En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 11, 2013

From: Pleasanton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding
Title: Germinating Hibiscus martianus, Heartleaf hibiscus
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Sean Watson

QUESTION:

Is there some secret to getting Heart Leaf Hibiscus to germinate from seed? I have tried several times, but have had no luck getting them to germinate.

ANSWER:

There is certainly agreement that Hibiscus martianus (Heartleaf rosemallow) is difficult to germinate.  Here's an informative article from Dave's Garden that discusses difficulties in getting seeds of the heartleaf hibiscus to germinate.  One observation in the article is that very fresh seeds germinate best.  Here are more comments from B and T World Seeds about germinating H. martianus (under its former name/synonym, H. cardiophyllus) and more information from All Things Plants.

I asked the Wildflower Center's Nursery Manager, Sean Watson, how he germinated the heartleaf rosemallow seeds and this is his reply:

"I soak the seed for 48 hours in water. I usually boil water, let it cool for a minute, and then pour over the seed and let it soak for the 48 hrs.  I still get spotty germination. I collect lots of seed and go with numbers."

If I were you and it's at all possible, I would follow Sean's instructions and also "go with numbers!"

 

From the Image Gallery


Heartleaf rosemallow
Hibiscus martianus

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Why all the acorns from Austin
November 03, 2010 - What's the explanation for the huge crop of acorns falling from my live oak trees this fall. Do you recommend I dump them in my composter or just throw them in the flower beds? Thanking you in adv...
view the full question and answer

When to reseed wildflowers in a drought year?
October 18, 2011 - My acreage with extensive wildflowers was mowed in 2010 before annuals had seeded. Only a few returned this year. Considering the predicted lonterm drought should I postpone reseeding this fall?
view the full question and answer

Research on Atriplex confertifolia in Austin
January 21, 2010 - I have heard a lot about Atriplex confertifolia (Shadscale). Has the Center done any research/trial growing of this plant for possible adaptability to Hill Country (west Austin) area? If this is a ca...
view the full question and answer

How and when to harvest bluebonnets.
April 30, 2010 - A previous answer mentioned harvesting bluebonnet seeds by pulling up the whole plant when the seed pods turn brown. Two clarifications - when do the seed pods turn brown as these plants are hard to ...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for burned acreage in Bastrop, Texas
October 31, 2011 - The fire took 2/3 of the trees on my half acre in Bastrop County. It was mostly wild. What do I plant for ground cover? Do I plant native grass seed in fall? I want to keep it native as possible. ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center