1/ Seed can be collected
from picked or fallen fruit. After crushing the hard woody shell
of the fruit, the seeds can be extracted from the dry acidic
pulp. The seeds are kidney-shaped, with a smooth, dark brown to
blackish seed coat. It should be soaked in hot water overnight
and planted in a soil mixture of washed river sand and compost
(5:1). Plant the seed no deeper than 10 mm. Seedlings have
flattened hypocotyls and the first leaves are petiolate (with a
leaf stalk), generally simple and narrowly linear. Seed sown
during the summer months is likely to germinate within two
weeks. The germination rate is usually 90-100%. Seedlings can be
transplanted when they are 60 mm tall. Weaning of the plants is
critical before planting them out into the full sun. The growth
rate is moderate to fast (500800 mm) per year, especially for
the first 5 years. Areas where the baobab can be grown are
restricted to those with not more than 1 day frost per year.
This is a protected tree in southern Africa.
2/ Baobabs are quite easily
grown from seed although they are seldom available in nurseries.
Seed can be collected from dry fruits by cracking the fruit open
and washing away the dry, powdery coating. The dark brown to
black, kidney-shaped seeds should be soaked in a container of
hot water and allowed to cool, they may then be sown after
soaking for 24 hrs. Seeds are best sown in spring and summer in
a well-drained seedling mixture containing one-third sand.
Cover the seed with sand to
a depth of 4-6 mm, place the trays in a warm semi-shaded
position and water regularly until the seeds have all
germinated. Germination may take from two to six weeks.
Seedlings should be carefully monitored for damping off fungus,
which can be treated with a fungicidal drench.
Transplant the seedlings
once they are 50 mm high into individual containers, preferably
in a sandy soil with some well-rotted compost and bone meal.
Baobabs grow reasonably quickly when they are young.
They will make a handsome
addition to a large garden, estate, or large parkland providing
the soil is not waterlogged. Baobabs cannot tolerate even mild
When they are young, baobabs
do not resemble their adult counterparts, the stems are thin and
inconspicuous, and their leaves are simple and not divided into
the five to seven lobes of the adult trees.
Saplings can be effectively grown in
containers or tubs for many years before becoming too large
and requiring to be planted into the ground. In this manner
one can move them out of the cold into a warm position in a
glasshouse or indoors behind a sunny window to prevent frost
3/ Seeds germinate well
in a nursery where sufficient water can be provided. In nature
they germinate only in very good rainy seasons. The seeds keep
their vitality for years. Hard tests (seed coats) should be
broached by being filed an immersed in hot water. Young trees
soon develop a distended underground organ for storing water
from which the tap and side roots emerge. Seedlings should be
transplanted only after water-storing bulbs have been developed
and when they are leafless. The tree prefers well-drained soils
and is sensitive to too much water and cold weather. Truncheons,
so far, have been unsuccessful.
More pix - click to enlarge
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This web page was last updated on:
07 August, 2012