Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
3 ratings

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Harvest dates-eastern Oregon
September 07, 2007 - I am looking for a source to provide me with harvest dates for seed of shrubs, grasses and wild flowers native to eastern Oregon.
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Arisaema dracontium
May 25, 2008 - We are fortunate enough to own an 8-acre drainage next to Bull Creek preserve, and it has several stands of Green Dragon (Arisaema Dracontium) growing in it. How can we propagate this plant and share...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Mexican buckeye from seeds in San Antonio
October 02, 2009 - I recently collected seeds from a Mexican buckeye. Is it best to plant them now or wait until spring? Do they need to be scarified?
view the full question and answer

Dying branches on Texas Mountain Laurel from Kempner TX
September 14, 2012 - The branches on my Texas Mountain Laurel are very dry and brittle. The leaves are also starting to die. The tree has been in my yard for six years and prior to that it sat wrapped in burlap for ov...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of yucca by seed
August 03, 2007 - I'm just wondering, the yuccas in town are starting to drop their seed pods. How easy is it to start from their little black seeds?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.