The recently screened science fiction movie, Upside Down, not only revealed the ridicule of turning the world upside down, but also our fantasies about reversing things. As early as seventy years ago in the fairy tale of The Little Prince, there already existed a vertically reversed tree called “Upside Down Tree”. It may surprise you that such kind of tree does exist in reality and you can even plant them at ease.
A tree of majesty
The upside down tree, with an official name as Adansonia, has many other alternative names such as “Adansonia digitata”, “tree of life”, “Brachychiton”, “King of Tree” and “African Magic Tree”. Western people prefer to call it Baobob because its leaves fall off in dry season which resembles an “upside down tree” stuck into the soil.
The innocent little prince associated the upside down tree with a sign of horror because of its special yet majestic appearance, while the indigenous Africans dared not chop it down for ages.
A tree of vitality
Indigenous to Africa, the upside down tree has a strong will to grow and can live for thousands of years. It is easy to grow from seed, and it only takes three days to germinate. The seeds are cheap and available at our flower store in Causeway Bay. No wonder it is hailed as a tree of vitality.
The ideal location to plant Adansonia should be in bright sunlight. It needs watering and fertilization just as other plants do in summer. In very cold days (below 10°C), less water is needed. Its leaves may fall off as a result of dry soil during that period. It is just a normal phenomenon.
- For the first year, Adansonia can reach more than 1 foot, depending on how much sunlight it gets. The more sunlight it gets, the stronger it grows.
- It is better to plant Adansonia outdoors. It usually gets weaker indoors unless you’ve got a very sunny window.
- Adansonia can live for thousands of years. Make sure you use sandy soil, avoid over watering it, and treat it like a normal plant and it may give you many years of enjoyment.
- Pot size should be reasonably fit. Of course a bigger pot can let the plant grow faster and bigger. There is no need to change pot every year.
- Adansonia doesn’t need plenty of room for its roots to grow. So, a medium-sized pot is good enough.
- Adansonia is a strong plant, not so easily be infected by insect pests. Try to keep the plant healthy is the best way to prevent pests and diseases.
- It is not a good idea to mix Adansonia with other plants. It is better to plant it in an individual pot.