A Conversation for The Baobab Tree
Researcher 208346 Started conversation Nov 5, 2002
Hi could someone give me some tips on growing boabab seeds (Monkey Bread tree)as i have know idea, thanks
Das Loop Posted Nov 22, 2002
Oi- Dunno if you've gotten any advice on how to grow baobab seeds yet o rnot, so I;ll give you my take. I've got a few baobabs in my Maryland (USDA zone 6/7) home.
First, sterilise the soil you'll be planting the seed in. Then, remembering not to end sentences with prepositions, do it the other way 'round and sterilise the soil in which you intend to grow your baobab. I usually do this by putting it in the microwave oven for nigh upon a minute. Of course, the duration of nuking it depends on the amount of soil you're using; a thimble-full might combust with a minute's nuking, but a liter of soil won't be so affected by it. An alternative is to sterilise soil in the conventional oven- 100 degrees C for 15-20 minutes, just to be safe. Oh, and I should tell you that I use a 1:1 grit:peat mix to start baobab seeds.
Step Two, as it's called by no one in particular, is to take a metal file and nick the seed coat. Some folks tell you to only make a small nick, others recommend filing away 'til you can see the white of the embryo. Hmmm, tough call; depends on how many seeds you've got. If you've only got one seed, do be careful, and take the conservative "small nick" route.
What I then do is take a small plastic vial with a tightly closing lid and fill it up with hot tap water. Then I put the nicked seed in the vial and seal it up good and tight. I carry the vial in my pocket all day so as to keep the water warm. I dunno if this is nonsense or not, but I happen to believe that the mild warmth helps the water penetrate the seed coat, and that's what you want it to do.
Okay, so you've been keeping this seed in a vial for 18 hours or so (up to 24hrs. is all I've ever done), and you'll no dobt notice that the whole thing has begun to swell. Cool! Place the seed in your oh-so-sterile peat:grit mix and give it good light and moderate warmth asd don't let it dry out! I make an indentation in the lightly packed soil with my finger, place the seed in that indentation , then cover it with 1-2cm of grit.
It very likely might start to show signs of life within a fortnight-ish. First up will be the big seed-leaves, the "solar panels" of a young seedling. Within a month or so of the seed leaves' emergence, you should see the first set of real leaves. Yay!
It's best if you can let the thing grow outside in hot weather. Growing it indoors -even under lights and with appropriate warmth!- tends to give you a tall and spindly baobab. Tall and spindly?! That's no way for a baobab to look! Also, if you can give it a big pot, it'll do better (i.e., get larger) than if you give it a wee little home.
I hope all of this is helpful... Best wishes with the baobabs!
Wrinkled Rocker Posted Feb 1, 2004
Baobabs seeds are dispersed in the droppings of animals that eat the fruit. One would expect the chewing process to mildly damage the exterior of the seed, the digestive juices, two days of constant warmth within the animal and the dung placement to all contribute to the success of the germination process. Perhaps a touch of vinegar in the warm water would improve your replication of the digestive process?
In Africa, baobabs typically grow in stony, silica sand soil with very little humus content. I have a photograph of one growing on top of a rock outcrop in the Limpopo River Valley.
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