Baobab

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.

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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.

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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.

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They aren’t flanking the most beautiful part of the house or anything, but eventually the weeds in front of the man-cave will be gone and maybe a new coat of paint on the building will be done.

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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?

Comments 2

  1. chel wrote:

    Nice!

    You know, when I still lived in the condo a few of my container plants made it despite the lack of sunshine and water. We had the landscapers plant them around the house as it was being built. A few months ago I realized the giant TREE thing outside my bathroom window (easily 12 foot tall) was one of those plants! It made me so happy.

    I would like to grow things like apples and blueberries. Not that we have too much room, but it would still be a challenge. And not the “designed to withstand Florida’s heat” kind. Oh, and maybe a big maple tree in the front. I always look at seed catalogs and see 40,000 things I want to plant but are completely out of zone.

    Posted 04 Sep 2012 at 9:09 am
  2. Moosie wrote:

    Well I have lost all but one orchid. I think those would be what I would grow! Just love them. Ever since your Dad got me a really huge one for our wedding to we’re as my corsage.

    Posted 07 Sep 2012 at 12:04 pm

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