This type of tree grows in some extremely hot climates where water supplies are limited. One reason it has been able to survive thousands of years is its ingenius structure. Its leaves sprout on gnarled branches high above other trees. The branches in fact resemble a root system, and has resulted in its nickname of the upside down tree. In fact, the branches work like roots delivering water to the limited number of leaves at the top of the plant. Towering above other trees, the baobab has also figured out how to deal with competition for sunlight.
Of course the seeds need water to germinate and given the limited supplies in the baobab’s native climate, it has found a way to cope. One of the few animals which can reach the leaves sprouting in the canopy is the elephant. Also enticing are the fruits which the tree puts on, a treat for elephants.
The natural science behind germination of baobab seeds is very clever. Elephants eat the fruit, which travel through the animal’s digestive tract. Deposited in elephant dung, the seeds have a chance to draw moisture and germinate. As well, traveling elephant herds allows the seed to travel far and wide.
This process is the secret behind these odd looking giants which tower above the landscape in Australia, Africa and Madagascar. It might seem that the tropical climate that this plant thrives in makes it impossible to grow in other areas. However, there are a number of tips which can help to recreate the conditions that the plant loves most.
One of the key characteristics of the seed is that it is very prone to rot so it is important not to over water it. As well, the plant needs as much sunlight as possible, which can be hard to achieve in more Northern climates. Many growers use supplemental lighting to help to encourage the plant to thrive.
If you live in a cooler climate, growing the plant inside or in a greenhouse will help to recreate the temperatures that it is used to. In its native climate, the tree grows to a great height. Many specimens are hundreds of years old. Of course, raising a giant tree probably is not practical for most growers. Instead, this type of tree is often grown as a bonsai tree, carefully sheared for artful effect.
For other tips about baobab seeds, there are many resources available. These include plant and gardening guides which you can find at a local bookstore or library. Furthermore, you can find much information online to help you with growing this unusual specimen of tree. It is a process which takes much patience and care but is rewarded by a plant that is truly unique.