Baobabs and “Wet Feed” – Watering and Soil

Baobabs do not like “wet feet” – their roots do not tolerate standing water for too long. Therefore, the pot in which the Baobab lives should be well drained. Before you put a Baobab in a pot or repot it put pebbles at the bottom of the pot. They support quick water drainage. Place a mixture of cactus soil and sand on top of the pebbles – this will facilitate quick water drainage, too. The sand should not contain salt – using sand from the sea is not recommendable because Baobab roots do not like salt in the soil. Baobabs are frugal creatures and do normally not need fertilizer. Mine are happy with the cactus soil from the hardware store around the corner.

On average Baobabs in pots need water once a week – depending on the weather conditions and whether they live outside or indoors. If they sit outside in a sunny and hot spot they need water more often. Pour water latest when the leaves show signs of water shortage (seem limp). It does not harm the Baobabs if the pot dries out completely because the trees can save some water in their trunks and branches. However, not too much because they are limited to their pots and cannot expand with their roots like their „wild“ conspecifics.

During their time of rest which usually starts in fall – around October – they drop their leaves. The amount of water needs to be reduced. The Baobabs living under the roof top in my studio during the winter period get water every other week. They do not sleep like our leaveless trees in Europe but rather have a resting period with a reduced metabolism. Baobabs still need water but in much lesser amounts than during warmer periods and whilst they carry leaves.

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