Tips For Beautiful Bare Root Hibiscus

'Sultry Kiss' bare root hibiscus

Hardy hibiscus continues to be a popular perennial grown for summer sales. One grower who began offering bare root hibiscus materials a few years ago is Walters Gardens. And although bare root hibiscus offers numerous benefits, many growers are still not familiar with this type of starting material.

Bare root hibiscus are field grown and offer growers a much larger, more vigorous starter plant compared to the smaller liners typically used in the past. Bigger starter plants mean faster turnaround times, fuller containers with more flowers per pot and a high perceived quality.

Flowering Characteristics

Besides the benefits of using bare root plants, growers should consider the
type of flowering each cultivar offers. Not all hibiscuses are created equal. There are two types of flowering habits: determinate and indeterminate.

Cultivars with determinate flowering develop flower buds near the terminal shoot. Indeterminate varieties develop flower buds at the nodes along much of the stem, as well as near the terminal shoots. Therefore, indeterminate cultivars produce more flowers and bloom considerably longer than determinate varieties.

Most of the older genetics on the market are determinate bloomers with flowers lasting for about one month during the summer. All of the new Walters introductions are indeterminate bloomers and flower consistently for two to three months or longer.

Production Guidelines

Upon receipt, bare root hibiscus will often have large root systems that may be too large to fit the container they are going to be growing in. Hibiscus from bare root is most suitable for production in 2-gallons or larger containers. If the roots are too large to fit into the container, the roots can be trimmed to a 3- to 4-inch radius or 6 to 8 inches in total width. When potting, plant the crown of the plant so that it is slightly below the media surface.

Although one advantage of using bare root hibiscus is the numerous shoots that emerge from the crown, the fullest and highest quality finished product is obtained by pinching them early in the production cycle. After the emerging stems have developed at least five nodes, soft pinch them by removing the terminal growing point from every stem in each container, leaving three to five nodes on each stem. Pinching can be done by hand or using scissors. Additional pinches can occur a few weeks later if more branching is desired.

Bare root hibiscus prefer to be kept consistently moist during production. Never allow them to wilt because they may experience lower leaf yellowing, and flower bud abortion will likely occur.

Due to their vigorous growing habit, hibiscuses require ample amounts of nutrients. Provide 150 to 200 parts per million (ppm) nitrogen with every irrigation, incorporate a medium rate of a reliable controlled-release fertilizer formulation at potting. The acceptable pH range is 6.0 to 6.5. Grow hibiscus outside in full sun or in greenhouses with high light intensities.

One of the keys to successful production is to grow plants warm. Hibiscus does not grow well in cool temperatures. When the temperatures are about 60°F, the plants grow slowly and may appear chlorotic. The best growth and development occurs with day temperatures above 70°F and night temperatures above 68°F. Hibiscus require long days for flowering.

For 2-gallon crops that have been pinched once early in production when grown at the proper temperatures, allow 12 to 14 weeks from planting to flower. For crops that have been pinched on multiple occasions, allow six weeks from the time of the last pinch for them to reach flowering.

Takeaways

With their brilliant and impressive flower displays, hardy hibiscus provides great appeal and presence in garden centers and summer landscapes. Walters Gardens continues to improve plant appearance and flowering characteristics through their breeding efforts. Additionally, many benefits, including improved final plant quality and reduced production time using Walters’ bareroot hibiscus, make hardy hibiscus a cost effective option for summer programs.

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
University of Tennessee trials overview (2015 University of Tennessee Field Trials)

February 19, 2017

2016 University of Tennessee Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville and Jackson, TN.

Read More
Reiman Gardens field trials

February 18, 2017

2016 Iowa State University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University in Ames, IA.

Read More
Syngenta Obsession Cascade

February 15, 2017

Syngenta Introduces Two New Flower Series for 2017

‘Sunfinity’ Sunflower produces multiple branches with numerous flowers that bloom all season long, while ‘Obsession Cascade’ Verbena quickly fills containers with vibrant flower patterns.

Read More
Latest Stories
University of Tennessee trials overview (2015 University of Tennessee Field Trials)

February 19, 2017

2016 University of Tennessee Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville and Jackson, TN.

Read More
Reiman Gardens field trials

February 18, 2017

2016 Iowa State University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University in Ames, IA.

Read More
Syngenta Obsession Cascade

February 15, 2017

Syngenta Introduces Two New Flower Series for 2017

‘Sunfinity’ Sunflower produces multiple branches with numerous flowers that bloom all season long, while ‘Obsession Cascade’ Verbena quickly fills containers with vibrant flower patterns.

Read More
Euphorbia 'Gold Rush'

February 8, 2017

5 Ways to Tie Poinsettias to Lifestyle Trends for Incre…

With poinsettia planning upon us, here are a few ideas to incorporate them into upcoming lifestyle and home décor trends to help increase sales.

Read More
Table setting with begonias for decoration

February 7, 2017

Seasonal Plant Trends for 2017 and Beyond

Aligning your plant sales with popular lifestyle and home décor movements will engage your customers and multiply your profits.

Read More

February 7, 2017

Costa Farms’ Season Premier Presents a First Look at Ne…

The annual event brings breeders, growers, and retailers together to compare new plant varieties and evaluate their performance. Here's a look at some of the new varieties featured in the trial gardens.

Read More
Grateful Heart Rose feature

February 5, 2017

Flower Breeders Making Donations for Heart Disease and …

Companies such as Jackson & Perkins and Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs are donating portions of their sales to groups such as the American Heart Association and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Read More
Tyler Beasley

February 1, 2017

Allan Armitage California Spring Trials Scholarship Win…

Beasley, a junior at Oregon State University’s Ecampus who also manages a local community college greenhouse, will join Armitage and a team of Greenhouse Grower editors in attending and reporting on the 2017 California Spring Trials.

Read More
IPM Essen Plant Innovations Winners

January 31, 2017

Top New Plants Recognized at IPM Essen in Germany

Winners were announced in several categories in the Innovations Showcase, from flowering houseplants to cut flowers.

Read More
Allan Armitage San Marzano tomato plant feature

January 25, 2017

Allan Armitage Describes Veggies, Shade Plants, and Cli…

Here's a look at plants that could help you with successful growing in 2017.

Read More
Hibiscus Hollywood Gossip Queen

January 24, 2017

29 New Flowering and Foliage Plants from TPIE 2017

The Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) was the place to be Jan. 18-20 to catch a peek at some of the new plant introductions making their first appearance on the market.

Read More
Quick Plug

January 24, 2017

Dümmen Orange Acquires Quick Plug, a Cutting Compost Su…

Quick Plug technology is designed to open up opportunities for automation and robotization of several product groups and add quality to rooted products.

Read More
EPCOT Suntory Princettia Euphorbia

January 23, 2017

Princettia Euphorbias Charm Vacationers at Disney Resor…

Suntory’s Princettia euphorbias have brought a new color palette to the holiday landscapes at Walt Disney World’s resorts and theme parks in central Florida.

Read More
Youngs Plant Farm Trial Garden feature

January 21, 2017

Don’t Miss the Southern Garden Tour This June

Growers, retailers, and all industry professionals are invited to the 2017 Southern Garden Tour, which is hosted by Young’s Plant Farms, Sakata, and Metrolina Greenhouses, and will be held June 6-8.

Read More
Gaillardia 'Mesa Red'

January 21, 2017

2016 Pike Creek Horticulture Center Field Trials Result…

Check out the 2016 field trials results for The Pike Creek Horticulture Center in Kenosha, WI.

Read More
Anna Chernyavsky

January 20, 2017

New Director of Sales for Bedding Plants and Perennials…

Anna Chernyavsky, who joined Danziger in August 2016, will be in charge of the U.S. and United Kingdom markets.

Read More
Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer BloomStruck’ (Bailey Nurseries)

January 19, 2017

Bailey Nurseries Hosting Spring Previews in February

The previews, which provide education, new variety information, and retail support programs, will take place in Illinois, Minnesota, and Boston.

Read More
Selecta Sponsor bed at Raker trial gardens

January 18, 2017

2016 C. Raker & Sons Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, MI.

Read More