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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Tuesday - September 21, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Planting star hibiscus seeds from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

TX star hibiscus seeds. How & when to plant in ground & in pots. Thank you, Carol

ANSWER:

Hibiscus coccineus (Texas Star Hibiscus) is, strangely enough, not native to Texas, but instead its range is from Florida to Mississippi. However, the common name makes it very popular in Texas and it grows well here, so no worries.

From Floridata, this article on Hibiscus coccineus includes these instructions on using seed:

"Propagation: By seeds or root division. Seeds should be punctured with a needle or scraped with a file before planting."

Our own Native Plant Database doesn't say a whole lot more:

"Description: Easily grown from seed."

So, we went to Jill Nokes' book How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest. See Bibliography below. She addressed Hibiscus in general, and here is an extract from her advice:

"Some species of Hibiscus will germinate from untreated seeds gathered in the previous season, while others require slight scarification. All hibiscus should be planted outdoors after all danger of frost is past and the soil has warmed, or earlier in a greenhouse. The soil in the seedbed must be warm before germination will proceed. Sow seeds thinly about 1/4" deep in well-drained soil. Press the seeds into the soil and gently water."

"Seedlings grow relatively fast if given filtered but strong sunlight and lightly fertilized. Spring-sown seedlings will be large enough for a one-gallon container by the fall and will bloom the following spring. Transplant seeds from the flat after they have grown their third set of leaves."

We suggest that on the subject of growing the Texas Star Hibiscus you read our How-To Article Container Gardening with Native Plants.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Hibiscus coccineus


Hibiscus coccineus


Hibiscus coccineus


Hibiscus coccineus

 

 

 

 

 

 

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