Hibiscus forum: Braided Tree

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Aug 29, 2018 9:42 AM CST
I would love to try my hand at creating a braided hibiscus tree. Has anyone ever done this? If so did you use seeds or buy pants? What is the best plant to use? Tropical, Hardy etc. I am in zone 10, Southern California. I would love to start from a seed but I am having a very hard time finding seeds.
Any help would be appreciated.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1
Aug 29, 2018 9:44 AM CST
I haven't done it but I've seen a lot of them. I found some info on how to do it here:
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Eric
Hawthorne, fl (Zone 9a)
Aug 29, 2018 12:03 PM CST
I think you would have to use either tropical or rose of sharon. I have seen sellers on eBay that sell instructions along with the plants for rose of sharons and braiding. Have never braided myself.

Aug 29, 2018 12:46 PM CST
You need to use tropical Chinese hibis (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis). Those you find for sale are usually trained from cuttings and not seeds because it takes less time and, much more critically, commercial growers know exactly what leaves and flowers they'll get.
You can use pretty much any variety you like and/or have ready access to; you can use different cultivars if you really want it.
And that's the easy part.

The hardest part is providing your compost hibi with the right growing conditions all-year around, both to have it ready for show as soon as possible and to stimulate a balanced development. For commercial growers this is not a big issue because they have access to climate controlled greenhouses where the hibis will spend all their lives before being shipped to retailers. The average gardening enthusiast however has to find some way to do so and not break the bank. If you can keep the hibi in a room indoor all year around where temperature never drops under 65F you can get away with nothing more than constant watering and a good full-spectrum growing light. If not you may want to consider a "greenhouse cabinet" or "grow tent", the kind cannabis growers use, during the months you have to keep your hibis indoor. They are not illegal, but their association with cannabis may cause one zero to be added to the sticker price by profiteers. Rolling on the floor laughing

Know that it will take years to have a decent-sized braided hibi and the success rate is not high even for commercial sellers: getting good-looking composite plants is not easy. My mother is the greatest hibi lover around and she's progressively shifting to H. moscheutos because they are easier to care for during Winter and I am having second thoughts about the composite birch trees I grow because most of them look so damn ugly. Thumbs down

Aug 30, 2018 9:15 AM CST
Thank you for you help and suggestions. I sounds like it will need lots of patients and work. I will think it over.
I did find a grower in Florida that seems to have some great plants.

Fancy Hibiscus

Anyone know them?
Name: Eric
Hawthorne, fl (Zone 9a)
Aug 30, 2018 9:20 AM CST
He is ok. I have had one plant from there that has yet to bloom and I have had it for 2 years. I prefer bigbadflower.com and ebay. Also check out hidden valley hibiscus. I used to live in Miami and they would sell braided trunks.

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