The love for the "shoe flower" (as I knew the Hibiscus in my childhood) was in my case driven by the care and maintenance of my locks and one of the common ingredients that made it into the home made Shikakai that was used to wash ones hair. Talk about using natural products....I think growing up in India in the 80's gave us the best of both worlds. The craze for shampoos took over pretty soon...enticed by the catchy ads that were aired and the ease with which one could use them.
Though I am a big sucker for fragrant flowers like the Jasmine and roses, the Hibiscus holds a very special place. Over the last few years, every time I see a Hibiscus plant in the nursery, I have fond memories of growing up and collecting Hibiscus flowers. In the process I have managed to kill quite a few of them, when under the pretext of protecting them from the frost, I moved them into the garage (without much sunlight) and they ended up getting attacked by Aphids.
So I was all the more excited to find hibiscus seeds online and promptly ordered them. They are much cheaper and I would have a few good ones at the end of the process even after accounting for the many slip ups that would happen in the course of raising them.
I followed the instructions and soaked them overnight.
I had no luck with te "Kenaf" seeds. The "Horizon Herbs" seeds were the most prolific. The "Baker creek" ones were not too bad. They are all now 5 inch plants and thriving in the hot summer weather that is coming up.
Here is how the Horizon Herbs plants are doing now. I am in the process of transplanting them individually to 5 gallon pots and eventually putting them into the ground in the next 2 months.
I only have 5 of the Kenaf plants but they seem more healthier and stronger than the ones above