Originally used in Africa and parts of Asia as an energy-giving plant, the baobab tree has now also conquered the living rooms of European countries. Here the plant, which belongs to the woolen and mallow family, is kept as a houseplant. The small tree, which can be easily placed in plant tubs and large pots, impresses with its fleshy leaves and strong branches, which can produce fragrant white petals and even tasty fruits during flowering.
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Suitable location and optimal soil conditions
When choosing a location, one should always keep in mind what type of plant the baobab tree is; Originally from Africa, the plant is used to particularly high temperatures, but also to drastic climatic fluctuations – such as the change between dry season and rainy season. Therefore: The baobab tree feels particularly comfortable in a very sunny and warm place in the apartment; However, the sun’s rays should not hit the plant unhindered because the plant then sheds the leaves as a protective mechanism. A warm and bright location is exactly the right thing for the baobab tree, because if the plant is too dark, the leaves tend to ginger (= pathological yellow discoloration). A sunny window seat is therefore also suitable. During the winter months it should be ensured that the location of the baobab tree does not fall below a temperature of at least 10 ° C. The plant may grow very quickly, which is why the baobab tree should be given sufficient space.
Note: A place directly above the switched on heating can, however, mean that certain pests such as aphids can spread particularly well.
The substrate for the flower pot should be carefully selected:
- The mixture must be well permeable to water; Therefore, special mixtures with a high proportion of sand or clay are best suited.
- The substrate should always be kept very dry.
- Under no circumstances may peat soil be used!
- To ensure a small nutrient reservoir, a small amount of mulch can also be mixed in.
- Baobab seeds, on the other hand, require moist and warm soil.
Watering, fertilizing and wintering
The water requirement of the African plant is rather moderate, which is why frequent travelers do not have to worry about the baobab tree’s supply during their absence. Young plants need regular watering, while adult trees only need watering every two days. Overwatering should be avoided at all costs! If there is an excess of liquid, the plant reacts with root rot; as a result, the tree dies quickly. Therefore, you should always make sure that excess water that collects in the coaster is poured away immediately. Before the baobab tree is watered again, the substrate must be checked; watering is only allowed when the earth is dry. The baobab tree can be fertilized up to twice a month. Liquid special fertilizer, which can be administered from spring to autumn, is particularly suitable. A dose of mineral salts also helps the plant to develop optimally. After about five to seven years of good care, the baobab tree can take on a different appearance. Smaller white flowers develop on the plant, which give the baobab tree an extremely elegant appearance. A change of location can be considered for the wintering of the baobab tree: which give the baobab tree an extremely noble appearance. A change of location can be considered for the wintering of the baobab tree: which give the baobab tree an extremely noble appearance. A change of location can be considered for the wintering of the baobab tree:
- The plant prefers a cool, bright room.
- The winter temperature should not fall below 10 ° C.
- During the winter, the tree is only watered a little and not fertilized.
- However, the roots must not dry out completely, as growth would stagnate in the coming spring.
- In late winter or spring, the baobab tree can then be returned to its usual place.
The baobab tree is susceptible to certain pests, for example mealybugs or root lice. There are various options for successfully combating the infestation. For example, alcohol is available in specialist stores, which is applied directly to the pests with a cotton swab. Alternatively, oil-based agents are available to suffocate the lice. In this context, neem oil has proven particularly useful. In particularly stubborn cases, beneficial insects can also be used to combat the pests. The lice serve as food for the Australian ladybug; However, this beneficial organism only feels good if the room temperature does not fall below 15 ° C. After successful treatment, a renewed infestation should be prevented.
For prevention, preventive measures help:
- Mealybugs feel particularly comfortable in very warm and dry air, which is why sufficient humidity is a good prevention.
- Room humidification can be achieved, for example, with an evaporator.
- In addition, it has proven useful to spray the plant itself.
Moderate care – this is how the baobab tree thrives
The baobab tree is particularly easy to care for. Once an optimal location has been chosen and the plant has been planted in a suitable substrate, no special attention needs to be paid to the plant. Now and then cared for with special fertilizers, the baobab tree can change its appearance again after five to seven years; all of a sudden, delicate white flowers develop, giving the plant a particularly elegant appearance. Annual repotting in larger containers is advisable so that the plant can fully develop.
Propagation – this is how cultivation succeeds
As frugal as the baobab tree presents itself in terms of care, the cultivation of the plant is just as uncomplicated. This is done with the help of seeds that are available in specialist shops. Before the seeds can be placed in the soil, pre-soaking is required. Then the cultivation can take place, which works best with a substrate made of moist and warm soil. Now the baobab tree needs some time; The seeds germinate within three to seven weeks. Then another four to six weeks of patience must be applied until the plant also develops above ground. Now the seedling grows into a small tree. Another way to grow a baobab tree is by propagating a full-grown plant. When repotting in spring, cuttings can be cut from the plant; these should dry out for a few days before being planted in the ground. A mixture of sand and peat should be chosen as the substrate, which is placed in a flower pot or in a flower pot. A special rooting powder helps the plant to develop roots faster.
The young plant needs regular watering and, like the mature plants, prefers a bright and warm location with lots of sun. The earth must be kept moist at all times. After the tree has grown somewhat in maturity, less attention can be paid to the plant; now longer dry periods can be maintained without damaging the plant. For example, a trip of several weeks is easily possible without the plant having to be looked after. In adulthood, the plant goes through different phases of change:
- After about 5 years, large flowers with a creamy white color will appear.
- Pollination of these petals can be done with the help of a brush.
- Fruits form from the flowers and develop into white pulp.
Baobab tree – history and naming
The baobab tree got its name from German globetrotters who were looking for a suitable name for the exotic plant. In the plant there are mainly monkeys that feed on the egg-shaped and hard fruits of the tree. The plant got its botanical name Adansonia digitata from its discoverer Michel Adanson, who found the trees on a trip to Senegal in 1749.
By the way, the baobab tree is often confused. – Penny trees, which also come from Africa, are often referred to as baobabs because of their thick-fleshed leaves. But while the penny trees belong to the thick-leaf family, the baobab tree belongs to the mallow family.
Baobab tree – uses of wild species and houseplants
In Africa, the tree is a gift from the gods to the locals; After a long rainy season, the plant produces fruits up to 18cm in size, which dangle from the tree on lianas. These fruits, which look like mangoes, are extremely nutritious and provide energy. It also contains vitamins such as vitamin C and iron. The fruit is also used as a natural calcium donor. The fruits of the baobab tree also contain insoluble fiber, which is used for numerous intestinal complaints, such as constipation or irritable bowel syndrome. The ingredients of the baobab tree are even available in capsule form; the dietary supplement is also used against pain and inflammation of the musculoskeletal system, among other things.
The houseplant – similar to the penny tree – is often given as a gift on anniversaries or birthdays, as the leaves symbolize constant growth and vitality. The development of cucumber-like fruits is also possible in these species.
The baobab tree is a very resilient and robust plant that brings African flair into the living room. Frequent travelers in particular benefit from the plant, which requires little water and can withstand dry periods without any problems. Easy to care for and undemanding, it is a very easy to care for and robust plant that is particularly suitable for gardening enthusiasts who have just found pleasure in gardening and still want to gain experience. Hobby gardeners who like to travel a little longer also appreciate the undemanding plant. Robust, frugal and decorative – the baobab tree has become an indispensable part of German living rooms.