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Caudiciforms and Pachycaul Trees Includes ponytail palms, Madagascar palms and desert roses (NB: these aren't true palms or roses!)

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  #1  
Old December 4th, 2007, 12:45 PM
Todd82TA Todd82TA is offline
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Germinating Baobab Tree Seeds

Hey guys,

I'd really like to grow a Baobab Tree on my property (Zone 10b, South Florida). The zone I live in apparently is acceptable for Baobabs, as there are three or four which are growing downtown in Hollywood Circle (about 9 miles from my house).

I've got several seeds, some from an Australian variety, and others from Africa. I've tried planting them numerous times but it just doesn't seem to work. Some trees grow fine from seeds, but these Baobabs I just can't get to grow, what gives?


Thanks!

Todd
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  #2  
Old December 5th, 2007, 08:48 AM
hippofan hippofan is offline
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Re: Germinating Baobab Tree Seeds

I have started baobab seeds several times for use as houseplants --they could probably withstand most of our temps, but in my area they are annihilated by the soggy winters if left out in the weather. They sure like it outside during the driest part of the year. They like to germinate warm, so I can only plant them during the warm months outside, but you have a much longer season to work with. I use sterile seed starting mix in 4" pots. I use a small pair of jewelry-making wirecutters, and nick each seed. Then, I put them in a bowl and pour hot tap water over them. They will swell up in a few hours to a day. Any that stay floating on top, discard -- they are no good. I fill the pots and water the seed starting mix thoroughly, and then plant the seeds, just drilling small holes with my finger and covering them. Don't let them dry out, but don't over-water. These are usually easy to grow -- the only problem I have had is keeping them from humid areas. They seem quick to rot off if too much water in surrounding air -- but you won't have a problem with that. I have had them germinate in 2 weeks, with stragglers up to a month or so. They are very slow growing, but worth it. Fascinating plants and great foliage. My dream would be to have one flower -- maybe some day. Good luck!
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Old December 5th, 2007, 11:29 AM
Todd82TA Todd82TA is offline
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Re: Germinating Baobab Tree Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by hippofan View Post
I have started baobab seeds several times for use as houseplants --they could probably withstand most of our temps, but in my area they are annihilated by the soggy winters if left out in the weather. They sure like it outside during the driest part of the year. They like to germinate warm, so I can only plant them during the warm months outside, but you have a much longer season to work with. I use sterile seed starting mix in 4" pots. I use a small pair of jewelry-making wirecutters, and nick each seed. Then, I put them in a bowl and pour hot tap water over them. They will swell up in a few hours to a day. Any that stay floating on top, discard -- they are no good. I fill the pots and water the seed starting mix thoroughly, and then plant the seeds, just drilling small holes with my finger and covering them. Don't let them dry out, but don't over-water. These are usually easy to grow -- the only problem I have had is keeping them from humid areas. They seem quick to rot off if too much water in surrounding air -- but you won't have a problem with that. I have had them germinate in 2 weeks, with stragglers up to a month or so. They are very slow growing, but worth it. Fascinating plants and great foliage. My dream would be to have one flower -- maybe some day. Good luck!

Thanks Hippofan, I really appreciate the advice! This is really great information! I've printed this out and I'm going to give it a go again.

I did the same thing with my enterolobium cyclocarpum seeds. I actually tapped them lightly with a hammer until the shell cracked, and they ALWAYS germinate within days.

Great information! Thanks!!!

Do you think they'll do well here in South Florida? Like I had mentioned, there are a couple of really cool ones down the street in Hollywood (South Florida, not California). It's always very humid here though.


http://www.artsjournal.com/aesthetic...rkMar17-99.jpg


These have done well...
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 08:59 AM
dale1 dale1 is offline
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Re: Germinating Baobab Tree Seeds

Central California coastal region landscaper - grateful for all this Baobab info, and wish to grow one in Avila Beach, CA. Can anyone suggest a source for seed, seedling, or potted or boxed plant?

Thanks,

Dale
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Old December 29th, 2007, 08:34 PM
jroger jroger is offline
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Re: Germinating Baobab Tree Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by dale1 View Post
Central California coastal region landscaper - grateful for all this Baobab info, and wish to grow one in Avila Beach, CA. Can anyone suggest a source for seed, seedling, or potted or boxed plant?

Thanks,

Dale
Yes here hhtp://seedrack.com/01.html
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Old February 1st, 2008, 11:34 AM
dale1 dale1 is offline
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Re: Germinating Baobab Tree Seeds

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Originally Posted by jroger View Post
Yes here hhtp://seedrack.com/01.html
Thank you ...... I just ordered seeds from your suggestion ... I will post again if seeds arrive in good shape, and again if I am able to successfully germinate.

Thanks again, Dale1
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Old February 1st, 2008, 11:55 AM
jroger jroger is offline
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Re: Germinating Baobab Tree Seeds

Dale1,I germanated some baobab seeds once and the place I got them had instructions,it said to file down one part of the seed,i did this years ago and i got one to germinate.But you may need to check before doing this.....Jeff
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Old October 14th, 2009, 11:07 AM
taureros taureros is offline
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Re: Germinating Baobab Tree Seeds

Hi Todd,

Germinating the baobab seed is a simple matter. The hard outer seed shell has to be cracked to allow the shoots and roots to emerge. This is normally emulated in nature by elephants and other animals that feed on the seeds for the sour tartar taste they have. In chewing , they break the hard seed case and so enable the shoots to emerge. Planted in normal potting soil and kept warm and you should soon have shoots. By the way , if you are planting the African species , I hope you have a very very very
big property. These trees are known to grow to an enormous size. In 1981 in Angola , it took 24 adults holding hands outstretched to encircle a massive Baobab. Many of these trees develop hollows in the centre which are used as small homes or storage places.

regards
Mike
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Old October 29th, 2009, 05:20 PM
gerryc2267 gerryc2267 is offline
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Re: Germinating Baobab Tree Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by jroger View Post
Dale1,I germanated some baobab seeds once and the place I got them had instructions,it said to file down one part of the seed,i did this years ago and i got one to germinate.But you may need to check before doing this.....Jeff
Jeff is correct, however do not file or nick anywhere close to either curved ends, this will greatly increase the chances for failure. It is best to to use a concave cutter or similiar instrument. Snip out a small portion on the side of the hard covering. You should be able to see the endosperm(inside the seed). Before doing anything, be sure to soak the seeds in hot water overnight. Let them dry from 12-24 hours prior to planting. It is imperative that you use well drained growing medium or damp, not wet, spagham moss. I have grown hundreds of baobabs. After planting seed approx. 1/2 in. deep, water well. Only water again when the growing medium is barely moist to the touch. Even then do not soak them. Half water them, keeping the seeds barely moist. Baobabs are succulents & very prone to root rot. Also, once the seedling pops its head up, do not attempt to remove the shell covering. One last thing, look up, "bar in a tree." It will amaze you. Happy growing!
Gerry Collier

Last edited by Daniel Mosquin; October 29th, 2009 at 05:44 PM.
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Old October 29th, 2009, 05:31 PM
gerryc2267 gerryc2267 is offline
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Re: Germinating Baobab Tree Seeds

Sorry everbody, I did post a reply but it is in the wrong place under Jeff's response. I simply do not have time to repeat the reply now. But do not give up on growing baobabs. They are fascinating & make excellent bonsai trees. Look up,"bar in a tree." You will be amazed. It is actually a beer tavern inside a tree trunk. Any questions contact: (are we allowed to give email addresses?)

Gerry Collier
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Old October 29th, 2009, 05:44 PM
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Daniel Mosquin Daniel Mosquin is offline
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Re: Germinating Baobab Tree Seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerryc2267 View Post
Sorry everbody, I did post a reply but it is in the wrong place under Jeff's response. I simply do not have time to repeat the reply now. But do not give up on growing baobabs. They are fascinating & make excellent bonsai trees. Look up,"bar in a tree." You will be amazed. It is actually a beer tavern inside a tree trunk. Any questions contact: (are we allowed to give email addresses?)

Gerry Collier
Well, you can certainly give your email address -- I don't recommend it, though, for your own privacy's sake.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 12:18 PM
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This message has been deleted by Daniel Mosquin. Reason: Asking the same question that has already been answered above. Start a new question in general gardening Q&A forum.
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