a very nutritious food supplement: the coloured and flavoured mabuyu snack.

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Seedling Reference

Identifying Baobab Seedlings

Among the rare places over the World where species of baobabs are cultivated is Le Jardin Naturel, a botanical garden and nursery situated in the french island of Reunion, near Madagascar. The nursery of Le Jardin Naturel is probably the only one to cultivate the extremely rare Adansonia perrieri, a species of baobab native from Madagascar.

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