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...
Suntory Grandessa argyranthemum - feature

September 18, 2017

Breeders Open Availability for Unrooted Cuttings; Here’s How Growers Will Benefit

With new avenues for buying young plants for vegetative production, growers should have an easier time finding availability and receiving shipments of unrooted cuttings for the coming seasons.

Read More
Ball, Tagawa Succulents Partnership

September 14, 2017

Ball Seed to Partner With Tagawa Greenhouses on New Succulent Offerings

The new program includes in-demand retail products that are popular with younger shoppers, allowing growers to easily build a comprehensive succulent program and stay on-trend in the marketplace.

Read More
Strait-Laced Elderberry

September 10, 2017

Check Out the Top Varieties On Display at Farwest 2017

A panel of plant experts, along with show attendees, selected their favorite offerings during the Farwest 2017 New Varieties Showcase.

Read More
Latest Stories
Suntory Grandessa argyranthemum - feature

September 18, 2017

Breeders Open Availability for Unrooted Cuttings; Here&…

With new avenues for buying young plants for vegetative production, growers should have an easier time finding availability and receiving shipments of unrooted cuttings for the coming seasons.

Read More
Ball, Tagawa Succulents Partnership

September 14, 2017

Ball Seed to Partner With Tagawa Greenhouses on New Suc…

The new program includes in-demand retail products that are popular with younger shoppers, allowing growers to easily build a comprehensive succulent program and stay on-trend in the marketplace.

Read More
Strait-Laced Elderberry

September 10, 2017

Check Out the Top Varieties On Display at Farwest 2017

A panel of plant experts, along with show attendees, selected their favorite offerings during the Farwest 2017 New Varieties Showcase.

Read More

September 5, 2017

Hort Couture Announces New Propagation and Broker Partn…

The new grower-propagator partners are deeply vested in the independent garden center channel with propagation expertise, as well as finished production focused on the independent grower.

Read More
Helianthus Sunfinity (Syngenta Flowers)

September 3, 2017

Growing Tips for Helianthus Sunflower ‘Sunfinity…

This annual sunflower is a profuse bloomer with strong branching that produces multiple flowers per plant from spring to fall.

Read More
Ball Seed Field Day 2017

September 2, 2017

Highlights from Ball Seed’s Annual Field Day and Landsc…

Attendees of the one-day event had the opportunity to see new plants in up-close-and-personal trials, and engage with speakers and product experts.

Read More
Bidens Popstar (Kientzler)

August 31, 2017

Allan Armitage: Why I’ve Become a Fan of Bidens

The rather boring plant with mundane daisy-yellow flowers has morphed into a vigorous plant carrying colorful flowers that seems to be comfortable in most of the country.

Read More

August 29, 2017

27 New Impatiens for Spring Color in 2018

Gardeners love impatiens because they are one of the few plants that offer stand-out, splashy blooms for shady areas, and in some cases full sun. There's no shortage of new introductions this year to choose from for your 2018 product mix. Here are 27 new and improved varieties to consider offering to your customers.  

Read More
Calandiva kalanchoes (Dümmen Orange) Feature

August 28, 2017

Lifestyle Plants Are in Full Bloom for Consumers

The latest decorating trends indicate consumers want hassle-free, colorful plants with big flowers — and growers are finding unique ways to cash in on these luxury-item sales.

Read More
Cuphea Fairy Dust Pink (Proven Winners) feature

August 26, 2017

Kelly Norris: Noteworthy Plants That Caught My Attentio…

Imagine the modern consumer getting so excited about a new plant that they shared the experience with a friend, perhaps not even a fellow gardening consumer.

Read More

August 20, 2017

Proven Winners and Kentucky Nursery and Landscape Assoc…

This year, KNLA is combining its summer outing with the Proven Winners Landscape Roadshow for an informative event that will take place on September 21.

Read More
Four Star 2018 Catalog

August 18, 2017

Four Star Greenhouses’ 2018 Catalog Includes New Variet…

The new catalog is available in both print and digital formats, and features information on new trays that allow for more plugs per square foot.

Read More
Francis Kwong, PanAmerican Seed

August 15, 2017

Ornamental Seed Scientist Francis Kwong Dies at Age 65

Kwong was most recently the Director of Seed Technology for PanAmerican Seed, and his research was instrumental in the development of calibrachoa, angelonia, and other plants.

Read More
Candy Tops Snapdragons Series (Sakata Ornamentals)

August 3, 2017

Five Characteristics Breeders Want in Top-Performing Sp…

New spring annuals have to provide something for everyone — longevity, durability, performance, and more — if they want to meet breeders’ high standards for market-worthy plants.

Read More
Petunia 'Headliner Pink Sky" (Selecta)

August 3, 2017

Why Eccentricity is the New Black in Spring Annuals

Consumers judge plants by appearance, color impact, and ease of maintenance, which is why retailers want new spring annuals that are novel standouts.    

Read More

August 1, 2017

39 New Vegetables and Herbs for 2018

New vegetable and herb introductions for 2017 offer unique shaped fruits, distinctive foliage, intense flavors, improved disease resistance, high yields, and more. Here are 39 new vegetable and herb varieties to consider for your product mix in 2018.

Read More
2018 Griffin Catalog

July 31, 2017

Griffin Releases Print and Digital Versions of Its 2018…

The 250-page print catalog features more than 350 new varieties from leading breeders, while the enhanced digital version has extra features on crop culture, grower tools, and more.

Read More
Emerald-Coast-Growers-Guide-Feature-Image

July 27, 2017

Emerald Coast Growers Offers Updated Guide on its Newes…

This year’s guide features new varieties while maintaining Emerald Coast’s ornamental grass program and expanding its perennial plants line.

Read More