Adansonia baobab: Grow and Care

Adansonia is a genus of the Malvaceae family; this family’s trees are popularly known as baobab, bottle tree, or primate bread.

The name “baobab,” by which this plant is known, has its origin from the Arabic (buhibab), which means “father of many seeds.”

This family of plants contains only eight species that grow on Madagascar, mainland Africa, and Australia.

The trunk of these plants are usually quite large, bottle-shaped, and from which leaves composed of 5 to 11 green leaflets sprout.

Its flowers are hermaphroditic and measure approximately 10 cm, and they are also of different colors: white, cream, even orange.

The fruit is a berry or thick capsule that contains numerous seeds with a shape similar to that of a pear.

The fruit of the baobab is known as “monkey bread” or “bouy”, and can measure between 10 and 45 cm. 

The pulp of this fruit can be consumed without any problem.

In fact, this fruit is usually eaten as if it were candy.

But it’s more commonly used as an ingredient to make an energy drink, as it is rich in vitamins, minerals, and high fiber content.

Adansonia baobab Care

Growing a baobab outdoors, unless you live in a tropical area, can be really frustrating, but we can treat it like a houseplant or bonsai instead.

If you plant it in a pot, it will not reach its natural size, but you can have a small baobab.

Illumination

Being plants from tropical climates, this plant loves the sun. 

For this reason, it is best to have it outside where it receives a good amount of sun.

But in case you want to have your plant inside your home, you must place it in a place where it receives the sun’s rays, even indirectly.

Substratum

The substrate for Adansonia must be porous and light and also have the ability to drain water quickly, to prevent the roots from drowning and avoid fungi from forming on the plant.

Before planting them in the garden, it is highly recommended to dig a hole of at least 1m x 1m, and fill it with substrates.

If you are going to have them in a pot, this will also be very useful for them to grow properly.

Watering

In order not to make mistakes when watering your plant, what you should do is water your plant two to three times a week, always waiting for the substrate to be dry.

In winter, you should be a little careful because these plants do not tolerate cold, so it is better to water the plant carefully so it doesn’t get sick.

At this time of year, you should water every 15 days, especially if temperatures drop too low.

Temperature

The climate must be tropical or subtropical, without frost.

If your plant is used to cold, it is possible that the plant can withstand frosts with temperatures that do not exceed 1°C.

If the temperatures where they live drop much more, you must protect your plant since.

A good note to make is that this plant can take much longer to start growing again after a long winter. 

Other Adansonia species:

Adansonia digitata

This type of Adansonia grows in all semi-arid areas of continental Africa, reaching about 25 m in height and 10 m in diameter. 

 In addition, its leaves have 5 to 7 leaflets.

Adansonia grandidieri

This Adansonia is the tallest and most slender baobab species, reaching a height of up to 30 m (although it rarely reaches 40 m). 

The cylindrical trunk measures about 3 m in diameter. 

The flowers of this beautiful tree are a white or creme color and have a rich aroma. The fruits are rich in vitamin C.

This type of tree is unfortunately in danger of extinction.

Adansonia gregorii

It’s an indigenous tree of Australia, so it could be called the Australian baobab. 

It is between 9 and 10 m high, and the base of its trunk can measure more than 5 meters in diameter. 

This plant blooms in spring.

Adansonia madagascariensis

They can measure from 5 to 12 m and come in very different shapes.

It grows in the northeast of Madagascar and can even go a few meters into the sea.

The fruit is wider than long.

It blooms in February and leaves in November.

Adansonia rubrostipa

This is the smallest Adansonia of all the baobab, which reaches a height of 4 to 5 m, but can sometimes reach 20 meters. 

This tree is native to Madagascar, and it also blooms in spring.

Adansonia suarezensis

It grows in the north of Madagascar. 

Also in great extinction danger. 

It’s a tall species, measuring up to 25 m, and has a slender trunk, with a trunk of 2 meters in diameter. 

The branches are wide, the leaves have 6 to 11 yellowish-green and elliptical leaflets.

The Adansonia suarezensis blooms in spring, and very aromatic and hormonal flowers sprout from them.

Adansonia za

This species is native to Madagascar and reaches up to 30 meters in height. 

Its trunk is quite thick, measuring approximately 10 meters in diameter.

The flowers of this tree appear in spring and are orange in color.