Hibiscus forum: Tea Hibiscus Hibiscus sabdariffa

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
Aug 19, 2014 5:50 PM CST
These have bright red buds, and make a tea. Imagine red flowers and red foliage with this!
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Nov 19, 2016 7:19 PM CST
Some use the red calyx to make jelly.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Jan 29, 2017 7:48 PM CST
Has anyone grown this from seeds?
I have sown some , but now in the database--it says to scarify them.
The directions on the package did not mention scarification or soaking?
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Jan 29, 2017 8:21 PM CST
I grow these every year. To germinate I take some toe nail clippers and break the seed coat on the edge about half way around - just slivers .. all you need to do is break the coat and plant shallow. Easy to grow .. loves full sun but will tolerate dappled shade (though not bloom as much). Like to be fed consistently and grows very well in pots as small as 1 gallon.

As Caroline mentioned the red calyx surrounding the seed pods makes a wonderful jelly - very lemony & tart and the dried calyx make a very awesome hot and iced tea. I drink it iced regularly in the summertime with a pinch of sugar.

You can actually buy this tea in tea bags in the grocery store - you'll find it in the Mexican section - it's called Sorrel Tea - I think the company is Badia or something like that.
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Jan 29, 2017 8:26 PM CST
I did not nick the seeds--will they just take longer to germinate, I wonder.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Jan 29, 2017 8:31 PM CST
Caroline you should probably dig them up and nick them as they may rot before the seed coat softens enough for them to germinate .. don't worry though I'll be happy to send you some seeds if you don't have any luck - Your agriculture dept let them through with no problems.
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
Jan 30, 2017 3:52 PM CST
I put the seeds out in winter, and spring they germinated. They grew quick!
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Jan 30, 2017 6:15 PM CST
I have seeds coming this week so will do them by nicking first.
And maybe a few by Winter sowing.
Thanks.
[Last edited by CarolineScott - Jan 30, 2017 6:16 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
Colorado (Zone 5b)
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rockpile1369
Oct 22, 2017 7:13 AM CST
Sorry to revive this thread but i think it's most pertinent to my question.

I purchased some dried hibiscus flowers from a local gourmet shop for tea. Love it, but man were they pricey. Are all varieties of hibiscus suitable for teas? Grandiflora, rose of Sharon, etc?

Thanks for your help.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Oct 22, 2017 9:38 AM CST
Hi Karen and welcome to NGA!

I don't know for sure, but I image all hibiscus are safe to make tea with. As far as taste though, the H. sabdariffa is the best! You can usually find it in the Mexican Section in your grocery store. It's called Badia Hibiscus Tea/Sorrel. It comes in tea bags!

They also sell it on Amazon. The price is not too bad either.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=n...
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Oct 22, 2017 9:48 AM CST
I love hibiscus tea. Have any of you ever grown the H. sabdariffa and dried your own leaves for the tea?
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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Oct 22, 2017 1:02 PM CST
Karen, the tea is not made from the leaves - it's made from the calyx that surround the seed pods. I grow it from time to time - I have seeds for 3 cultivars.
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Oct 22, 2017 1:21 PM CST
I was surprised to see this thread, I just harvested a quart of the Roselle calyces today. I plan on dehydrating them to use for tea but you can make jelly, jam. syrup and many other things with them.

They are tart and tangy. Commonly compared to cranberries in flavor. They also have good food value. I understand the leaves can be eaten as well but I've not tried them.

I left some of the older pods on the plants for seed and will gladly share seed later when they are ready if anyone is interested.

This is the common H. sabdariffa ~ Roselle that I grow.
Thumb of 2017-10-22/pod/e09650

Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Karen
Colorado (Zone 5b)
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rockpile1369
Oct 22, 2017 1:23 PM CST
Thanks all. I knew the tea wasn't from the leaves like 'true' tea. The dried crunchy bits i have are a very dark red. I thought maybe it was the flower buds or the hips if you will, like from roses.
Is that what the calyx is?


I just moved and brought a part of one of the Hibiscus with me that was growing in the yard. Its not doing so right now but i hope it will survive the winter. It's sister next to it had done real well since we lived there. Dies back to the ground every year and come late summer/ fall is about 2 ft tall and full of blooms. Was hoping to be able to harvest some next year and try my own tea. If i should plant a different variety though I'll look for seeds. Just knowing I'm in zone 5-6 not so sure the best variety will do well In my area.
[Last edited by rockpile1369 - Oct 22, 2017 1:25 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Oct 22, 2017 1:32 PM CST
This is fascinating! I didn't know they didn't use the leaves. I love learning new things here daily!
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Oct 22, 2017 1:38 PM CST
rockpile1369 said: Thanks all. I knew the tea wasn't from the leaves like 'true' tea. The dried crunchy bits i have are a very dark red. I thought maybe it was the flower buds or the hips if you will, like from roses.
Is that what the calyx is?


I just moved and brought a part of one of the Hibiscus with me that was growing in the yard. Its not doing so right now but i hope it will survive the winter. It's sister next to it had done real well since we lived there. Dies back to the ground every year and come late summer/ fall is about 2 ft tall and full of blooms. Was hoping to be able to harvest some next year and try my own tea. If i should plant a different variety though I'll look for seeds. Just knowing I'm in zone 5-6 not so sure the best variety will do well In my area.


If you want seed, I will share. It is aging on the plants right now.

Yes, the main part that is used is the calyces ( I posted a photo above) and it would be similar to the rose hips.

I love the ornamental Hibiscus also but I've never seen them produce similar seed pods.
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Karen
Colorado (Zone 5b)
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rockpile1369
Oct 25, 2017 7:52 AM CST
Thumb of 2017-10-25/rockpile1369/e8b4e0

here is a photo of the Hibiscus I've been using for tea. Can't tell if these dried bits are actual flower petals or the calyxis. The package does say flowers.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Oct 25, 2017 9:38 AM CST
That does look like flowers. If I remember, I'll take a photo of the dried calyces and post it later so you can compare.
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
[Last edited by pod - Oct 25, 2017 9:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Oct 26, 2017 8:29 PM CST
These are photos of the dried husks from the calyces.
Thumb of 2017-10-27/pod/4238be


Thumb of 2017-10-27/pod/d05c65

Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Sempervivums
Salvias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Art Plumerias Seller of Garden Stuff Bookworm
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plantmanager
Oct 26, 2017 8:31 PM CST
Such a pretty color, Kristi!
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