baobab chop

sf_rhinoApril 7, 2014

This is a re-post of something I put up in the cactus & succulents forum but I think maybe I can get some more feedback here:

My two 4-year-olds are just now breaking dormancy. I decided to pull the trigger and give the smaller one a good root chop. I don't have much experience w/root pruning so it was a little traumatic for me. Here are some photos. I stopped watering this 6 months ago when dormancy started. Since then it has been bone-dry.

My setup:

Bird's nest of roots:

From the bottom:

Post-cleavage. I cut the tap root w/wire cutters. It was really porous and still had quite a bit of moisture stored in it. These suckers can really withstand prolonged dryness. It really reminded me of cutting into a cassava root.

I coated the cut with cinnamon (good idea?), repotted it, and gave it a good soak. Hopefully I didn't need to give it time to callous. One week after the repotting/watering the buds started popping out. I hope this means it is okay.

Assuming this guy pulls through, I'll try root pruning my larger baobab next year. Thoughts? Is cinnamon and callousing only for cacti and other real succulents? Cutting the baobab taproot was very different from other roots I've dealt with.

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i had read not to water it in the winter,
but seeing that i am in New Orleans, and winters are usually mild,i and i had it in a greenhouse most of the time, i watered it 3-4 times.
Its now in the 70s on a normal day, and i was hoping they would have come back by now.
The stems actually seem greenish, but no new growth.
i actually have 2 and gave my niece one also, all 3 are the same.
Those are a year old.

+ i have 2 just popped up,
this one which is 2 weeks old or so,
and 3 seeds .
hopefully i dont kill too many before i get it right.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 1:11PM
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Cool! I usually continue to water the seedlings the first year. Basically I give them water as long as they have leaves. The past couple years I've completely withheld water from my larger baobabs for about 6 months (beginning of Oct to end of March). They seem to really prefer the dry winter. As soon as the leaves start to yellow in Sept/Oct I stop watering. It will be interesting to see if yours and your niece's get on the same schedule. I gave one to a friend several years ago and ours go in and out of dormancy the same week every year even though she is in Denver and I'm here in SF. Must be daylight based or something.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:57AM
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