My father-in-law and his wife came for a short visit this last weekend and brought with him several of the plants we had him take care of while we were off hiking and in transition from living in Florida to moving to Texas. Two of those plants were baobab trees that we started from seeds. The seeds were collected from the baobab tree located at Griffin Road and U.S. 1 on the SE corner of the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. In researching this essay regarding this particular tree I came to find that the tree survived the FLL expansion in the 80s and it seems it will survive an upcoming expansion of the airport. Phew! I’m glad that the tree is being taken into consideration for the construction. It really is a cool tree!
We first came across these trees at the Fruit and Spice Park in Redland, a community SW of Miami near Homestead. Once we became familiar with them it was interesting when we realized there was one right there by the airport. Later we also found the ones at Young Circle in Hollywood, FL when driving through there one evening. The baobab is from the African deserts so it is quite the tropical species. When we were living in zone 10B it was ok to think about keeping these. Now that we’re in 9A it’ll be pushing it to keep them going. Chris’ dad had been bringing them inside during the Dallas winters.
The two trees were getting pot bound and I knew they needed to be replanted. Due to their likelihood of dying if we put them in the ground, we opted for repotting them in something larger and letting them live out a stunted life in Texas instead. We’ll be bringing them into shelter during the winter when it will freeze, therefore that is another limitation for height.
We found our pots at a big box garden center but we did try to find one from our local garden center instead. Their prices were just a bit above what we wanted to pay so back to big box store we went.
We did end up splurging on some fancy potting soil. Ladybug Brand is blended in Austin, Tx so that makes a nice local, organic option for potting soil. I’ll be interested to see how well this soil does. I did find it interesting from the company’s About page that the owner apparently has the longest continually running organic gardening radio show. I may have to see if there are any past episodes to listen to sometime.
It’s nice to have a bit of our old home with us. Sometimes I flip through my old garden photos and really miss a few of the plants, particularly the orchids.
If you could grow an exotic, tropical—-or maybe you live in a tropical area and want to grow something from a temperate zone—what would you choose to grow?