Adansonia digitata is probably the best know African tree. Most of the species are found on Madagascar but the genus also occurs in Australia. The Adansonia species are generally easy to grow in pots as indoor bonsai. Baobab trees can live for thousands of years.
Baobabs can grow to a moderate height of about 20 meters, but their most impressive feature is the huge, broad trunk which can reach over 30 meters in diameter. It can grow to a very large size, with a very thick trunk and short branches. Root of the Adansonia develops like a bulb, first going down in depth and then growing in width. Hence it requires a quite deep pot. The baobab is also the only tree able to regenerate bark directly from an exposed wood surface.
The trunks store considerable water, as much as 1000 gallons have been tapped from one. However, if you do not have a half acre to plant one on, they make great bonsai.
At Fall, the leaves will slowly begin to fall and at the end of December your Baobab will be completely dormant. When the tree is bare of leaves the branches look like roots sticking up, making it look as though it has been planted upside down (Upside Down Tree). In March, when the temperature rises, it will restart its germination and the first leaves will start to bud. The leaves can be eaten like spinach.
It has large pendulous white flowers. The fruit is mostly ovoid, with a hard woody shell and covered with short yellowish hair.
Hardiness zone 10, (1øC/35øF) in Winter. For Adansonia digitata, to germinate and continue its growth, it requires long periods of exposure to the sun and a temperature never below 18-20øC. At the end of October, when the temperature drops, it is advisable to bring the plant indoors and put it in a place directly exposed to sunlight. The problem with a Baobab is that it has no tolerance to cold, anything below 35øF is fatal.
It occurs in dry woodland preferring rocky and well drained soil. Water the plant sparingly, twice a week, since its soft and spongy wood fills with water in the rainy season in order to have a considerable water reserve available in the dry season. The soil must be kept quite dry during the dormance which occurs generally from the end of Summer to Spring. It is resistant to dryness.