How to grow Hibiscus from seed
Hibiscus naturally grow in warm, moist areas. To assure proper germination and growth, we recommend you emulate these conditions.
It is possible to sow hibiscus seed directly in the soil; if you do so, please remember some basics: Presoak the seed to help them germinate. They are coated with a natural cover that may prevent germination unless soaked. Some authorities recommend scoring seeds; we do not. Plant seed in a well-drained sunny location; avoid planting them near or under trees. Mark your growing spot with a labelled garden stake. If you are an experienced gardener and use a seed propagation system to start seed early indoors, you may find our instructions below helpful.
Step by step instructions
Follow these instructions for the best results. They have been tested to assure the best opportunity to grow Hibiscus in one growing season.
- Open the seed packet and place half of the seeds in a cup of warm tap water. We suggest soaking them overnight. This will “wake them up, telling them its time to start growing.” You should soak about five seeds and have a few seeds left over to soak and use later. You may want to start the remaining seeds in 5-6 weeks, again following these instructions.
- Open the plastic bag containing the growing media by simply removing the wire tie. Be careful not to spill the growing media.
- Add two tablespoons of water by pouring the water into the plastic bag containing the growing media.
- Twist the plastic bag at the top a couple of turns to close off the opening, and gently mix the growing media and the water to moisten throughout.
- After you have mixed the water into the growing media, spoon out the growing media into the peat pot. Fill the peat pot 3/4 full, using your thumb press the growing media into the peat pot. Add additional growing media and press down. Continue to add growing media and press it down until the peat pot is about 3/4 filled.
- Take the seeds out of the cup where they have been soaking overnight and place them on top of the growing media in the peat pot.
- Cover the seeds that you placed in the peat pot with some of the remaining moist growing media, and press it down. Continue to add more growing media and press it down until you have filled the peat pot level with the top.
- Set the planted peat pot aside, and now add two tablespoonfuls of warm tap water to the plastic growing cup.
- Now carefully lower the planted peat pot into the plastic growing cup. After you have inserted the plant label, cover it with the cup dome.
- With a pencil, label your seeds with name and planting date. Place the label into the peat cup by sliding it down the inside of one side of the peat cup, deep enough to allow the dome to close on the growing cup.
- Place the growing cup, with the dome tightly closed, in a warm location. The top of the television, refrigerator, cable box, radio, all provide a nice warm spot for the growing cup. Leave the cup in place until you notice that the seeds are sprouting and pushing the growing media up. Hibiscus seeds like to sleep and might take two-to-three weeks to wake up.
- Allow the seedlings to emerge for a day or two, and then move the growing cup to a bright window. Allow the seedlings to grow without disturbing them.
- NOTE: You should not add any additional water to the growing cup until the seedlings have completely emerged. A few seeds may not emerge as quickly as others, so after two or three have sprouted, move the cup to a bright spot. You may not have to water them for several weeks. If condensation forms on the cup or dome, simply open the ventilating hole in the top of the dome by pushing the plastic straw into the opening or peel back the vent sticker. If the peat cup appears dry (the sides are beginning to turn lighter brown), add about another 2 tablespoons of water. DO NOT PUT WATER ON THE PEAT POT OR SEEDLINGS. Pour the water along the sides of the growing cup, into the bottom of the cup. Allow the peat pot to soak up the water from the bottom. Continue to water as necessary using this method of watering. AGAIN, do not water the seedlings from the top by pouring water on to them or on to the peat cup and growing media.
- Also, the growing media has been blended with a starter fertilizer. Therefore, you do not have to fertilize the seedlings while they are in the peat pot.
- Continue to grow the seedlings in the peat pot until they are ready to transplant outside or into pots. They should have three or four mature leaves and be four to five inches high before transplanting. It is generally safe to put them outside when tomato and pepper seedlings can be planted in the vegetable garden in your area.
- Choose a sunny spot in your garden. Hibiscus will tolerate some shade during the day, but avoid planting them near or under trees. Mark your growing spot with the garden stake.