Advice on transplanting hibiscus seedlings

Laguna Beach, FL

I need some guidence on transplanting my hibiscus seedlings please. I germinated 30 luna hibiscus seeds and 29 actually germinated. I just had them in my dining room window at first and they started getting really tall. I read about the stretching and decided they need more light so my husband built me a nice stand and rigged up a flouresant light fixture for me. They are still doing great but I'm affraid they may have grown to tall to have a nice sturdy stalk. I was wondering if I can transplant them all the way up to thier "true leaves" and snip off the bottom seedling leaves? I can't seem to find info on how deep I can plant them. Also, should I go ahead and start them off in gallon pots or in something smaller and graduate them to a bigger pot?
Thanks Pam

Thumbnail by pselders
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I can't help you on whether or not you can plant them up to the true leaves or not--some plants you can do that but some you can't. But in terms of pots, if you're planning to use bagged potting mix then you'll be best off potting them up gradually, always keeping them in a pot that's not too big relative to the size of the plant. If you make up a potting mix yourself that drains properly (read the "sticky" threads in the container gardening forum for more info on this) then the pot size won't matter, but if you use commercial potting mix then you need to be careful. Otherwise you make it really easy to overwater them, and young seedlings are especially vulnerable to problems caused by overwatering.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

I've grown Hibiscus from seed. A few pointers, it seems to me I potted them up to the first set of leaves. Mine also died up to almost the soil line and then came back. So don't throw them out!!! I don't know why they did it but it's happened several (times) years. Then they grew just fine. I planted several new ones last year and they are doing just fine considering we have been under an extreme drought, not sure they will bloom this year, probably next year will be their first. Also to let you know the flouecent light help but you will still get stretching, might try hardening them off (shaded, but bright filtered light, just an hour or so and then slowly increase daily. Give them a few weeks this way then you can gradually move them into sunlight, just remember the sun is strong this time of year). Good Luck, Kathy

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

Do not plant them any deeper or snip off the "baby" leaves. They will fall off naturally when the time is right and planting them deeper will just smother and possibly kill them.
I would pot them up gradually. The new pot being 2-3" larger than the old.
They look like they're doing just fine and will be nice healthy hibiscus.

Laguna Beach, FL

Thanks to all that gave me great advice, I actually took it and was doing great. I'm in another bind. I transplanted into small pots and hardened off outside. I was moving them back inside and leaving light on them at night. I moved them to my greenhouse about 6 day's ago. I was getting impatient, haven't got to use it yet. They have literally grown about six inches since then and I've had to put spikes in the pots to hold them up.I'm affraid the are growing to fast, should I move them back inside or transplant them deeper into a bigger pot? The new leaves are three times bigger than the bottom leaves. Not sure what to do next, I love these guy's and don't want to lose them.

Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

Sounds like you're doing great. Don't pot up until they startt o get root bond. I've potted up too quicly and have lost many that way.

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