How to Harvest Hibiscus Seeds
Hibiscus is beloved for its stunning tropical blooms in shades of red, purple, lavender, yellow, orange, gold and white, often measuring as much as 10 inches across. In spite of its exotic beauty, hibiscus isn't difficult to grow, although it isn't tolerate of climates with freezing winters. If you're adventurous, or if you have a treasured hibiscus bush you'd like to replicate, harvest seeds from a mature bush, and plant the seeds the following spring.
Choose a healthy hibiscus bloom in late summer. You may want to tie a piece of yarn on the stem to remind you that this is the bloom you plan to harvest.
Wait for the hibiscus bloom to wilt and die, then you'll be able to see the seed pod at the base of the bloom. Keep a close eye on the seed pod when it begins to turn brown, because when the pod ripens, it can burst and the seeds can be expelled onto the ground. If you're worried that you might miss this, tie a piece of netting loosely around the bloom.
Gather the hibiscus seeds when the seed pod is brown brittle. Hold a paper sack under the bloom, and shake the bloom so the seeds can fall into the bag. You may need to break the pod open with your fingers. Most hibiscus pods have 10 to 25 seeds, but may have as many as 100 seeds. The hibiscus seeds are dark brown, round and fuzzy.
Put the paper sack in a dry, well-ventilated place for about a week to give the hibiscus seeds time to dry completely. Pour the seeds onto a tray or baking sheet, and pick the seeds out of the stems, petals or other plant debris.
Put the hibiscus seeds in a white paper envelope, and label the envelope. Store the envelope in a cool, dry place until you're ready to plant the hibiscus seeds in spring.
- Yarn (optional)
- Netting (optional)
- Paper sack
- Tray or baking sheet
- White paper envelope