Harvesting Teatime Hibicus for tea

tucker303(z5CO)August 16, 2006


I grew Hibiscus sabdariffa - Teatime Hibiscus - from seed. I find so much info out there. I want to harvest some to dry for tea.

Some of the calyces are big and harder and some are smaller and fleshier. None have ripened, browned, cracked open etc.

Do I remove the seed pods before drying and use the red exterior? Does anyone have a site idea to show me?

Thanks for helping this putz.....

PS...I also posted on the Hibiscus site.

Daisyduckworth??? Heathen??? Anyone?????

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:o) Well, I don't know! Mine didn't flower this year! :o( I am not sure why... Not really familiar with it... whether too much nitrogen or the weird temperature swings we've had. I thought you used the calyxes, with flower, not the seedpods, if you find out, let me know! Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 8:38PM
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I call them Rosellas. They are quite popular in my part of the word, mainly used to make jams and jellies.

Some recipes for jam call for using the seed pod as well as the calyces, cooking them up in 2 separate batches, but I prefer just to use the calyces. In any case, the calyces are removed from the pods before you do anything else.

I suggest you pick your flowers before they begin to turn brown. They should be nice and red, and fleshy and fresh-looking, and the pods should be green. The smaller, undeveloped calyces won't be fleshy and they might be hard, but use those as well. Remove the calyces and dry or freeze them for future use. I have never tried drying them, but have frozen them successfully. Discard the pods. They won't be needed to make a tea.

I have quite a few recipes for using rosellas. Here's one you might like:

Rosella Cordial
2 cups hibiscus flowers
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon tartaric acid

Simmer the flowers in the water for 10 minutes. Add sugar, stir until dissolved, add lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes, strain, add tartaric acid to the liquid. Store in the fridge. To use, put a little into a glass and top up with water or soda water. Or add a spoonful or two to a fruit salad.

The pix at the site linked aren't too bad.


Here is a link that might be useful: rosella flowers/pods

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 9:51PM
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okay, daisy... considering my dry mediterranean growing conditions, why wouldn't mine flower? If it's nitrogen, I planted it 2 feet away from a gloriously fruiting watermelon. which doesn't mean that it isn't too much nitrogen. Is it possible that I am not watering it enough? I could grow it in my tropical garden, which I keep continually damp.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 12:17AM
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Nitrogen will only encourage more leaves. You need potassium/potash to produce flowers or fruit. Maybe the watermelon is a bit greedy and not sharing! In fact, I'm sure it is - rosellas don't compete well with other plants.

Here's a little of what I have. I don't believe the hours of sunlight bit because we get more than that in summer and my friend, who grows several of these plants, has no problem - except too many flowers!! My friend is a compost-freak, so her soil is very rich. Her garden hasn't been getting a lot of water because of drought and water restrictions, but it's heavily mulched. Her plants are quite some distance from other plants in her (large!) garden, and they get to a bit over 1.5 metres tall and double that in spread. She chops them down to nothing once the flowering is finished.

Prefers a well-drained, humus rich, fertile soil in full sun. Rosella requires a permeable soil, a friable sandy loam with humus being preferable; however, it will adapt to a variety of soils. It is not shade tolerant and must be kept weed-free. It will tolerate floods, heavy winds or stagnant water. pH 4.5-8.0. Plants are sensitive to the length of daylight and do not flower if there are more than 13 hours of light in the day. Rosella is best suited to tropical climates.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 2:25AM
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Very educational!!! Thank you! I knew I could count on the "experts!" I am definately going to grow more next year. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 9:55AM
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Well, I am jealous of your flowers tucker! :o) Glad you asked the question... now I might be able to get some too!
Mine are small... I didn't realize they got so big... maybe it needs MORE fertilizer? I composted HEAVILY, but it was a fresh plot, so maybe the clay is still too heavy. I think next year I will plant it in with the tropicals.... I am not sure whether I will be lucky and it will survive the winter or not.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 11:01AM
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I dunno Heathen...I was very happy. I planted 3..1 is about 1.5', another is about 2.5' and the other is about 4'. Don't understand the size difference cause all are in the same area. I am going to let a few seed for next year as I know they won't survive here!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 10:37AM
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Can you take pics? I'd just like to compare... I can tell a lot from the pics, like whether mine are over nitrogened or something.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 11:20AM
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CA Kate

Heathen: my Hibiscuses haven't been blooming much either, I think because of the intense heat we had this summer. Daisy, I didn't know about the light factor, and thanks for all the info.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 10:57AM
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I am wondering if I should treat the sabdariffa like my other hibiscuses... and that's why it's not blooming... too much sun? That may be true Westelle... it's so strange how our dry heat is so much stronger than the humid heat.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 12:15PM
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I sure will take pic's. We have had a very dry hot summer since the beginning of June (until recently). They are in full sun. I'll post the pic's later....and disregard the weeds in the area!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 9:08AM
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Oh, I can't see weeds. :D Okay, if they can take full sun in Colorado, they should be plenty happy where I have mine then. I have such a crowded garden, you might have trouble discerning the hibiscuses.... it's so crowded that I have squashes hanging off the corn. :D

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 9:47AM
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If growing is troublesome, there's a place I usually get it at a reasonable price.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hibiscus Tea

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 7:26PM
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mhitt... never troublesome! Never! I get mine bulk at various co-ops or Mexican markets. BUT, I wanna grow my own... kinda like growing my own herbs and tomatoes and such... more fun and tastes good.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 12:44AM
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Mhitt... please don't spam your website here anymore... I've seen you've done it in several forums... people have seen it, and if they want to buy, they will, you don't need to post more. I am here to discuss herbs, not see advertisements

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 12:49AM
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I am growing this plant for the first time this year. Out of many seedlings only a few have made it to maturity. The plants are gorgeous but there are no blooms or even buds on them. A friend from Pakistan saw them and claimed that they bloom in the winter in her homeland (where they also eat the leaves). I'm in zone 7b and would really like to grow this crop every year. Any advice?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 11:11AM
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trianglejohn...Mine are just starting to bud! Woohoo! Now that it's cooled down to the 80's here, maybe they do bloom in the winter in Pakistan.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 6:25PM
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I was prescribed this tea by an alternative medicin doctor. He does have a medical degree. I have been suffering from both kidney stones and gallbladder stones, ( the no water lifestyle w/plenty of cola and coffe to the diet ). I have been suffering from all this pain at times suffering really painful attacks and no amount of water and or antibiotics have taken care of it. Finally my dear quilting friend became very ill from the only kidney she has left, and doctors were ready to start cutting. Her daughter from Austin tx begged her to go and see this doctor 25 miles from our little town. He had her walking in 3 days and is still feeling fantastic, she went for another test and her medical doc can't understand it but suggested she continue whatever she is doing. Well she took me to see him and the pain is gone and I feel great. This tea is just one of several he prescribed for me. I drink a mix of shave grass aka horsetail herb, and estafiate aka grandmother sage. I also take a cup of chamomille w/ anise for the swelling and the hibiscus tea. I prepare like a kool-aide since I am not a diabetic. Alternative medicine has really worked for me. I have really been studying it lately. stella

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 3:49AM
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Patience is all that is required. I now have a ton of buds on the largest plant in the garden. I am using them in a display garden I designed for the horticultural section of our state fair. They look to be right on schedule and our weather is supposed to be above normal this winter so I might see every bud make it. Now if I could just master getting every seedling to make it.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 1:27PM
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Cool! I am so glad that you are leading the way. :o) How long are yours taking to go from small bud-dom to bloom? We had a large drop in temps but are going to work back up to the 80's.. so I am hoping that doesn't mess things up.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 1:37PM
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Guys, we have been supporting have been supporting Indonesian organic farmers and local craftsmen to develop the sustainable cultivation of natural and organic herbs such as Rosella (Hibiscus), Centella, Celery, Sambiloto (for Diabetes), Kumis Kucing (for Kidney Diseasea), Purwoceng (Indonesian ginseng for vitality), etc.

We uses high pressure low temperature drying technology to process fresh natural & organic herbs into high quality dried herbs. This advanced drying technology makes it possible to evaporate water content without destroying the chemical properties of the material. Therefore, the dried herbs obtained from this process still have their natural color, fragrance, active compounds, and medicinal use.

Our Herbal Rosella Tea is used mainly by Indonesian people for anti aging and anti oxydant. The Rosella Tea contains Vitamin C, D, B-1, B-2, High Calsium & magnesium , omega-3, beta- carotene and 18 amino essential accyd that good for your health.

Curently we have supplied high quality dried natural & organic herbs for companies in Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia & Brunei. Should you need more information regarding our activities please feel free to contact us via email: drliza@lizaherbal.com or visit http://www.lizaherbal.com.

Warmest Regards,
Dr. Liza Herbal

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 11:44PM
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