How to Grow Boswellia Sacra Tree : Cultivation and Benefits

The Boswellia Sacra Tree is famously known as the Frankincense tree. It originated in Somalia and is most widespread in the northern part of the country. The tree can grow up to 25 feet tall and its resin has a wide range of traditional medicinal uses.

Boswellia sacra tree

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The Boswellia Sacra resin can be harvested during the dry periods. Aside from being used in treating certain illnesses, it’s also used in perfumes. The tree cannot tolerate frost, thus, if you live in areas that experiences snow, your best bet is to grow the tree indoors. You can grow the tree as seeds or seedlings, although they are a bit expensive to buy. If you know anyone who grows the tree, ask for cuttings since the plant can also grow well from cuttings. Here are some tips when it comes to growing the Boswellia Sacra Tree.

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Gather Seeds or Cuttings

Boswellia sacra tree

Image Credit: The New York Times

Unfortunately, the germination percentage of the Boswellia is low. This is also one of the reasons why its seedlings are a bit expensive to buy. Nevertheless, if you prefer to grow the plant from seeds, go ahead and give it a try. For as long as you provide the proper care and maintenance that it needs, there certainly are a few Boswellia Sacra seeds that will germinate.

Make sure you obtain the right cuttings if you choose to grow the tree from root cuttings or stem of an existing plant. Look for the sprouts coming from the roots at the base of the plant. Cut these roots from the plant since these are the cuttings that will grow best. Otherwise, measure about 8 inches from the tip of any healthy Boswellia stem and obtain a diagonal cutting.

Prepare the Pot or Container

Boswellia sacra seed

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When growing from seeds, soak the seeds in water at least 24 hours in order to achieve the best germination. After 24 hours, drain the seeds from the water and prepare for planting.

Use a container or pot with enough holes for water drainage. Fill it with a damp mixture of one part sand and one part seed starting mix. Drain the seeds from the water and sow them in the pot while they are still damp. Afterwards, sprinkle the seeds with a light amount of soil. Cover the pot with plastic wrap in order to preserve the humidity and moisture.

On the other hand, if you are growing from cuttings, plant the cuttings about a third of their lengths into the potted soil you have prepared. Firmly tamp down the cutting to provide extra support. Place the planted cutting indoors, preferably in a warm area that receives filtered light.

Transplant the Boswellia Seedlings

Boswellia sacra seed

Image Credit: The New York Times

Remove the plastic cover of the pot where you planted the Boswellia Sacra seeds when you notice that the seeds have already started to germinate. Place the pot near a window or below a grow light in a normal household temperature. Keep the soil lightly moist until such time that the seedlings have started growing some leaves. At this point, transplant the plant into each individual pots filled with a mixture of one part bonsai potting soil and one part marble chips. The marble chips can help to provide the proper alkaline pH that the tree would prefer.

If you are growing the Boswellia Sacra Tree from cuttings, place the plant under full sun once they start to grow on their own. The plants can grow best in a temperature of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It usually grows slowly, especially if you live in areas with cold weather. If you choose to grow the seedling outdoors, take note that it can only withstand temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Care and Maintenance of Boswellia Sacra

Boswellia sacra seed

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As soon as the seedlings have established in their new pot, water them at least twice in a week during the spring and summer season. Water once in a week only during winter. Mix ten drops of liquid cactus fertilizer to one quart of water and feed it to the plant each time you water.

If you need to transplant the seedlings outdoors in summer, wait until such time that the temperature at night remains at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to gradually expose the plants to increased light.

Water the plant every single day if it is under hot condition outdoors. However, limit the feeding of fertilizer to once or twice in a week during the growing season. Discontinue fertilizing in winter.

Avoid placing the container in an area that sucks up heat, such as in a tarmac or cement. Doing so might lead to the roots getting cooked.

Boswellia Sacra Benefits

Boswellia sacra benefits

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The Boswellia Sacra resin has a long history of medicinal and religious uses. The resin is being made into an oil used for treating various illnesses. For instance, in some Arab countries, the Frankincense oil is used to treat gastrointestinal complaints.

Some of the Boswellia Sacra benefits can be attributed to the following:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antiseptic
  • astringent
  • digestive
  • disinfectant
  • diuretic
  • expectorant

How to Use the Frankincense Oil for Treatment

Boswellia sacra benefits

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There are so many reasons why people would choose to grow the Boswellia Sacra but the main reason is its therapeutic value. Here are some ways on how to use the oil for treating certain illnesses.

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Infection prevention and wound healing

Apply a few drops of lavender oil onto the wounded part of the skin. Then follow with a few drops of the diluted frankincense oil for rapid healing.


Mix a few drops of the frankincense oil to a drop of carrier oil and rub it into the affected area of your body.


Pour a few drops of the oil on your scars. Do this twice in a day and you should notice an improvement after a few days.


Pour 6 drops of the oil to a very hot water. Mix well and pour in a huge bowl. Lean over to the bowl and breath the steam that it produces. Inhale deeply for about five minutes and you will soon notice a huge improvement.


Apply a drop or two of the diluted oil into your temples and this should be enough to make you feel relaxed after a stressful day!

Improves mood

Place a few drops of the diluted oil at the back of your neck a few times each day and you should notice an improvement in your mood.

Boswellia sacra tree

Image Credit: Dr. Leonard Coldwell

Final Thoughts

With the long list of Boswellia Sacra benefits, it’s no wonder why so many people would choose to grow their own Boswellia Sacra tree in their backyard!

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