Growing My Very Own Balsa Tree (Ochroma Pyramidale)

For my next exotic plant project, I have decided to plant some Ochroma Pyramidale seeds and grow my very own Balsa Tree!

I have had these seeds for awhile now and wasn’t even sure if they would germinate.  I have had them for a few years now, actually.  I originally purchased them from my favorite rare seed vendor The Banana Tree, located in Easton, Pennsylvania.  Here is a link to their balsa seeds if you would like to get some.

On this article I’m simply going to update this post as they grow, so keep it bookmarked to follow along 🙂

In the 1970’s, as a kid one of my favorite cereal toys/premium memories was when Post gave away these tiny miniature terrariums in Alpha Bits, Super Sugar Crisp and other cereals.  Anyone remember this?

What does this have to do with my balsa tree?  Well, I recently found one of these terrariums on eBay so I decided to open it up and sprinkle my ochroma pyramidale seeds in it to see if they would sprout).

And sure enough they did!

After only 2 days they started to germinate.  Right now there are three healthy seedlings growing out of the 5 seeds I planted.


So, here is my first journal entry…

May 19, 2019 – 3 out of 5 balsa seeds have sprouted.  Will be transplanting soon.










Ok, I have a new update as of July 17, 2019.

Out of all my balsa trees that sprouted, one ended up surviving, and unfortunately I left it out in the sunlight too long and it died.  🙁

Here is the last known photo of my balsa tree before it croaked:

I still have a few seeds left so am going to try round two while it’s still summer.

Going back to the drawing board, the most important thing I have learned is that I need to build a sunlight filter while my tropical plants are in the seedling stage.  That seems to be the main culprit.  It is likely the seedlings are not only getting too much sunlight but perhaps overheating.

I have a small Sago palm tree growing in a larger pot and threw a few random seeds in the pot and have noticed they are growing perfectly.  Makes sense as they are getting filtered sunlight and likely the soil isn’t getting too hot.

I don’t have a greenhouse, so I’m going to rig up a DIY sunshade in the next day or two similar to this one I found on YouTube:

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