Hibiscus Germination in MV1

Students are setting up a Hibiscus Germination experiment in one of our MV1 units.

pictures coming soon!

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Students had to nick the seeds and then put the seeds in warm water. This will speed up germination by allowing water to enter the seed more easily.

Seeds are planted. We are using the tomato germination recipe. We found that the temperature and other settings matched the requirements for hibiscus :hibiscus: germination.

Now we wait!

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I love this! You inspired me to buy a hibiscus plant (tree? - it’s like 3 ft) for my mother in-law for mothers day!

I honestly have no idea what variety it was, but after chatting with GPT about the main varieties that would be sold in St. Louis I think it’s probably one of these two:

Then I copy/pasted the output of that table into ‘Gemini’ (Google’s version of ChatGPT) - because it has the ability to display real photos. For years now, I’ve used the ‘Google Images’ search feature and this is a great way to format that data so I could figure out what cultivar I had actually bought her.

I got Gemini to show me enough examples (I asked it for 5 photos specifically) to be sure that I bought her a ‘rosa-sinesis’ variety. This is also known as a ‘Chinese Hibiscus Tree’ and I guess can be pruned to be a tree or a shrub - hers was a tree.

Hibiscus lab ideas

As I was reading the different varieties, I discovered that the colors of the flowers on both varieties change. Interestingly though, the colors of the other variety ‘mutabilis’ change from red to pink to purple to blue throughout the day, which is nuts. I guess this happens because of how the anthocyanins appear (what we see as color in the petals) under varying pH levels throughout the day. The more I dig into this, the more I think this would be a very cool lab to isolate thermoperiod/photoperiod and see what causes the pH to change throughout the day.

@regina.smart I would definitely be curious to hear what you know about Hibiscus or other flowering plants where they have these visually obvious changes. Those are great for us to then run trials with under a student-designed recipe because they can observe the outcomes easily. @Jamira could design a recipe to provide warmer nights or disrupted/shorter photoperiods. This is a good excuse for @Drew to prioritize adding a view for seeing every photo as opposed to now where you can only see one per day (but they’re all there!).


I also have to share this example because it was just so dumb - I get that ‘tree format’ wasn’t very clear but given the context it should have figured out that I meant pruned like a tree - not whatever ‘tree format’ was:

Wow, still failed:

We do not have any germination as of now.

As far as color changing of flowers, typically it can relate to the pH levels as is the case with Hydrangeas or it is more typically as the flower ages the color will change. I have never heard of a flower that changes more than once.

As far as having a hibiscus in the landscape you have hardy varieties and topical. Tropical varieties have the multiple colors, and they cannot survive the cold. So, if you are looking for a landscape specimen, be sure to do the background work to be sure what you have. The Confederate Rose Tree is easy to grow as well as The rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus). (Not sure for your area however)

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