Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Plant Baobab Seeds

Native to Africa, the baobab (Adansonia) is the largest succulent plant in the world. The baobab’s unusual shape, with a short, thick trunk and thick branches that look like a root system, has earned it the nickname “the upside-down tree.” Growing baobab seeds is simple, but getting the seeds to germinate can be hit or miss. Your best bet is to plant as many seeds as you can to increase your chances of having one or two that germinate and grow into healthy baobab trees. Unless you live in a tropical climate, you’ll need to plant the seeds and grow your baobab in a container indoors.

Prepare a small planter pot or a seed tray with good drainage holes in the bottom. Fill the tray or planter with 3 to 4 inches of well-draining potting mix or one part coarse sand mixed with one part potting soil.

Scarify the baobab seeds by cutting a small slit into the seed, just deep enough to expose the white inner layer. Soak at least six baobab seeds in a bowl of room-temperature water overnight.

Plant the baobab seeds 1-inch deep into the soil. Ensure that the soil is warm, at least 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water the seeds with warm water right after planting them to moisten the potting mix evenly.

Place the seed tray or planter in front of a sunny window. Place one or two 40-watt grow lights shining on the seed tray to provide extra light, and keep the lights on for 10 to 12 hours every day.

Water the seeds once every three days with warm water. Don’t water the seeds or seedlings more often than every few days and avoid using cold water.


Germination of baobab seeds is erratic at best, but you can usually expect them to begin to sprout in seven to 10 days.


Don’t plant the seeds in a large or deep planter pot because this will cause the soil around the seeds to hold in too much moisture and stay too cool.

Garden Guides