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How long do hibiscus seeds last in a bed?

Posted by HighlanderNorth De zone 6b (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 23:01

About 6-8 years ago I bought 2 hardy deciduous hibiscus plants in pots from a local nursery, one pink flowered, the other red flowered. Within 2 seasons after planting them they'd become enormous, with between 22-30 stems per plant. There were so many and they were so heavy that the outermost stems would fall over, touch the ground, then grow straight upward from there.

They got lots of sun, so they didn't just grow a few flowers on the tops of each stem, they also produced lots of lateral branches from each stem, and there would be at least 5-8 flowers on each lateral branch as well. The flowers are huge at 10-12" diameter. So they produced amazing numbers of flowers for probably 6 weeks straight! But they also start blooming a little later than most varieties.

Anyway, these plants were so thick and wide and heavy that they grew very wide(8-10 feet diameter each), so they were falling into the sidewalks and driveway, and even with much staking and tying it was too much. So I dug both plants up and attempted transplanting, but as I dug them up I noticed how their roots grew about 2 inches below ground and spread out in all directions across the bed! I couldn't prevent severing these long thick roots, and they died later after transplanting.

But, then about 2 years later we start seeing new hibiscus seedlings popping up in the original bed, and in other nearby beds, so I finally decided to let 2 of them grow in 2 different beds, away from the walkways and driveway. It's been 2 seasons now that these 2 newer plants have been growing, and undoubtedly dropping hundreds of seeds everywhere, but I don't see any new hibiscus seedlings popping up yet.

Does it always take a few years for the seeds to finally grow, and how long will they remain viable sitting out in the flower beds, covered by new mulch each season? Also, anyone know the name of this variety that grows this large with 10-12" wide flowers?

Thanks in advance.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How long do hibiscus seeds last in a bed?

Hardy hibiscus. That is what you planted.
Yes, they can get real big, and proper pruning is usually done if you plant them in an area that is close.
No, they can seed and thier seeds usually germinate the following season, unless they can't for some reason.
You can keep the seeds, I had some for 6 years, and they germinated.
I was curious, are the plants that grew in the same bed the same color as the original plants you had there?
Sometimes they will grow back from roots, even years later. I was just wondering if there was a change it was the same plant.
Let me tell you, they are extremely hardy plants. It's amazing how they can grow.
I'm glad they grew back for you, either seed or roots, they are wonderful plants.
Hope you enjoy them.

RE: How long do hibiscus seeds last in a bed?

Well, I will start another thread sime time soon and include pictures of the original 2 hibiscus once they got full sized about 2 years after planting, and what they look like now. The 3 that I am growing now are the same color flowers as the original plants, even though these came from seeds off of the old plants and were pollinated undoubtedly as a cross between the reds and pink flowers. They arent quite blooming yet, and that makes them at least 2-3 weeks later than many hardy varieties, but they make up for it with LOTS of huge blooms and a long bloom time.

At this point they are on their 3rd season since I replanted them as volunteers 2 years ago. They were popping up all over different beds for at least 2 seasons, maybe 3. I didnt actually notice volunteers popping up until about 2 seasons after the original hibiscus plants were removed(because they were way too large and spread out much more than just about any hibiscus plants I had previously seen). Those original plants didnt survive the transplant due to too many roots being severed, because they grew outwards many feet in all directions, and it wasnt prudent to try and dig up a 5' to 8' root ball just to get the outward growing roots in one piece!

I have cut back several stems on the largest plant, and yet there are still at least 12 or more very large, thick, long stems left, that are growing outwards in all directions. I had to practically remove an entire side just to prevent them from crushing the 5' Zinnias behind them.

Thats another aspect to this story: The Burpee zinnia seeds I buy(Giant flower mix) also grow much larger than advertised, and this year they are getting even taller than last year, as I saw a couple flowers above my head by at least 8" just 3 days ago, and the rest are at least 4.5 to 5 feet tall now, even though they were 2 feet tall a month ago with hardly any significant lateral branches. They are advertised to grow to 30-36"....... These plants are in a front yard that gets at least 11-12 hours of direct sun per day right now, so shade isnt the cause of tall growth, besides, they are also very thick stemmed, which wouldnt be the case if there was a lack of sun.

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