Dinner plate hibiscus are a great flower to grow in North Florida. Mine were easily grown from seeds given to me by a neighbor. Your neighbors are fabulous sources for free seeds- if they can grow it, you probably can too!
Mine really started blooming in their second year and have been low maintenance; I don’t give them any special watering or fertilizing, and they do just fine. The flowers are showy and extravagant.
The seeds begin to dry out around the middle of July. It’s kinda hard to find a dry day on which to harvest them, as summers are quite rainy in the panhandle.
I seized a moment between showers and I clipped off the tops. I couldn’t help but admire them, the relaxed green leaves contrasting with the structured brown seed pods.
Pretty symmetry. You can see the ripe seeds ready to be dispersed.
The seeds are so ready that a few rough shakes into a bowl dislodged many of the seeds. Some hearty smacks against the sides and bottom of the bowl released many more.
Many little critters were also interested in the seeds too, can you see the dried carcasses? There were also a gazillion tiny bugs that scurried about, rudely exposed to the light. To prevent them from eating the seeds or laying their eggs in them, I bagged the dry seeds and stuck them in the freezer. This should eliminate the bug issue. The seeds should be fine-after all, seeds are exposed to freezing temperatures in the winter anyway, even in Florida.
Although the bulk of my garden space is dedicated to edibles, I must have my flowers. I’m planning a post on my top 5 flowers for North Florida. I have found some that will bloom early in the spring and I have found some that will bloom even in the hottest, most humid days of summer.