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Thanks Clive, I've never seen 'Aphrodite' before, it's lovely!
Mine won't break dormancy for another month :( I do have a Fireball about to bloom in the living room though.
Last fall when it went dormant I dug it up, put it in a big pot and let it rest in the garage for a few months, then tricked it into an early spring back in late Feb. I also have a tropical about to bloom inside, but it won't be anything compared to the HUGE blooms Fireball gets.
Do you have many of the hardy variety? Can you grow the tropicals outside?
Thanks, Melissa, it's one of those new sterile (or almost sterile) cultivars of H. syriacus ... along with Minerva and Helene. You can prune them into nice small tree forms, if desired. They reach about 8-10 ft.
I have about 8 or 9 hardy Hibs but most are smaller right now. We moved here less than three years ago so I've started all over again with the yard. Kind of a chore ( lots of old tree roots and Bermuda grass) but fun too.
Our winter temps usually drop into the teens so I can't grow the tropicals outdoors year around. I wish I could and am thinking of getting a few tropical Hibs to grow indoors. There are so many hybrids of those now, though, it's hard to make a decision about which ones to buy. :-D
Nice to chat with someone who likes the hardy Hibs! I hope you will continue to post your photos, etc. And definitely post a shot of 'Fireball'. That is interesting that you dug it and forced the bloom. I'm thinking I could keep a couple of the hardy varieties in pots outside and then bring them in to do that. Hmmmmm...
We lived for decades in CA and spent some time living in the high desert there as well as traveling to NV many times ... so I am somewhat familiar with your climate and growing conditions (only warmer). Although I don't think I ever had a zone below 7 anywhere we lived out West.
Hi Carole! lol, I don't know why but I kept seeing Cville as Clive :)
That Luna Pink Swirl is so pretty!!! I'll take a pic of my Fireball in the living room today. The first bud should open within the week.
I have to admit I was really skeptical when I saw pics of Plum Crazy and Fireball and read they were hardy here. Then when they came (sad little sticks in 3" pots) I figured I'd been had ($15 for that!) but potted them up into gallon containers, tucked them in an out of the way corner of the deck and promptly put them out of my mind.
They grew, but almost died about a dozen times that summer because I kept forgetting to water them and they would dry out and drop all their leaves before I took notice. My 10 yo daughter had had a major surgery that spring so the summer was a really tough one & I never got around to planting them.
So, last spring when they broke dormancy I was amazed that they had survived my neglect the summer before and a winter (we get lots of days below freezing and even several below 0 here) in the gallon nursery pots I had put them in! I decided to plant them, but couldn't decide where (and this really makes me sound like I'm a plant torturer... I'm really not) I buried the gallon pots in a raised bed "holding area". I figured they wouldn't dry out as fast there and I could prepare a place for them in the yard. But they shot up so fast that when I went to pull them out they had rooted into the soil. So I left them like that for the summer. They got 3 - 4 feet tall and bloomed like mad!!!
Last fall when I dug them up to release them from their bondage the plastic pots practically blew open from the pressure as soon as I cut into them, the roots out the holes were HUGE.
That's when I decided to bring one in for the winter since I had them dug up to cut the pots off them anyway.
Anyhow, I am hooked!!! This spring I've ordered 8 other varieties and have them sunning themselves in my living room till next month when I can plant them outside. In the dirt!!! No more heeling the pots in "for a few weeks" ;)
PS. I'm very jealous of your zone 7. I lived in the Bay Area for years and I think 7 is about perfect :)
I grew up here in Nevada (about 11 miles east of Carson City) and when we moved back I was in a bit of gardening depression. But over the years I've adjusted.
Looking forward to seeing more of your pics! Though it'll cost me as now I think I NEED Luna Pink Swirl...
I do have about 20 seedlings that I started 2 months ago. The seeds came a couple of different places, some from a friend in Utah and others from a DG friend, so they are a bit of mixed bag. I love a mystery!
Zone 7 is good, I agree. When I had that zone out West, we got very, very little snow and cold. We lived in Redding for 17 years (somewhere between zone 7 and zone 8a) and I think we had snow about 4 or 5 times total in all those years. Here there is always (except for this year) a lot of cold and usually (except for this year) a number of snowfalls. And ice ... I detest the ice. But I love that everything is so green and lush.
San Fran is great. We got over there many times while living in Redding. A world-class city indeed.
Those blooms on Luna are probably 8-9 inches across. Gorgeous. Sometimes she looks pinker and sometimes more purple.
I have a mystery NOID plant as well but not from seed. Someone gave me a small cutting of an H. moscheutos. It didn't bloom last year but it grew well and leafed out. I see it's putting up some new shoots from the base now. I had put it in a pot and not in the easiest circumstances for it to prosper, but it obviously rooted and we'll see what happens.
Do you scarify and/or soak your Hib seeds before planting?
This one is Chablis Vintage hib. It's outstanding! Notice the slight pink blush on it. It only gets about 4 ft tall, nice and petite.
I very rarely water and my hibs do great in ground. I don't grow anything in pots since I don't water. People tell me that hibs NEED water, but that's just not true. If you weane them off of the water, they can go two months without it--if you mulch well. Mine are all in full sun all day in hot, dry Ark, with temps over 100 degrees.
The only plants I've tried to grow that can't tolerate a drought are some hosta cultivars and Joe Pye Weed. But everything else I grow has learned to be tough.
But like I said, I don't grow anything in pots. The roots can't dig deep enough to get to the water reserve deep in the ground, so they die quickly. Maybe one day I can set up an irrigation system.
Here's my Fireball. And next to it is one that was sold to me as Fireball but is slightly different. I think it might be My Valentine. I just bought My Valentine, so I'll be comparing the two.
Notice that the 2nd hib doesn't have the deep burgundy center that Fireball has. It has the same leaves though. And it really puts on a show, loaded with blooms--probably 50 or more blooms at any one time. People driving down the highway often stop to ask me what it is. But despite all the blooms, I only get one or two seed pods each year. Strange!
Hi Butterfly! Nice to see your pics as well :) Our Plum Crazys look just the same, but your fireball looks a more brick red than mine. I wonder if it's just the pic, mine is an almost fire engine red. Does your (Maybe Valentine) bloom ore profusely than Fireball? I love the cut leaves that Fireball has! Are you growing out the seeds it set?
I don't scarify or soak my seeds. I used to do it with morning glories, but don't for those either anymore. I use those black trays that have little 1" cells. I fill them with 1/2 vermiculite and 1/2 Eden Valley Garden potting soil which is very fluffy and fine. It also has chicken manure, bat guano and worm castings, so lots of good poo :) It's expensive (@ $18 for 2cu ft where I get it) but it's the bomb for indoor plants and seed starting! After filling the cells I put the seeds in and wet it really good. Then I put the clear lid that comes with them on top and put them under grow lights. Once the seeds sprout, I take the lid off, otherwise you risk rot. I think the high humidity and warmth negates the need for scarification. This is the first year I've grown hibiscus from seed, but the germination rate was really good, and I always get really good germination with my morning glories too.
I went googling for Luna Pink Swirl, didn't find one, but did find Tie Dye, which is similar, and I instantly needed. lol Here is the pic of Tie Dye from the site, and a pic of my Fireball buds in my living room. Also, two of my little NOID seedlings :)
Did I say I got seeds from my Fireball? Sorry, I meant, My Valentine-lookalike. I still call it Fireball too sometimes since that's the name I got it under.
My real Fireball is new. I just got it last year and then realized that they both couldn't be Fireball. They're identical except for the maroon center that the real FB has. I only got a handful of blooms from the real one last year and no seeds. I'll have to see how it performs this year in comparison to the fake FB.
I have tried to grow the seeds from the fake FB but I don't have much luck with any hib seeds. I'm going to collect them again this year and save them for when I have time to spend on propagating.
I picked up a new hibiscus today at Homestead Farms in Coldwater, MS, in case you're interested, Cville. Coldwater is about 20 miles or so from Memphis. If you haven't been to Homestead, you have to go. They're just right off Hwy 55 in MS. But plan on being there at least 3 hrs if you want to see everything. They're about as big as Dabney's in Memphis. They have several newer hibs, like Summer Storm, Berrylicious, Cranberry Crush, Jazberry Jam, Kopper King, Blue River II, Turn of the Century, etc.
Berrylicious was in a 3 gal pot for $13.75. Some of the others were cheaper, depending on what pot size they were available in. But I had to have Berrylicious. It's a lavender colored dinnerplate hib. Here's a link to pics and info:
Dabney's also has some of the newer hibs a little cheaper. Can't remember which ones. Of course they both have the tropical hibs too, but I don't buy those.
Homestead had some tropical hibs with the dark variegated leaves. The name escapes me at the moment. If I did tropicals, it would be THE one I'd do. It's almost like a burgundy japanese maple. Maybe it was Hib. Acetosella - Cranberry Hib. But the leaves red, pink, and orange variegated if I remember correctly. It was outstanding! They had it in the tropical/annual greenhouse.
Thanks, BC. I am receiving some from a co-op and I think I'd better check on the status of that order. I've even forgotten what I bought. So unlike me. :-D)))
Due to illness in our home, I can't get away to run to the nurseries. I tried to make the TN nursery run to Rita's and the other nurseries last spring but couldn't at the last minute. Melody was going to meet up with me just east where our paths cross and give me a ride to and from to help out, but it didn't happen. :( (Here's the link for Melissa to see what we're talking about: http://randolphsgreenhouses.com/)
Yes, the tropicals are gorgeous. And some of those have beautiful variegated foliage as well. I'm going to order a few, I think, but still undecided since they have to over-winter indoors and I already bring in a number of things. The dining room is a sea of plants in the winter. No room to eat. lol.
I have always taken cuttings and never tried seeds. Someone recommended putting the seeds in a little vial of water with some peroxide added and let them soak for several hours or overnight before planting. Don't know about that as I never tried. I am just fond of rooting cuttings.
More out of focus syriacus shots from last year. Point and shoot doesn't always cut it. Or maybe it's the photographer. :-)
Can you tell me how to do cuttings? I've no luck with those and I'd like to try it. I've just been dividing my hibs when I could, but I'd love to fill my brother's yard up with hibs too. He loves them.
I almost bought this one "Torchy" based on the first picture. But when I clicked on "more views" saw the second. Now I'm not sure. I loved that it was more burgundy than red... I know where the plant is grown and even the weather has a bit to do with coloration, but having been disappointed in the past with actual color vs catalog color, I'm going to hold off.
I haven't seen it in person but it's beautiful in the pictures. I love the crinkly petals. The texture is as appealing as the color I think.
I know with a lot of dark foliaged plants, if you plant them in part shade, the foliage stays dark. But if you plant them in sun, the foliage "bleaches out" some. I wonder if the same would be true of Torchy? You might get darker blooms if it only gets a bit of morning sun.
That is gorgeous! Yes, I agree about the texture. Wonderful.
I'm sort of embarrassed to tell my "technique" for rooting the Hib cuttings. I really don't have one. I take the cuttings and if rooting hormone happens to be handy, I dip them in that and then stick them in my rooting bucket which has good light potting soil as the growing medium. Water them in. That's about it. Keep out of direct sun for awhile. When I tug and it appears they have good roots, I dig them and plant wherever I want them, pot or ground. The syriacus can get out of control around here so all you really have to do with those is take a stem cutting and stick it right back in the ground somewhere. Then don't run over it with the lawnmower. :-/
This is the cutting of H. moscheutos NOID someone sent me last year. It was a little rootless stick but grew to about the height of the bamboo stake, maybe 3 ft. or so. It leafed well but didn't bloom last year. Now I see several new shoots emerging after the winter dieback. Yay. Maybe I'll get a bloom this year and be able to ID it finally.
NOIDs are fun :) Unless of course they make you wait forever before they actually bloom! I hope yours is something lovely. I'm hoping that at least some of my seedlings bloom this year. I've read that hardy hibs will often bloom from seed the first year. I hope I don't end up with a ton of white.
I love the shells in your pot. I under plant all my pots with ground cover or use decorative rocks etc. otherwise my LAZY cats use them for bathrooms :(
I hope mine is something lovely too, Melissa. Or at least different from what I already have. :-D
I take my hardwood cuttings of syriacus in the spring (or even late winter) since they are slower to break dormancy usually. Not this year though. Really, here you can take syriacus cuttings almost any time, it seems.
I take the moscheutos cuttings in the late summer usually. How about you?
Good idea about the mulch. It really helps with all the seeds that blow around and sprout up here as well.
Three cats and a bunch of squirrels so I get that part about the digging. I've had quite a few black walnut trees come up in my pots courtesy of the latter. Hence, the shells. :)
I've taken cuttings at different times and had awful results each time. I did manage to get a couple of cuttings to root, but then I forgot to water them and lost them. When I have more time to focus on propagation, I'll give it a try again. I know I can do it; it's just a matter of focus I think.
I do that too. Out of sight, out of mind. I've lost more than a few that way. Others, just when I was about to give up and toss them, they rooted. One thing for sure, this isn't an exact science. :-D
I have something stuck in a rooting pot out there now that I can't even remember what it is. A thin little stick that looks like it's doing nothing ... but when I tug, the roots seem firm. Guess I'll move it to it's own pot and see what develops.
A shot I took somewhere in town. Two nice double purple syriacuses. :)
I agree, I can't resist too many plants either. On Tues, I went to Memphis and MS and spent all day loading my van up with unusual plants from the nurseries there. I came home pretty satisfied that I had just about everything I want now.
Then I agreed to tag along with the Midsouth DGers yesterday to four other nurseries, feeling pretty confident that I wouldn't buy much. I mean, I've been collecting unusual plants for years! My yard is FULL. And guess what happened. I managed to fill my van up again with more plants I've never even heard of. OMG, How can there be that many unique plants??? I spent hours at each nursery oooohing and aaaaahing and petting foliage and I swear, the colors just got brighter and bold from one nursery to the next. I was out of money by the time we left the last nursery. I may not eat for the rest of the month...but who needs food when you have all this eye candy?? LOL
Oh, nursery run time again? How a year has flown! I envy you the trip and glad you found so many unusual plants. Did you see my friend Bonnie (n2birds) in Memphis?
Well, what kinds of things did you get? Give us a little hint of your bounty. I like the unusual and I'll just bet Melissa does too.
The NOID Hib is putting out new growth by leaps and bounds now. I should see it bloom this year and hopefully find out what it is. Yay! ^_^
(As they used to say where I come from, it doesn't take much to amuse some people, does it?) lol.
That hib is looking very healthy!! Please post a pic when it blooms since you got us all curious!
Bonnie didn't make yesterday's trip. I haven't seen her in a few years, but then I don't always make the trip when everyone else does. Let me see if I can remember what I got:
a burgundy leafed ninebark
a gingko tree
a golden elderberry with lacy foliage
a beautiful new japanese maple (Orangeola) with burgundy lacy-leaf foliage, which I've always wanted
several different garden phloxes
several different penstemons
several different eupatoriums (joe pye weeds)
several different butterfly bushes, including Silver Anniversary (white blooms, silvery leaves) and Evil Ways (golden green leaves with DOUBLE purple blooms)
a new guara with burgundy and pink leaves
all kinds of brightly colored coleus (a beautiful Pink one is called Pink Chaos)
a new potato vine that has green and gold oval shaped leaves
mint julep mint
lots of the usual herbs and veggies
Heuchera Plum Royal (dark purple foliage)
different bee balms
Peach Drift rose (miniature peach blooms that smell divine!)
Lots of interesting sedums, including the new Chocolate Drop sedum with purple foliage
Several different yarrows
Several unusual ornamental grasses, including a maiden grass with burgundy leaves
variegated dwarf bamboo--just a little groundcover, gets about a foot or so tall
Black Scallop ajuga, the new ajuga with nearly black foliage and the leaves are nice and big
Unusual coneflowers including some doubles like Irresistible and Hot Papaya
And much more - I couldn't resist anything! It's a good thing I only do this once a year. I missed last year's trip but I sure made up for it this year!! LOL
Attached are three pictures of the Hibiscus Annie J. Hemming (PP835) flower with five, six and seven petals. The Annie J. Hemming was the first Hibiscus, of any type, to be awarded a US Plant Patent on May 10, 1949 to Ernest Hemming.
Because the Hibiscus was not named in the Plant Patent, it is also know as the Hemming Red. This may be one of the oldest identifiable heirloom Hibiscus still in existence and commercially available. In addition to producing flowers with extra petals, the leaves are smooth and shinny. It is a document fact that Ernest Hemming didn’t like Hibiscus with fussy leaves.
Ernest Hemming created the first Hardy Hibiscus which was commercially introduced in 1907 under the name “Meehan Mallow Marvels” and sold by the Thomas Meehan Nursery for whom he worked. Several years after the introduction of the “Meehan Mallow Marvels” the Nursery stated that one of their objectives was the breeding of a hardy double. It is suspected that the Annie J. Hemming was Ernest Hemming’s final effort toward achieving that goal.
Your second photograph is of Hibiscus Lord Baltimore which is “almost” pod sterile. Lord Baltimore is the pod parent for Lady Baltimore and the Plant Patent for Lady Baltimore documents the breeding issue with Lord Baltimore.
Last year I posted a report that pollen from Hibiscus Moy Grande will pollinate Hibiscus Lord Baltimore with a 100% success rate. The first generation hybrids from this cross should be breaking dormancy shortly. I strongly suspect that the pollen tubes from most Hibiscus are not long enough to achieve federalization.
You should be grateful you are getting one or two pods a year. Until I found Moy Grande I never had any pods and believe me I tried pollen from every hibiscus I had.
Many, including myself, consider Hibiscus Lord Baltimore to be purest red Hardy Hibiscus ever created.
Thank you, Mike. I believe you are right about my noid Hib. That's funny because I'd been wanting a Lord Balt for years and didn't have any luck in finding one...and I had it all along...like Dorothy's red slippers. LOL
The tip of the Stigma on Lord Baltimore is a dark red but that varies with time of day. It is difficult to discern the Stigma color in your photograph but some of the flowers in the background appeared to have red Stigma. The uniform red color, Marijuana like leaf, high bloom rate and very low rate of pod set are all indicators for Lord Baltimore. Look at the Stigma color in my photograph and check the color of your Stigma this summer just after the flower opens. Very few “red” Hibiscus are uniformly red.
One of the reasons Lord Baltimore is such a prolific bloomer is because it doesn’t set pods easily. Note that Lady Baltimore is also a prolific bloomer and pod producer. In the case of Lardy Baltimore the pods become a nuisance and need to be removed to improve appearance.
I don't have much property, so I don't waste any of it on lawn. Lawn, to me, is boring; it just lies there. I see other people's beautiful green lawns and they look so nice. But I want bloomers everywhere. And I want my mints and herbs and veggies. So I don't have room for lawn. My entire yard is a botanical garden with mulched trails all the way around the house. Here's a picture of on part of my yard; this is the biggest side of my yard.
Congratulations, with the last picture it is a near certainty that you have a Lord Baltimore. With five critical markers on agreement, the question to be asked is what are the chances it is not Lord Baltimore and I can’t think of any. Usually it is Fireball which is sold as Lord Baltimore and not the other way around. Given the similarities between the two Hibiscus it was bound to happen.
The pollen from Lord Baltimore is viable and I have used it to pollinate Blue River II, which produced a light pink flower with a very faint reddish eye. You have to have a Hibiscus in your garden which is capable of pollinating Lord Baltimore, your mission this summer is to identify that Hibiscus. Q-Tips are a very effective way to transferring Hibiscus pollen and can be disposed of after a single use. If you can find the pollen parent, I would be interested in its identity.
Your second mission for this summer is to obtain clones of Lady Baltimore and Moy Grande. Both of these Hibiscus are sold as seeds which should be avoided at all costs. I grew Hibiscus from seeds produced by my Lady Baltimore and the results were terrible. If you find someone offering genuine Lord Baltimore seeds, you are dealing with a fool or a charlatan. Yes, I have Load Baltimore seeds but the pollen parent is Moy Grande.
Before I start on my usual rant about the evils of growing named Hibiscus cultivars from seeds, I should point out that today’s Hibiscus Lunar Series are F1 hybrids grown from inbreed parental lines, and are sold as seeds or plants. The F1 hybrids are useless for future breeding, you need the inbreed parental lines to produce the F1 hybrids and those are not being sold. I should also note that most of the named Hibiscus cultivars produced before 1950 have been lost to the hobby because they were F1 hybrids and were lost when the parental inbreed lines were lost. I really need to post the information I have on the Hibiscus Lunar Series and the early history of Hibiscus breeding.
I printed your info, Mike, with my "missions". LOL I'll see what I can do this year. I have lots of new hibs. I think I killed my Moy Grande. I'll have to check on that one. I gave most of them away last year when I divided it and kept one in a pot but forgot about it. Maybe it's still fine. If so, I'll get it planted so I can use some pollen. I also have Blue River II and then a whole slew of new hybrids. I'll try dabbing some this year and see what happens. Thanks for inspiring me and for sharing your info.
If you had a Moy Grande last year, that could be your pollen source. Put the pot containing the Moy Grande in a few inches of water. These Hibiscus are call Swamp Rose Mallow for a reason. I had spectacular results last summer when I kept the feet of my Hibiscus wet. Don’t give up on your Moy Grande just yet.
I just checked my one year old Lord Baltimore (pod) x Moy Grande (pollen) hybrids and several are breaking dormancy. I am really looking forward to seeing that flower in bloom; it should be very RED. I have very limited space so I can’t start too many seedlings.
From one who made that error be very carful about keeping a hardy Hibiscus as a house plant. I cloned three Hibiscus Lord Baltimore from stem cuttings. I had them indoors through the winter of 2010-2011 and they bloomed beautifully. I put them out the next spring when it was safe and all three plants went dormant. One plant recovered and bloomed in late summer. I assumed that the other two plants were dead and went to though them out only to discover that the roots were green and very much alive. I kept the plants in pots which I planted to the rim of the pot and exposed them to the winter of 2011-2012. If the Hibiscus are still alive, they should be breaking dormancy in a week or two and will have been dormant for a year. I know of one Hibiscus grower who had a plant which he claimed was dormant for two years.
Hardy Hibiscus MUST go through a cold cycle. This is why you can’t grow Hardy Hibiscus in Sothern Florida. If my two sleepers awaken, I will post that information here. The third Hibiscus has already broken dormancy.
I found that the single petal comparison helped IMMENSELY. It had never occurred to me to pull a fresh flower apart!
The plant torture I performed to get my hibiscus to bloom inside was mostly to get it to break dormancy early so I could get some (cough) cuttings from it. I dug it up after it went dormant in the fall, put it in a container and left it in the cold till January when I brought the plant into the front room. In a few weeks when our frost danger is past I am going to plant it back outside and hope that it thinks it was just a very short winter and has no lasting ill effects.
There is one other detail I should have mentioned. When I had my three Lord Baltimore clones in the house, they were under 24 hour light. When I put them outside the shorter amount of light may have triggered the entry into the state of dormancy. I also had a semi-tropical Hibiscus cardiophyllus, which didn’t exhibit this behavior and kept on growing. When you put your hardy Hibiscus outside, try to synchronize the day-night cycle first, it may help. Cold didn’t put my Lord Baltimore’s to sleep; it had to have been the day-night cycle. If I have this problem in the future, the backup refrigerator in the basement is going to become a temporary cold-house. What I don’t know is does the hardy Hibiscus have to have near freezing or freezing temperatures and for how long. The University of Florida has conducted studies on this problem but I don’t recall any papers which studied dormancy in hardy Hibiscus under controlled libratory conditions.
We are lucky enough to live in a house that has a large living room full of windows & 12' ceilings. It's a geodesic dome, the room is basically shaped like 1/3 of a pie, getting s, sw and w exposure. And because we live in the high desert, winters are very sunny so I don't use any supplemental light other than a regular overhead light in the room, which isn't on if no one is in there, unless one of the kids forgets to turn it off. It's completely chaotic and unscientific!
Do you have a large yard that you garden in? We've got an acre and a half, but are somewhat limited by our well output and the horrors of salt grass.
Sounds like your home is more like a greenhouse. Your Hibiscus should have no difficulty with the transition from the inside to the outside.
My problem is that I have too many ideas for breeding projects and not enough land to support the seedlings. On a 50x100 lot with a house and swimming pool space is at premium. To complicate matters, several of my Hibiscus closely resemble a medicinal herb which is popular in California so I am not allowed to plant those in the front yard. This is probably as good idea because it might become a race between the local hippies and local constabulary as to who gets to harvest my Hibiscus first in a case of mistaken identity. I made the following post last year about increasing hardy Hibiscus yields in reduced spaces by keeping their feet wet.
The (probably) Fireball in my living room has been next to a giant rack of tomato seedlings for several weeks. We took the dogs for a walk one night and noticed how they looked back-lit from the street! I keep expecting a knock on the door from the local sheriff asking to take a look at our propagation room ;)
How long have you been hybridizing the hardy Hibs? Do you grow the tropicals as well?
I'll have to read your article, I was under the impression that Hardy Hibs were pretty drought tolerant. I'm not sure if you read my earlier posts but I happened upon them accidentally and am new to them. New, but now obsesses I should clarify.
When we bought our property, there were 2 large cottonwood trees in the back and that was it for established landscaping! The realtor told the previous owner (after the house hadn't sold in 2.5 years) that she should "plant a tree" so there was one Purple Robe Locust about 7' tall smack dab in the middle of the front yard. Other than that and a small lilac against the house it was salt grass, weeds and lots more salt grass. So the first couple of years worth of $ and sweat equity went into 70+ trees and a drip system to water them. After that we focused on the vegetable garden and built this http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1247390/
Now that the necessities are out of the way it's time for some color and fun! We did put in a dozen or so lilacs, several dozen peonies (one of my all time favorites) and iris, but other than that & some spring bulbs, I'm just now getting around to the floral side of the yard.
It's a little too dry here for the hardies species to do really well, but I've had luck with Texas star and Rose of Sharon.
Two years ago I was weak and bought a Hibiscus moscheutos 'Crown Jewels' from Plant Delight Nursery. Hopefully I'll remember to water it enough to keep it going!
tombaak wrote:How long have you been hybridizing the hardy Hibs? Do you grow the tropicals as well?
If by tropical’s you Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, the answer is no. I really don’t have the room in the house over the winter. Although I have to confess that I have been making room for semi-tropical Hibiscus with the objective of moving them outdoors if they can survive.
I started out breeding Hibiscus section Muenchhusia about eight years ago, which includes:
I am also playing with some semi-tropical Hibiscus from the southern United States and the southern tip of South Africa, which may or may not be going anywhere, depending of their cold tolerance and their ability to bloom and set seed during our summer. As part of my South African project, I am also looking at Hibiscus syriacus as a candidate for hybridization with Hibiscus calyphyllus from South Africa.
This year, I am also growing two cultivar of Kosteletzkya (Hibiscus) virginica which is a New Jersey native and once considered a Hibiscus. This Hibiscus relative, is highly salt tolerant and will grow in salt water. It has a chromosome count identical to the members of Hibiscus section Muenchhusia.
And finally there is my eternal quest for lost heirloom Hibiscus and the mythical North American yellow.
Beach_Barbie wrote:It's a little too dry here for the hardies species to do really well, but I've had luck with Texas star and Rose of Sharon.
Two years ago I was weak and bought a Hibiscus moscheutos 'Crown Jewels' from Plant Delight Nursery. Hopefully I'll remember to water it enough to keep it going!
Thanks for posting, BB. Please continue to post pictures if you can. It would be great to see the progress of 'Crown Jewels'.
I am so jealous of your zone 7!!! In case I haven't mentioned it before ;)
Our last freeze here in zone 5 is usually around Mother's Day. I am just getting my first Iris blooms and the peonies have big buds, but won't be showing color for another couple of weeks. Lilacs look lovely though!
My NEW hardy hibs that came by mail order two weeks ago are looking great! No growth when I got them, but 2 ft of growth now. AND they're still sitting in water, unpotted. I have actually had them in the kitchen sink until last night when I put them in buckets. I had to repurpose my kitchen because I have a date coming today. Not everyone can handle a kitchen full of plants in the sinks and on the counters. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this!)
Hopefully life will settle down a bit and I can get my gardens cleaned up and start planting all my goodies. I'm so excited to see these hybrids blooming this year. I'm really eager to see Berrylicious and Peppermint Schnapps. I need to find a white TX Star, but I'll focus on that next year.
Maybe we can all come back later and post pics of this years blooms.
Shingles?! Ouch, ouch, OUCH! I hope you are feeling better soon.
My hibs are coming along. They are anywhere from just breaking dormancy to 8" tall. I've been pretty focused on getting the veggie garden in and my worm bed built that I don't obsess too much about them. lol
What is the little fish (?) faced pot in the back left of your pic? Very cute!
Hi! I was reading your thread here and had a question. I was lucky enough to find Hardy Hibiscus 'Blushing Bride' seeds and had a few questions.
Have any of you started them from seed? How long does it take until they are blooming size? I of course know it will take some time, but I may just have to go by a pot in the meantime. Is now an ok time to sow the seeds?
There are two cultivars which have the name Hibiscus 'Blushing Bride'. One is the tropical Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and the other is a hardy Hibiscus syriacus (Hibiscus Rose of Sharon). If you have seeds of Hibiscus syriacus they should have a line of hairs along one edge of the seed which resembles a Mohawk Haircut as shown in the flowing USDA photograph.
The hardy Hibiscus 'Blushing Bride'.is a sterile triploid hybrid which is created by crossing a diploid with a tetraploid. Hibiscus syriacus can be an extremely invasive species in both the diploid and tetraploid chromosome configuration and triploidis are engineered to tame that tendency. The problem is that many triploid hybrids are not 100% sterile and if they do manage to set viable seeds, the seedlings could be any number of polyploidy configurations and will most likely not resemble the pod parent. If you are unlucky enough, some of the seedlings could be a highly virulent and fertile tetraploid, in which case the only thing you have going for you is your Zone 5a garden. For more information see the following:
Where did you obtain your seeds? If you have a friend with Hibiscus 'Blushing Bride', the quickest way to obtain a new plant is to take a few cuttings, root them in water and then plant them in wet soil. Hibiscus syriacus is very easy to root. If you start the Hibiscus from seeds it is going to take two years before you see flowers with a high probability that they will not breed true. If you are adventures do give the seeds a try but be careful
I have the blushing bride rose of sharon--one of the few ROS's that I like. It's really beautiful. But I don't think I've ever seen seed pods on mine. Thank you for the rooting info. I'd like to have a couple more of them so I may try rooting some of the stems myself. I really need to move the one I have, but I'm afraid I would kill it if I do. It's rather large now. So I'll root some first and then attempt the move.
I received the seeds in a trade. The package just says Hardy Hibiscus 'Blushing Bride'. No germination info, just that. Oh well guess I will be looking around for containers of it! Thanks for the info!
Those are very pretty Sharon! Mine are so far behind yours, even though we are in the same state. I guess the couple of thousand feet of elevation and several hundred miles north makes a bit of climate difference ;)
I have a HUGE seed pod on a fancy iris right now. I don't do any purposeful hybridizing, but if I get one I definitely get excited. I have mine covered in an organza bag so that it can mature naturally and if it busts open before I cut it off I won't lose any seeds. I have several peonies I've grown from seeds collected from my seedpods, they are all lovely, but nothing spectacular... Yet ;)
Smurf, It will be really exciting to see what comes of the Cranberry Crush seedlings!
I had some seed pods on my Louisiana Iris Black Gamecock last year. I did not think to enclose them. My mow and blow guys that never trim anything trimmed off all twelve seed pods. I bought one Gamecock and probably now have 20. And I gave more away.
No seed pods this year. Last year I had many seed pods on quite a few of the hardy hibiscus. Moi Grade was loaded.
We have very large Carpenter bees that live across the street in the neighbors palms. They are in my hardy hibiscus all morning long. I will let you know if I get any seed pods later. Sharon
Sharon, your Hibiscus are just to die for. New to these I bought 2 plants last year Fireball. They grew about 20 to 24 in. tall. Cut them back last fall and have been amazed at the amount of flowers these two plants put on this year. I got two packages of seed last winter to sow indoors for this year. Out of over 20 seeds only got two up. These are now about 20 in. tall. I belive they are pink also. I been reserching here on DG on how to sow them and hope to try the methoid i learned here. Now my question is I feel the seed I bought might not have been to new ( both pkg. from different suppliers one pkg. nothing showed up this one had the most seeds) is there a variable in the age of seeds and suppliers? Thanks for any help.
I purchase plants. Mamajack on Cubits had a co-op from Walters. Great prices and 3 year old roots. I always get seed pods but I have not planted any. They are hard to get started but some individuals on here are really good at it. I will probably have fresh seed at the end of the season and I will send you some seeds if you would like some.
First photo is summerlicious. Second photo is 4 HH planted together enjoying the Las Vegas sun. Third photo is My Valentine.
Sharon, Here is a pic of what I do to make sure I don't lose seeds I want. I use inexpensive little organza bags (they are .10 each or so) and close them really tight at the bottom. Then when everything is dried I just cut the stem right under where I've tied the bag. Super easy, super quick :)
Oh wow tombaak i never thought to use those little bags what a great idea... False alarm on my cranberry crush :( they were deformed things that all i can guess.. They were all dry and ready for picking today, so i went outside to get them all excited of course... And to my sad surprise i opened them to a flower bud all dried up inside... Almost like they were trying to bloom for a second time... Oh while i still have a very nice plant even if it doesnt seed...
OK, Tombaak, where did you find the little organza bags? I have one going wild in the front landscape and just did not get around to taking a photo. Hopefully there will be more blooms tomorrow. It was cloudy, about 84 and we also had a slight breeze. Spent the majority of the day in the garden with a worker. I did a lot of cleaning and he did the major pickup. I spent about 7 hours in the garden and am still hyped. Sharon...
Forget about saving seeds, which can be very useful, we can use these to prevent accidental pollination by covering the buds before they even open. The Organiza Bags come in all sizes and colors but I need to know the fabric and dyes used in the manufacture of the bags. How long will the bags survive outside exposed to the elements?
Perhaps I will not have to get up at 4 AM to pollinate Hibiscus as they open. While seed dispersal is generally not a problem with hardy Hibiscus,, it is a big problem with some of my semi-hardy Hibiscus.
I buy the organza bags by the hundreds because I use them in my business. They are available in dozens of sizes. The organza bags I buy are a polyester, you can find some made with nylon, but I like the poly bags better. If you are concerned about the "green" factor, you can buy silk organza bags, but as they are made of silk they cost much, MUCH more!
The poly bags I use hold up to the relentless summer heat and horrid windstorms we get here in the high dessert. This spring I found one that I had missed collecting on an Allium because the cats had made a bed in my flowers and mashed the whole thing into the ground. It had gone through weeks below freezing, the snow and rains of winter and the cats napping on it for months and it looked fine. Lots of nice black Allium seeds still safely stored inside :)
Worms - I love your rain lilies! I miss mine so much. My stepson was "helping" me pull weeds and pulled up all of my rain lilies because he thought it was grass in the flower bed! I could have died. . . luckily I just purchased some bulbs to replant. I am hoping they will spread like my previous long lost lilies. . . ahhhh.
Rain lilies are another addiction of mine. I have many different colors.
My hardy hibiscus got trashed. Sunday night we had hail and rain for 15 minutes. 1 1/2 inches of rain in fifteen minutes after 10 minutes of half dollar sized hail. I had spent Friday and Saturday, with a helper, cleaning th garden to perfection. I guess I was getting to prideful and Mother Nature showed me.
Helper and I are going to clean up again Saturday. Then I will know the full extent of the damage. Sharon
Bummer about the hail, but interesting about the rain lilies - my mom has pink ones ... didn't know they came in other colors. I used to have some but they got frosted one year. Mom's had some stress but are doing better now so maybe I'll be able to get a start from her to have them again.
Sharon,so sorry to hear about your bad luck with the rain and hail. I had been showing my DL the pictures of your different hibiscus. She was thrilled to see so many different color ones. Having only seeing the red of Fire ball I have. We hope a lot of your other plants were not damaged. Regards, James
Worms & Kljflower- I'm so sorry to hear of your damage, it is so disappointing when something happens to the plants we love. I had a beautiful passion vine and my eldest dog was out in the yard with me and decided to dig a hole in the flower bed right where this was planted and lay down! I walked around the corner and shrieked - there lay my poor blooming plant in pieces. . .
I previously had the ones you have pictured above, but the bulbs I just purchased are yellow. EdenBlooms has bulbs for $.30 each. I thought that was a pretty good deal.
Out of the ones you have Worms, which ones do you like the best?
Well first you must be aware, I am nuts. So when I like something I go totally overboard. So I have at least 15 different Hardy Hibiscus. I find it difficult to pick just one. I like Moi Grande and Berrylisious. But then there is Pink Elephant and Peppermint Swirl.
Actually, if I do not love it, I get rid of it.
As for rain lilies, I have about 7 different colors. Orange, yellow, white, pink and white, pink, white and pink and orange and white. I paid $18 per color and each order had three bulbs of each color. Now, of course, I have over 50 of each color. I will need to thin them this fall and I am always willing to share for postage. Just D mail me if you would like a few. I need to look up their names. I believe I purchased them from Plant Delights. The pink one I purchased years ago. When we built our current home we moved some bulbs with our move. The one pictured above is white with pink accents. The sun was just to bright. I tried enhancing the photo to get the color right but it is much prettier than the photo.
In the spring I taught our new schnauzer puppies to eat dandelion blooms in the greenbelt. Well I taught them well because when they see a rain lily bloom, they eat them also. I cannot blame them. Worms
Hi Worms - it must be a garden disease that we all get, because I have the same sickness - LOL. I have the same thing with jasmine. I have several different kinds and if I find one I don't have - I become obsessed with finding it. I guess there could be worse things to obsess over :)
I would love to have any bulbs that you are willing to part with. I will send you a d-mail.
Well I have seed pods on Pink Elephant. First Photo
I also had seeds on the white HH I have had for close to 25 years. My Dad got it as a bonus from Burpee. I was shocked to see the seed pods had already ripened. I got about 10 seeds. There are still two green pods. Second photo is the bloom. Always the first to bloom.
It is a miracle I have it at all. My father gave it to me. There were actually two. One pink and one white. I had no idea what they were. I just took the two dead looking dried up pieces and put them in a pot near the tomato garden. That pot sat there for at least three years and then one spring two plants pop up. Then they bloomed. I was absolutely flabbergasted. They were beautiful. The pink one died the the white one grew like a weed. When we built this home 11 years ago I moved a portion of it to the garden. It has prospered and right now I have about 5 plants total of this one. I treasure it because it was given to me by my father and it grew in spite of my neglect.
Sharon - your hibiscus is beautiful and the story makes it that much better! I have an old strawberry pot that belonged to my grandfather. It has chips and cracks, but I still have it planted and everytime I look at it I remember it setting on his porch.
My Hibiscus 'Kopper King' produced a bud mutation where three or possibly four buds fused to produce one flower with distorted proportions. The open flower is the size of a normal Kopper King bloom but that is where the similarities stop. I counted to over 15 petals and then gave up. The pistil fused into one stem about a half inch thick and there were so many stigmas that I couldn’t count them. In the picture of the partially opening bud you can see a Hibiscus Beetle (Althaeus hibisci) on the lip of a petal (lower left) which can’t believe its good fortune.
I pollinated the flower with its own pollen but it is unlikely that it will set seeds but you can never tell. The flower is not in a good position to consider stem cloning. This is one of the times when I wish I was doing tissue culture. For now I will continue to watch the pod to see if it sets seeds and be on the lookout for similar mutations on the same stem. The stem is unusual because it appears to be two stems which fused together.
By "wild hibiscus", do you mean native species or the moscheutus?
I can start them anytime, but my Winters are a lot warmer than yours.
BTW, none of the the seeds I started from my 'Crown Jewels' have come up. Still hoping they will.
marie_kap wrote:I was driving along and I saw all these wild Hibiscus growing, so I stopped and gathered a few brown pods. I figure since mother nature would be dropping them now, why cant I ?
The first commercial grower of hardy Hibiscus in North America, for which there is documentation, was William F. Bassett of Hammonton, New Jersey, which is 15 miles from your home. The original Hibiscus stock was collected about 1880 in triangular marsh alongside the Absecon Railroad Station. The location exists today but last summer I failed to find a single Hibiscus growing in the Absecon Marsh. Here is an aerial view of the Absecon Marsh in Google Maps:
The Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Absecon, NJ is several miles north and east from the Absecon Railroad Station and is a reconstructed wetlands and the Hibiscus are the pure pink form of Hibiscus moscheutos subsp. palustrus which may not be native to New Jersey.
During the first week of August 2012 I was collecting Hibiscus seeds and plants about the Cape May peninsula where most of the populations appear to be native Hibiscus moscheutos. I did find one introduced population of Hibiscus moscheutos subsp. palustrus which are easy to identify because 95% plus of the pink flowers have no red-eye.
For information on germinating Hibiscus seeds see the following post:
I was in Maryland this week driving through the old Remington farms Wildlife refuge, and I saw them there. But we do have them in the marsh areas all around MD. This one was white. I saw better ones else where but did not get seeds.
marie_kap wrote:I was in Maryland this week driving through the old Remington farms Wildlife refuge, and I saw them there. But we do have them in the marsh areas all around MD. This one was white. I saw better ones else where but did not get seeds.
When I drive in the costal regions of Maryland and Delaware, I am struck by how plentiful the populations of Hibiscus moscheutos are. By comparison, in New Jersey I have to be on the lookout for a flash of white or pink which may identify the hiding place of a few Hibiscus moscheutos refugees. That was not always the case. During the first and second decades of the last century Prof. John W. Harshberger, of the University of Pennsylvania, documented the seaside and marsh plant populations of New Jersey with loving attention given to the Hibiscus moscheutos societies of New Jersey, as demonstrated in the following paper.
“Hibiscus moscheutos L. forms societies over extensive areas to the exclusion of most other plants. This plant grows abundantly at Seaside Park, on the west side of the railroad at Fourteenth Avenue, covering several acres, and when in full flower is a remarkable sight worth a long journey to see. The large bell shaped flowers, three and four inches across, are of a bright pink or white color, through albinism. The plants grow so thickly that at a distance the meadows seem one mass of color, and this predominance is due to the large number of seeds produced.”
I have only found one 1919 paper where Prof. Harshberger published photographs New Jersey’s Hibiscus moscheutos societies.
Attached are two photographs of Hibiscus moscheutos societies from that paper taken in 1916 along the Belleville Turnpike in Kearny New Jersey as it crosses the Hackensack Marsh. The location where the two photographs were taken are 7.5 and 6.1 miles respectively from Times Square in New York City and 3 and 4 miles from my home.
To the best of my knowledge there are no surviving native populations of Hibiscus moscheutos in the Hackensack Marsh which is now know are the New Jersey Meadowlands. There are several restored nature parks with Hibiscus plantings but the restorers didn’t do their homework and used the wrong non-native species of Hibiscus. During the past 100 years, something terrible happened to Hibiscus moscheutos societies in New Jersey and I am still not sure what it was; but, I have some ideas.
Thanks again Mike for more great information. Mine have been putting on a show for over a month and still going. They just love our heat and they are automatically irrigated because they are water hogs. But I conserve in other way not to use to much water.
Hi Rebecca -- No, we only had a voluntary conservation for a little while but it rained so much (10+ inches here) that it caught us up from any drought. I haven't even had to hand-water much. We only had about a month of really hot and dry weather. :)
Love the hibiscus picture(s) (everyone)! More, please.