Bonsai Baobab tree indoor plants
Baobab – Adansonia digitata (latin)
Areas of origin: Africa, from the Sahel to the Transvaal, in the dry savannah regions.
Adult Dimensions: Up to 24 metres high (79′), diameter of the trunk can grow to 8 or 9 metres (26 or 29.5′).
Foliage: Deciduous in the dry season.
Flowering: At the end of the dry season or just before the first rains often before the first leaves.
Soil type: Weak acid to lime, dry.
Hardiness: Temperatures above 12°C.
Exposure: Full sun.
Keeping a Baobab Tree inside: Put in a warm environment (minimum temperature 12°C) and well lit near a window. In some areas it will be possible to put outside from June throughout to September. Water thoroughly when the compost is dry. Can wait for another month before being watered again. Continue watering even if the tree loses its leaves in winter. You can treat your Baobab Tree like a house plant and transplant later into bigger containers, or pots with a water reserve. The baobab should be re-potted every 2 years. Trim roots by a third. Choose a terracotta pot with a hole, one size bigger than the root ball. Fill with a mix of compost (70%) and sand (30%). Re-pot and water well.
Characteristics and Uses: The baobab is one of the most useful trees grown in the Sahel. It is revered and protected by the population. A source of shade and landmark in the countryside, the Baobab is treated as a meeting point for markets and other events. The leaves are rich in calcium, iron, proteins and lipids, constituting an additional source of nutrition. The fruit is commonly known as monkey bread. The pulp is used for making refreshing drinks rich in Vitamins B1 and C. Young shoots and roots are eaten like asparagus. The black seeds contained in the pulp can be grilled and eaten. They contain more protein than peanuts and have a higher percentage of Lysine (amino acids necessary for growth) than in vegetables. At the time of the sap rising, the bark fibres are taken off up to 1.5m (4.9′) in length and on the entire circumference of the trunk to make ropes. The wood being very soft and spongy is not used. It has high water content, up to 10,000 litres in large trees. In drought periods, humans and animals will chew the wood to appease their thirst. The old trees often have natural or man-made cavities that act as water reservoirs, or food and cereals stocks. They can also act as refuges or burial sites. The baobab has a very high resistance to fire and drought. It has very few enemies. Young trees are usually only destroyed by fire or animals, the biggest ones can be damaged by elephants who break the branches and the oldest ones are either destroyed by storms, lightning or just collapse.
Baobab: The Tree of Life
The Baobab is called the Tree of Life with good reason. It is capable of providing shelter, food and water for the animal and human inhabitants of the African savannah regions.
The cork-like bark is fire resistant and is used for cloth and rope. The leaves are used for condiments and medicines. The fruit, called “monkey bread”, is rich in vitamin C and is eaten. The tree is capable of storing hundreds of litres of water, which is tapped in dry periods.
Mature trees are frequently hollow, providing living space for numerous animals and humans alike. Trees are even used as bars, barns and more. The Baobab also features as the Tree of Life in Disney’s “Lion King”, and is the centrepiece in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Radio-carbon dating has measured that age of some Baobab trees at over 2,000 years old.
Baobab bonsai are one of the world’s most fascinating bonsai. Baobab trees grow in Africa, and are one of the world’s most unusual looking trees.
There are many legends revolving around the Baobab tree, among one of the most common being that the tree was cast down from heaven and grew upside down, as the canopy branches of the tree often look like roots.
As the tree loses its leaves in the winter season, this characteristic is predominate during this time.
If you are intending on keeping a Baobab bonsai, there are several things that you will need to remember. First, these trees are extremely sensitive to temperature. They will not thrive in places that get cold. Many growers have witnessed a tree die within several days due to quick exposure to cold temperatures.
If you live somewhere cold, it is vital that you store the Baobab bonsai somewhere the plant can remain warm throughout the winter season. In addition, the Baobab bonsai should receive no water at all during the winter, as watering them in winter will cause root rot and your plant will die.
The most challenging aspect of caring for a Baobab bonsai, aside from taking care to water properly, is to acknowledge that these trees take a very long time to grow. You will not get instant results from this type of bonsai tree. You will need to take your time and carefully plan your bonsai design, and realize that these trees may take well over ten years before you will see results. However, once designed, they make an excellent part of any bonsai collection. As they are fairly easy to care for as long as you pay attention to the plant’s dormancy period, growers of any level can enjoy this tree.
If you are interested in growing Baobab bonsai, there are several things that you can do to acquire one. First, you can attempt to grow your own from a seed. Seeds can be purchased online or from specialty vendors. Seedlings and already designed bonsai can also be purchased, although shipping this type of plant can be dangerous if you are shipping during the dormancy period or to a place that has lower temperatures.