How to grow Baobab Trees

How to Grow Baobab Trees Trees

Tip: Want to print these instructions? Download the printer-friendly version here.

Baobab is a low maintenance tree and regarded as world’s largest succulent. It can also be grown in pot, baobab bonsai is famous and is particularly well suited for beginners and if you have a large backyard, you can grow it outside. The baobab tree flourishes on poor soils, tolerates heat and has the ability to store large amounts of water, to survive in drought.

Difficulty: Moderate

Other Names: Adansonia (scientific name), boab, boaboa, tabaldi, bottle tree, upside-down tree, and monkey bread tree.

Height: up to 30 meters

Bloom Color: White


Even gardeners without green fingers can make it with a little patience, to multiply the baobab tree.

Growing Baobab from Seed

Before sowing, the Baobab seeds needs soaking at room temperature. For this, soak the seeds for one day in warm water. After that, scarify the baobab seeds on sandpaper to expose their inner white layer.

Dry seeds indoors for a day before planting. The germination rate of baobab seeds is low, so sow 3 times more seeds than required.

Sow baobab seeds 1 to 2 inch deep and keep the soil temperature above at least 15 degrees Celsius. It is important to keep soil evenly moist, but not kept wet.

Once the roots are formed, baobab can be planted into individual pots or on the grounds. The pot you use should have a minimum diameter of seven centimeters.

The germination of baobab seeds is sporadic, their germination can take anywhere from a week to a month. The cultivation of baobab from seed requires some patience. Because in some cases, the germination can take several months.


Location and Soil

Growing baobab tree requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, it appreciates as much sun as given. If baobab receives too little daylight, it grows slowly and spindly and leaves turns yellow.

In order to create the optimum soil conditions for the baobab, soil must have good drainage and should be sandy. To make baobab soil at home, mix 3 parts of compost, 2 parts of sand in 1 part soil.

This allows better aeration of the soil and prevents root rot.

Watering and fertilizing

Watering requirement of baobab is moderate to low as it is native to arid areas of Africa and it should be done carefully. If you’re growing baobab in container, choose one with good drainage holes, so that the excess water can seep out from bottom.

Overwatering should be avoided. Before watering the plant again, always check if the soil is dry. If it is moist, do not water. As baobab is very tolerant to droughts, do not water if unsure.

Mature baobab tree on ground does not need any fertilizer. Fertilize young and potted plant with liquid succulent fertilizer that is high in potassium and low in nitrogen every month.

Baobab Care

Taking care of a baobab is simple. The sturdy exotic plant loves warm, sunny and bright location. Larger specimens survive longer drying sessions. Seedlings, on other hand need more water and should be kept moderately moist. Baobab tree if grown successfully, rewards you not only with its ornamental thick trunk and rich green leaves, but also with large white flowers and edible fruits.

Overwintering Baobab

Knowing how to grow a baobab tree is not as difficult as overwintering it especially if you’re living in extremely cold climate. You’ll need to do a lot of care to overwinter it.

Place it indoors, in a bright and warm position near a windowsill. Try to keep temperature around 10 C, lower than this will stunt baobab.

In winter, baobab tree drops its leaves and goes to dormancy. During this time water sparingly, watering in winter can cause root rot.

Also stop to fertilize. In the spring, place it back at its usual location. Resume watering when buds begin to swell.


Baobab tree can be easily made into a bonsai.

If you are growing baobab trees in pot, repotting is necessary. The growth of baobab roots is very strong. Therefore, the tree requires enough space to unfold. Repot baobab when plants seems root bound, roots starts to appear on upper surface.


The baobab tree can be pruned throughout the year except winter. It’s easy, simply remove the shoots, which are located under the main crown. If possible, make a cut near bud. So a new bud of the branch will be ensured.

In order to cut individual branches summer is the ideal time.

Diseases, pests and other problems 

Some common pests that attracts on baobab tree are mealybugs, spider mites and fungus gnats.

Baobab Tree Facts and Adaptations

It has strong branches, impressive trunk and fleshy leaves.

This versatile tree has long been used for medicinal purposes by Africans across the continent. It is also famed for its incredible nutritional properties, much like the moringa, it is a superfood that deserves the name!
– It has five times the magnesium of avocados
– Four times the potassium of bananas
– Twice the calcium of milk
– Twice the antioxidants of acai berries, and more than any other fruit
– Six times the vitamin C of oranges
– Ten times the fibre of apples