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15 Aug 2018 - Care for a Baobab Bonsai
Care for a Baobab Bonsai
Q: How to grow Baobab bonsai properly? How long does it take to shape a nice little bonsai tree?
A: Baobab, or Adansonia digitata, is a unique addition to a bonsai collection. Native to Africa, it has an unusual structure and appearance. Some legends say that the tree was cast down from the heavens and landed upside down, where it began to grow. This story is no doubt a result of its appearance in the winter, when the upper branches of the tree look more like roots than treetops. The Baobab has some specific needs, but if you pay careful attention to its requirements, this tree is not difficult to grow and makes an excellent bonsai specimen.
1. Keep Baobab warm, it is sensitive to freeze.
2. Place Baobab in a bright, sunny window. Baobabs need at least six hours of full sunlight per day, so a window with a western or southern exposure is best. If your house doesnâ€™t get enough light, supplement natural light with artificial grow lights. See article Indoor lighting for tropical plants.
3. Water Baobab regularly during the growing season whenever the soil is dry. Never water the tree when it is dormant (dropped leaves).
4. Feed Baobab a good-quality fertilizer about once a month. Apply micro-element solution SUPERFOOD once a month, as well as SUNSHINE-BC plant booster for Bonsai and Caudex plants.
5. Prune the branches of your Baobab bonsai as often as they need it to give the tree the shape you desire, pruning or pinching off branches that are growing at odd angles or are too long. Trim early in the spring before new growth appears.
6. Repot the baobab bonsai every year in Spring. Remove it from pot and trim the roots back by one-third of their length, completely removing any that are damaged or dead. Place it in a container that is twice the size of the root ball and fill the pot with a well-drained soil like Adenium Mix.
It is believed that it takes forever to form a nice shaped tree, up to a few years. However if you provide warmth and bright light, branches grow very quickly, and an experienced bonsai hobbyist can make a unique specimen within 2-3 years. And then, the tree will stay with you for 5000 years - it can be passed from generation to generation!