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How to Plant Hibiscus Seeds ? (Detailed Guide)


Cultivated in free form, your hibiscus will form beautiful bushy shrubs with very branched upright stems. You can use them in a mixed hedge associated with Eleagnus, Weigelia…


In the company of other shrubs or perennials, they will bring a touch of cheerfulness to your beds.


We explain to you how to stratify and plant hibiscus seeds.


How to plant hibiscus seeds?

The seeds before being sown will have to be stratified. The stratification is a natural operation which has for goal to return the seed to its fertile capacity. In general, the seeds which must be stratified has an envelope, the stratification destroys the envelope. The seed in contact with the soil can then begin its germination process.


What is stratification?

The stratification of seeds consists on the one hand in making soften and in deteriorating the teguments of seeds (or cores) which block germination by their sealing with the air and water and on the other hand in maintaining a wet cold which will leave the seed of its dormancy.


This technique makes it possible to reproduce the winter conditions and to mislead in some way the device of safeguard of the seed during the period not very favourable with its development.


Why do some hibiscus seeds need to be stratified?

Some large seeds covered with a hard envelope or a core are programmed to germinate only when the optimal conditions are met, i.e. when they will have all the chances of recovery.


The nature being well-made, they fall on the ground but are protected by this envelope which will be destroyed only with the wire of time and with the climatic risks. The seeds will germinate only when they will have acquired their physiological maturity and when the embryonic dormancy will be completed.


The tegument surrounding these seeds and these cores must initially soften, be worn, permeabilize to finally be bored and allow the gas exchanges which will awake the germinative capacity of seeds.


How to stratify the seeds of hibiscus?

  • Begin the stratification at the very beginning of the year
  • Soak the seeds in twice their volume of cold water 41°F MAX for 2 days.
  • Then, in an airtight and transparent “tupperware” type box, place them in successive layers in wet sand, a bed of sand, seeds and so on.
  • Close the airtight lid.
  • Place the box at an average temperature of 68 to 77°F.
  • Open the lid every week, for 6 to 8 weeks.


Laminate the hibiscus seeds

  • From autumn, in a terracotta pot, place the seeds in successive layers in a mixture of soil and sand.
  • Place the pot outside under the shelter of a wall. The pot should receive rain which will moisten the soil but not more.
  • The seeds will spend the fall and winter in natural conditions and degrade.
  • The following spring they should be able to germinate during sowing.


How to plant hibiscus

In a room heated to 64°F / 68° F,

  • In a large 6-inch diameter pot
  • Add potting soil for seedlings. Seeds should be planted at a depth equal to twice their diameter.
  • Place a few seeds per bucket or sow in a box.
  • To maintain the soil moist for the time of germination, the emergence occurs after about a month.
  • Then water when the surface has dried.
  • The setting in will be done in May or in June on warmed ground.


When to plant hibiscus?

Plant garden hibiscus in the fall or spring. If you plant several side by side, keep a planting distance of 5 ft between each plant.


Where to plant hibiscus?

There is a hibiscus for every region of France! In warm climates, on the Mediterranean rim, plant the Hibiscus rosa-chinensis, a tropical plant.

In cooler regions, including the North, adopt Hibiscus syriacus or Althea. They are able to endure 5°F.


In which soil and under which exposure to plant the hibiscus?

Hibiscus thrives in any good, fertile, cool and well-drained garden soil. Choose a sunny exposure.


How to cut the hibiscus ?

When to cut the hibiscus ?

Cut the hibiscus from the year’s branches, either in summer (August), or in winter (November/March), when the wood is “dry”.


Which cutting techniques to choose ?

For both techniques (August wood or dry wood), choose simple, vigorous branches.


How to take cuttings of hibiscus ?

For summer cuttings

  • Take straight, vigorous and thick branches.
  • Cut them into sections of 8-12 inches long.
  • Prune just below the base leaf, leaving 1 inch above the top leaf. Remove the lower third of the leaves, and shorten all the others by half, with scissors.
  • Stake these cuttings in a light, fresh substrate, in half-shade.
  • To preserve them under cloche. The rooting is rather slow (more than one month).


For winter cuttings

  • Cut in the same way, and bury the cuttings in half in light soil, sheltered from cold winds.
  • Provide a large number of cuttings, as rooting is less secure than in summer.


After taking cuttings

  • Remove dead leaves, which cause mold, from around the summer cuttings.
  • Keep the soil fresh, without excess.
  • The installation takes place in the fall of the following year, for both techniques.
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