The Proper Way to Plant Hibiscus Seeds
If you want to plant hibiscus seeds, this article will help you do it properly. You need to know when to plant the seeds, how to transplant the seedlings, and what sorts of steps can be taken to help the plant grow. You could plant hibiscus seeds directly in the soil, but better results come from making miniature terrariums to germinate them quickly, and it only takes a couple of minutes to make a soda bottle terrarium.
Step 1: Germinating Seeds
If you want to plant hibiscus grown from seeds, germinate the seeds in waste soda bottles. Choose plastic bottle with straight sides to make the later removal easier. Cut the top 1/3 of the bottle off and fill the lower portion with sifted compost or potting soil. Moisten the soil well. Place three seeds on top of the soil in the bottle, and then cover them with shredded tissue. Wet the tissue lightly, and then use the duct tape to reaffix the top of the bottle. Keep in a cool dark area, and sprouts should form in as little as 3 or 4 days.
Step 2: Transplanting Seedlings
After the seedlings have sprouted, weed out the weaker plants, and discard the upper portion of the bottle, using the base as a growing pot for the next 2 to 3 weeks. When you are transplanting hibiscus plants, always dig a double-sized hole. No matter whether you are planting a seedling or transplanting a grown plant, using a hole that is twice as large will allow you to condition the soil around the plant and provide it with a head start for strong growth.
Step 3: Condition the Soil
To condition the soil for a hibiscus, mix equal parts of sifted compost and sand with the existing soil. Add an ounce of cotton seed meal, and a teaspoon of lime or gypsum, and mix it all up well. Fill the bottom quarter of the hole with the conditioned soil. For seedlings, you can simply replace the existing soil with sifted humus, but larger plants should have a complete soil mixture.
Step 4: Placing the Hibiscus
Plant hibiscus in the spring, to give them a full season of growth before declining with the winter months. Place the plant in the hole you have created, so that the root ball protrudes slightly above the surrounding ground. Fill the hole with conditioned soil, packing it very lightly. Moisten the soil in the morning and evening for 2 days, and the plant should begin to show signs of adjusting to the transfer.
Step 5: Mulching under Hibiscus
As the plant grows, place mulch around the base. Don't place the mulch until your plant has begun to grow, but it is safe to put as much as 2 inches of mulch around the stem of an established hibiscus. This helps protect the soil from erosion, and holds vital moisture in for the plant to use during dry times.