Boswellia sacra – first day.  Click on image to enlarge

A recent New York Times article on frankincense tree growers provided links, and I ordered one from Arid Lands in Arizona.  It was sent priority mail with a heat pack, since it is winter.  I paid $40 for a “one gallon” sapling plus $8 shipping and $2 for the heat pack. One gallon is a trade term, and it generally means a pot that meansures about 7″ tall by 7″ wide.  I was a bit surprised when the plant arrived bareroot.  It makes sense that it was bareroot, but that information was lacking on the website.  (I have received one-gallon potted plants) Also lacking were any repotting instructions.  I’ve ordered from many mail order nurseries in the past, and repotting information, also general care information, was always included, and perhaps duplicated on the website.  I’ve written the Arid Lands people, since there is no phone number contact for them.  I’ll report back when I’ve heard from them.

I have a lot of experience growing arid plants, from lithops to peyote to cacti and succulents too numerous to mention. I’ll keep posting tips on the frankincense, combining Arid Lands reply and my own observations.

First, buy coarse sand, or if you’re lucky enough, dig some from your garden.  I would not repot this sampling in a one-gallon pot, I’m going to repot in maybe a four or five-inch pot. The sampling needs to send out new roots, and a tight container helps this process.  Do NOT fertilize. For the first month, water every other day, allowing all the water to drain out.  Do not let it sit in a pot in a saucer that holds water.   Keep it in the sunniest, warmest place in your home.  Protect from night chills if you live in a cold climate by moving it at least two feet away from the window when the sun goes down.

That’s it for now. Do you have any questions?