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...
Pentas-Lucky-Star-Red

November 22, 2017

2017 Louisiana State University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2017 field trials results Louisiana State University in Hammond, LA.

Read More
Echeveria-First-Lady

November 21, 2017

2017 D.S. Cole Growers Field Trial Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for D.S. Cole Growers in Loudon, NH.

Read More
Millet-Copper-Prince

November 20, 2017

2017 Colorado State University Field Trial Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.

Read More
Latest Stories
Pentas-Lucky-Star-Red

November 22, 2017

2017 Louisiana State University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2017 field trials results Louisiana State University in Hammond, LA.

Read More
Echeveria-First-Lady

November 21, 2017

2017 D.S. Cole Growers Field Trial Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for D.S. Cole Growers in Loudon, NH.

Read More
Millet-Copper-Prince

November 20, 2017

2017 Colorado State University Field Trial Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.

Read More
Achillea-Ritzy-Ruby

November 19, 2017

2017 Green Leaf Plants Field Trials Results

Check out the 2017 field trials results for Green Leaf Plants in Lancaster, PA.

Read More
Ball-Bed-with-Midnight-Snack-tomato_Cornell

November 18, 2017

2017 Cornell University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2017 field trials results for Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Read More
Pepper Cayenne ‘Red Ember’ (Johnny’s Selected Seeds)

November 17, 2017

Presenting All-America Selections’ Latest Round of Awar…

All-America Selections has announced the latest round of its award-winning varieties, each of which was trialed throughout North America by professional, independent, volunteer judges.

Read More
Eason-New-Calibrachoa-Hi-Graft

November 14, 2017

Eason Horticultural Resources Introduces New Decorative…

Created by Hishtil Nursery in Israel, the new decorative forms of calibrachoa feature an 8- to 12-inch stem and come in four colors of calibrachoa blooms on top.

Read More
Pennisetum glaucum 'Copper Prince'

November 13, 2017

Top Performing Plant Varieties from 2017 Field Trials

See some of plant varieties that made top performer lists in 2017 field trials across the country.

Read More
Sakata-Trial-at-Clemson-1

November 10, 2017

A Quick Look at Sakata’s Clemson Landscape Trial

For the first time, Sakata Ornamentals hosted a 2017 Southern Garden Tour trial stop at Clemson University.

Read More

November 8, 2017

2017 Metrolina Greenhouses Field Trial Results

Check out the 2017 field trial results for Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, NC.

Read More
Youngs-Plant-Farm-Themed-Plant-Beds

November 8, 2017

How Young’s Plant Farm Uses Its Trial Gardens to …

The purpose of the trial gardens is to ensure that Young’s is consistently bringing the right product to the marketplace, so consumers will continue to be successful.

Read More

November 7, 2017

Update: Dümmen Orange Acquires McHutchison and Vaughan’…

The move further expands Dümmen’s Orange’s grower reach in North America. McHutchison and Vaughan’s Horticulture will continue to provide full-service offerings to grower customers.

Read More
Metrolina-Home-Garden-Panel-feature

November 6, 2017

Metrolina Shows Off Its Summer Best During Southern Gar…

This summer’s Southern grower trials experienced unseasonably cool weather, but the plants still thrived. Consumer panels topped off the week, providing valuable insight for suppliers, growers, and their retail customers.

Read More
Ball Ingenuity Catalog

November 3, 2017

Ball Seed Releases New Mums, Ball Ingenuity Catalogs

The mum catalog features a new format that organizes mums by color, while the Ball Ingenuity Catalog focuses on marketing opportunities.

Read More

October 29, 2017

Green Leaf Plants New Catalog is Now Available

The new catalog for 2017 and 2018 includes 800 varieties in eight cell sizes, including vernalized.

Read More
Allan Armitage San Marzano tomato plant feature

October 26, 2017

Allan Armitage: Why Simplicity Rules for Younger Homeow…

Most starter gardeners are not looking to buy the ingredients to make a combination planter or basket. They want it made for them — no muss, no fuss.

Read More
Suntory Blue Rose Applause

October 21, 2017

Suntory’s Blue Rose ‘Applause’ Now Available to U.S. Fl…

‘Applause’ was originally introduced to the U.S. in 2011, and since then it was been successfully tested and selected to meet new market conditions.

Read More

October 17, 2017

14 New Shrubs With Fringe Benefits

What’s popular with shrubs? Consumers want varieties that will give them more return on their investment, in terms of long-lasting blooms and multi-season appeal that lasts from spring until fall and at times stretches into the winter months. Here are 14 new varieties of shrubs and sub-shrubs to consider for your product mix in 2018.

Read More