How to Save Hibiscus Seeds
Hibiscus plants are prized for their large, beautiful flowers that come in a range of colors and shapes. The foliage is also striking, with large, glossy, green leaves on tall, slender stems. The plant grows best in warmer, more humid areas, usually from hardiness zone 8 through 10, but can be grown as an indoor ornamental. Hibiscus can be grown from seed, which can either be purchased or collected from seed pods from parent plants. With just a few household items, you can start your own hibiscus plants.
Watch the hibiscus seed pods carefully to pick them at the proper time. Seeds collected too early may not sprout later. Too late, and the seeds will be have already been scattered.
Pick the seed pods that result after the flowers have withered and died. When ready, they will be papery and brittle with the seeds inside.
Collect hibiscus seed pods that result after the flowers have withered and died. When ready, they will be papery and brittle with the seeds inside. Place them whole in a paper bag and label it for future reference.
Seal the bag and allow it to sit for a couple of weeks in a well-ventilated place. This will allow the seeds to finish ripening.
Once the seed pods have ripened, remove them from the bag and place them in a large plastic bowl. Break the pods apart with your hands to release the seeds. Remove any chaff from the seeds.
Separate the seeds and place them in a small envelope or container. Store your seeds in a cool, dry place until planting time.
Hibiscus Tree Seeds
Hibiscus flowers bloom at the terminal ends of stems and side shoots from late summer through fall, depending on the cultivar. They develop and mature in a 6- to 14-week period. Dark brown and dry, ripe seedpods split open, dropping brownish-black, apple seed-size hibiscus seeds to the ground. When you don't want a crop of hibiscuses that self-seeded themselves on the ground where they fell, pick the tree's seedpods when they turn from yellow to light brown. Applying light pressure with your fingers makes the seedpods split. The seeds germinate more easily when soaked in water overnight and the heavy seed coat on each seed's rounded back is nicked with a razor blade or scraped with a nail file.
If your hibiscus flowers were pollinated from unknown sources, the resulting plant and flowers may not resemble the parent plant.
- If your hibiscus flowers were pollinated from unknown sources, the resulting plant and flowers may not resemble the parent plant.
- Paper bag
- The New Perennial Club
- National Gardening Association: Plant Care Guides -- Hibiscus
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Hibiscus
- Picket Fence Greenhouse and Gardens: Collecting Seed from Hardy Hibiscus Plants
- The Tropical Hibiscus: Tropical Hibiscus from Seeds
- Hibiscus International; The Mechanics of Hybridizing
- University of Illinois Extension: Gardener's Corner -- Saving Flower Seed
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Ask Mr. Smarty Plants -- Planting Star Hibiscus Seeds