Baobab Bonsai

The Baobab is a striking tropical tree which is very well suited to be grown as a Bonsai. The Baobab Bonsai is easily grown and is as unusual as it is attractive. A well cared for specimen makes a good conversation piece especially if the owner is aware of the facts and fables which surround the tree.

Baobab's do not like the cold and so need to be kept indoors unless in a tropical or sub tropical climate. They will also require a 'dry' dormant period every year. Some growers will actually unpot their plants (as is sometimes done with cacti) during this time and just leave them in storage till growth activity is noted in the spring. Growing your own specimen requires patience because they are very slow growing.

There are three species of Baobab which are in cultivation as bonsais. These are the Australian Baobab Adansonia gibbosa (gregorii) the African Baobab Adansonia digitata and the Madagascar Baobab Adinsonia grandidieri. Although all are similar in appearance and have similar requirements. There is only one African Baobab species but several in Madagascar. Although not really a plant for the amateur the seeds are readily available for sale and can make both an interesting and rewarding project.

The Baobab is a long lived tree and some full grown specimens in the wild have been shown to be over 3,000 years old. The bizarre shape of the tree gave birth to the legend that God has made a mistake and planted the Baobab upside down. Both the citrus tasting seed pods and the leaves are eaten by local people as well as by animals.

Baobab Bonsai


Baobab in Fact and Fable

  • The Baobab is the national tree of Madagascar
  • The Baobab tree has a number of different English names through its range. These include the Lemonade Tree, Monkey Bread Tree and Dead Rat Tree,
  • The flowers of the Baobab are believed to be the home of spirits. Anyone picking one will be eaten by a lion.
  • If you bathe in water in which Baobab seeds have been soaked then you will be protected from crocodiles.
  • The trunk of the Baobab may reach 30' in diameter.
  • The scientific name of the Baobab Adansonia digitata is from Michel Adanson who first saw and described the tree in Senegal in 1750.
  • The fruit can be used to make a tasty Vitamin C rich refreshing drink.
  • The seeds can be roasted and ground to make a coffee type drink.
  • A type of beer and tea can be made from the bark.
  • Pounding and beating the bark allows it to be shredded and used to make cloth, baskets, mats and more.
  • Glue is made from the pollen of the flowers.
  • The masive trees have been used for storage, shops, bars, houses, bus stops and even a prison.
  • The Big Baobab in Sunland has been carbon dated to 6000 years old. Older than the Pyramids in Giza!
  • Many birds and insects look on the Baobab as home and monkeys, baboons and elephants will feed upon the fruit, leaves and bark.
  • The Baobab is often referred to as the 'Tree of Life'.

Adult Baobabs in Nature


Having a Baobab Bonsai in your home will add an atractive feature to brighten up the dullest corner. 

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Comments 12 comments

Sunnie Day 5 years ago


What a unique and beautiful tree. We have large banana trees growing in our back yard. People say it looks like a tropical Island and for Texas this is I don't think the Baobab would do well. Nice article and had great information. Have a great day.


Up and useful

Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Hi Peter,

What a beautiful tree. I am such a lover of trees. I think they are magnificent. This type of tree is truly unique. Thank you for all the information. I have never seen this type of tree and amazing all the uses as well. Thanks for a great hub. Up and useful.


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia Author

Sunnie Day _ Thank you for stopping by. Yes the Baobab really is something special.

Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Whoops sorry commented twice..thought one did not take..oh well double kudo's lol

howcurecancer profile image

howcurecancer 5 years ago

Wow! Lovely!

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thank you for reading howcurecancer.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Brilliant hub Peter.

Well presented and easy to follow.

Thank you for sharing.

Take care


Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thank you Eiddwen. Perhaps you may like to try and sprout a seed or two.

feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

Peter, what an educational piece this hub is for me. Until I read this hub, I had never heard of the baobab tree. I wish I had the skills to grow one but, who knows, perhaps I will give it a try some day. Thank you for publishing this work.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thanks feenix and good luck if you should start growing. If you find you have a green thumb and grow a dozen or so you may have a good business. Good examples command quite high prices.

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Thank you, Peter, for an interesting read. I would dearly love to grow bonsai trees but haven't got the time.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia Author

Hello, hello, - Time is a big factor for me as well. Maybe one day. Thanks for reading.

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