This is my first time on DG and I am glad to join. I have a small backyard that I started planting last year. I have 2 dogs so I had trouble keeping my plants as they liked making crop circles in my flower beds so this year I built them up to a height of about 12'-18' high. I limited thier access to the yard this year and my garden took off. I compost regularily and have been swapping seeds, bulbs, etc. with the neighbours. I received some Rose of Sharon Tree seeds and I want to germinate them indoors over the winter. How do I go about doing this? What is the best way to get good results? If they turn out, I would like to bonsai some of the seedlings and grow at least one tree in my backyard. Can anyone help me with this?
p.s. I am attaching a picture of my garden from this summer. It may be a little dark but I took the pictures in the evening with a flash. I get the morning sun and the late afternoon sun, my yard faces north.
Welcome Dwight! Your garden looks lovely - serene and peaceful in that light. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your thread. I was hoping that someone with actual knowledge of Rose of Sharon seed germination might come along to answer your questions. I did a Google search and came up with the following:
"Easy germination. Start seed indoors 4-6 weeks prior to last spring frost. Sow seeds on good seed starting mix, covering seeds with about 1/4" mix. Moisten mix and keep moist until germination begins. Place container in location at 68-70ºF. Seed should begin germinating in 10-20 days. Other info: Takes 3-4 years from seed to bloom."
"Soak them until you see a wee sprout, then plant sprout down into dampened soil. Place the pot in a ziplock bag until leaves appear!"
Some sites recommend nicking and saoking the seed prior to sowing, some say to just sow and keep moist. If it were me I would try a few methods at the same time to see what works the best if I had enough seeds. As a matter of fact, I think I'll harvest some seed from my own Rose of Sharon and see if I have any luck with them.
I always soak mine and then nick them a little to make sure they are good to go.
I have witer sown mine, sown them in spring, and left the pots with the seedlings in them outdoors throughout the growing season into the next. When they are about a foot tall I plant them where I want them to grow. I don't know how they would do as a bonsai as they are also pruned to be shrubs by some people.
They most likely can be pruned to a certain height, but I just can't see them being interesting enough in shape to make a bonsai out of them.
They will take about two to three years to bloom depending on how well taken care of they are.Most of my seedlings from three years ago are now blooming, but only about four feet tall now. They have many "trunks" which are more like branching shrubs than actual trunks like trees have.
Our neighbor has one that he bought, I am sure, and it is right against his house and about fifteen feet high. He fertilizes everything often, so things over there are giants.
I am going to use mine to line my fence line since they will make a good screen.
But overall, very easy from seed and with TLC will grow quickly for you.