Rent Shop 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

Need tips for planting wildflower seeds in pots in Edinburg, TX.
July 22, 2012 - Can you give me some tips for starting wildflower seeds in pots or trays, rather than outdoors? Is this even possible? Most instructions I have found are for seeding large areas. I want to get some p...
view the full question and answer

Improving Bluebonnet seed contact with soil
November 06, 2015 - I have a five acre field in Blanco County, much of which is covered by bluebonnets. There are several species of native grasses as well. Would it be beneficial to disk or otherwise disturb the soil ...
view the full question and answer

Gathering Purple Coneflower seeds in Burnet TX
October 10, 2009 - I have grown some Purple Coneflower and now am trying to save the seeds to plant next spring. I have a bucket full of dried tops and I know there is a lot of seeds. Is there an easy way to separate ...
view the full question and answer

germinating Gulf coast penstemon and purple coneflower
June 03, 2011 - I'm interested in propagating gulf coast penstemon (penstemon tenuis) from seed. Do I have to mascerate the 'berries' to remove the pulp from the seed, and do I have to stratify the seed to get th...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Moth Mullein as a garden plant from Starksville MS
July 09, 2011 - I collected seeds from a beautiful Moth Mullein growing in a lot which will soon be bulldozed. Would I regret sowing them in the back of a sunny perennial bed this fall. These are from the white-pin...
view the full question and answer

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