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Cultivation Conditions

Generally, baobabs occur in semiarid to subhumid tropical zones. These light-demanding trees do not like the dense tropical forests.

Rainfall Baobabs are most common where mean annual rainfall is 200-1,200 mm. However, they are also found in locations with as little as 90 mm or as much as 2,000 mm mean annual rainfall.

Altitude The tree can be found from sea level to 1,500 m (notably in eastern Africa), but mostly occurs below 600 m.

Low Temperature Baobab is said to thrive where mean annual temperature is 20-30°C. It succumbs to frost. Reportedly, germination is achieved only when soil temperature exceeds 28°C.

High Temperature No limits within Africa. It is adapted to at least 42°C (measured in the shade).

Soil Grows on many different soils but develops best on calcareous substrates and on deep, slightly moist sites. Does not tolerate seasonally inundated depressions with heavy clay soils. Despite this intolerance to waterlogging, it thrives along the banks of rivers such as the Niger. Reportedly tolerates laterite as well as relatively alkaline (e.g. limestone) soils. For reasons not explained, it apparently performs poorly in the sandy “millet” soils of the Sahelian zone.

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