If you want to multiply the baobab tree, you don't necessarily need a green thumb. Even inexperienced hobby gardeners can easily get it. Read how it works in detail here.© GoLo - Fotolia.com
The baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) is one of the few exotic species that prove to be extremely adaptable. It thrives on the windowsill and in summer also on the balcony and terrace very well and requires little maintenance. However, the plants have so far hardly been available in retail and the hobby gardener is asked to grow their own baobab tree. But don't worry, the plant from the vastness of Africa does not cause any problems here either and can be grown quite easily from cuttings and seeds. Here you can find out what needs to be considered when multiplying the baobab tree.
Propagation by cuttings
The propagation of cuttings is straightforward and quickly leads to visible success. This form of propagation is also possible if you do not know a baobab tree owner, because the cuttings can be purchased from specialist dealers. Seedlings are usually in stock all year round.
❖ Growing of commercially available cuttings
The trunk is wax-sealed so that it is not damaged during transport. This means that the cuttings can do without water for several months and can be transported over longer distances.
❶ Remove the wax layer
❷ Water the cutting
❸ Select planter
❹ Prepare the substrate
❺ Plant cuttings
After the wax seal has been removed, the cutting is watered. This promotes growth and the growth can be accelerated. The cuttings are placed in a vessel with lukewarm water for about ten days. Change the water as often as possible. If the first new shoots become apparent, the cutting can be placed in the planter.
" Tip: Make sure there are enough drainage holes for the irrigation water in the bottom of the vessel, because the baobab tree does not tolerate waterlogging.
❖ Cultivation of self-obtained cuttings
If you already own a baobab tree, it is of course easier and you can cut the cuttings fresh in spring. Do you know someone who owns a baobab tree? Then just ask him to cut you a cutting. This is preferably done in spring when the baobab tree is repotted anyway.
" Tip: Freshly cut cuttings should have at least three to four leaves.
❶ Cut the cutting
❷ Let the cutting dry
❸ Select planter
❹ Prepare the substrate
❺ Plant cuttings
If the cutting has been cut fresh, it should first dry for a few days. If there is no more plant juice, the seedling can be planted. Choose a suitable planter of sufficient size and enough drainage holes in the bottom. A sand-peat mixture is suitable for growing. Alternatively, commercially available cactus soil can be used. Insert the cutting and keep the soil moist.
" Tip: If you put a glass or a plastic bag over the cutting, a microclimate is created and growth is promoted.
The growth is also supported when the cutting is immersed in rooting powder.
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Cultivated from seeds
The hobby gardener will need a little more patience if the baobab tree is grown from seeds. Seeds are available all year round. No complex stratification has to be carried out, since the seeds do not have any dormancy. So you can use a baobab tree all year round.
Help, my seeds don't germinate!
This can happen, so build ahead and use multiple seeds. Germinating baobab tree seeds have about 20 percent germination. So you can assume that you will succeed with every fifth seed.
Growing from seeds - step by step
- Swell seeds
- Prepare the substrate
- Put seeds in the soil
- Keep seeds evenly moist
- Place the planter in a bright and warm place
- Wait for root formation
Before the seeds are put in the ground, they should swell at room temperature. For this purpose, the seeds are poured with hot water and left in the water overnight.
" Tip: The seeds should only be slightly covered with water and not float in the liquid.
The substrate should be rather nutrient-poor, the seed brings all the necessary nutrients. It is important that the soil is well permeable and that a lot of oxygen reaches the seeds. The soil is moistened evenly and the pre-swollen seeds are inserted into the soil at a depth of about one centimeter. It is important to ensure that there is sufficient distance between the individual seeds.
The seeds need enough light, oxygen and moisture for germination. Place the jar in a bright and warm place. Temperatures around 25 degrees are ideal.
" Tip: If the planter is covered with film, a growth-promoting greenhouse climate is created.
The covered planter should be aired briefly if possible every day. This oxygen exchange is necessary so that mold does not form on the moist earth. It is also important to ensure that the earth is always well moistened, but does not appear too wet.
The seeds germinate after about 4.5 weeks. After germination, the little baobab tree does not seem to develop properly. But this is a fallacy, because roots are diligently formed, which remains hidden from our eyes. If growth begins, it can be assumed that enough roots have formed. Small planters are probably already penetrated by the root weave of the baobab tree.
What happens to the young plants?
The baobab tree is robust and resistant, but only when fully grown. Young plants should be touched with kid gloves. About two months after the first shoots, it is time to separate the young plants. Use extra care to avoid damaging the delicate roots.
The plants are placed in individual pots. A sand-clay mixture is suitable as a substrate. The plant pots are given a bright and warm place. The plants are watered rather moderately, but the soil must not dry out, because the stems are not yet developed enough to store sufficient moisture there.
" Tip: Adult baobab trees are allowed to dry out, young plants resent this and the soil should always be moist.
Regular pruning is necessary so that the young plants achieve the desired growth habit. In our latitudes, the baobab tree is inclined to form a long, thin trunk from which only a few leaves outgrow. Regularly shorten long shoots and stimulate the plant to branch.
Advantages and disadvantages of the types of propagation
|Type of propagation||benefits||disadvantage|
|cuttings||✔ quick method|
✔ high growth guarantee
✔ easy to carry out
|✖ Plant must be present|
✖ Purchased cuttings must swell in water
|seed||✔ Several plants can be grown|
✔ Available all year round
|✖ relatively low guarantee of success|