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Gathering Rose of Sharon seeds???

October 6, 2005

When is the best time to gather these seeds and what do I do with them after I get them?? Wait till spring and how do I store them?? Also Acorns..I would like to start to grow many oak trees and I have gathered many (still green..I got them right off the tree) acorns...same question...how do I store them and when do I plant..can I keep them in small pots and plant them in other locations after I know they are ok...I just bought a new house and I love gardning..but I am just a "newbie" and I appreciate all the help I can get!!!! THANKS

Comments (22)

  • zoneimpaired

    Dear RBBHWM3, If you plant the oak now, indoors or under lights, there is no dormancy so you can give them a year head start. Don't let the acorns dry out. The rose of sharon seed should grow like a weed. I would wait until Feb. or March, just throw the seed in a baggie in the fridge. Robb

  • brademac

    Dear RBBMWM3: I have a pink and a white althea (Rose of Sharon). I have planted both types of seed, and have found that the pink germinates more readily. This may or may not be because the white Rose of Sharon is less mature than the pink. I seem to have a low germination rate, but this may be because I planted too early in the Fall. I would plant now so that your Rose of Sharon will be large enough to plant outside in the Spring.

  • docmom_gw

    My SIL has ROS and she has volunteer seedlings coming out her ears. I would wait until the seed pods are dry and brown (not yet if her bushes are similar to yours). Then collect the seeds and try winter sowing (see the forum). I would think trying to keep a seedling alive all winter inside is next to impossible--and certainly not worth the bother if you can just throw it outside in a container and wait for it to germinate itself.

  • PPennypacker

    Dear RBBMWM,
    No worries on the Rose-of-Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), as "docmom" says, they can come out your ears! In my germination of this species, I have always sowed it outside in soil early in the year.
    In 2003, I winter-sowed some on 12Mar03, and they germ'd 04May (53 dys)with LOTS!!! & this 26Feb05, they germ'd on 07Apr (40dys).
    One of the three seedlings I saved to grow in 2003 bloomed that same year, and one of the other ones bloomed this summer. They were a seed lot from the cultivar, H. s. 'Woodbridge', and only one out of the three is true so far. This might be an aspect you'd be interested in.

  • plays_in_dirt_dirt

    Good question, RBBMWM3. I was glad to learn that ROS is easy and quick to grow from seed. When I was collecting seeds for winter sowing, small bugs flew out of the partially opened seed pods, and I wondered if they might have affected the viability of the seed. I posted a question on the Winter Sowing forum and was advised to put the seeds in the freezer for a couple of days to destroy eggs the bugs may have laid. Apparently it's some kind of weevil that likes ROS and hollyhock. I was told they don't harm the seed, but who wants to go back later at planting time and see little bitty worms. Double Yuck!!

    Hope this helps.

  • origami_master

    I walk to church every Sunday especially now as the winters are so warm. Every now and then I find a plant with interesting seeds and I pick them off. The people don't seem to mind though, most of them see me and don't say a word! I collected a few ROS seed pods this way.

  • surrealgarden

    I found this site on Gardenweb sometime last year. It was a WONDERFUL way for to grow tomatoes, asters, blackeyed susans, and everything else that I started from seed this past spring. Of course I am a Diet Dew addict, so I had plenty of 2-Liter bottles! I stuck the containers inside in a cardboard box (for support) in a shaded area until I spotted the first leaf. Then I moved them to a better sun exposure. When you see roots reaching for water, you know they are ready for transplant! I also used this technique when planning a plant swap with friends. You can root crepe myrtle cuttings or anything else without having to monitor them closely.

    This afternoon I planted Rose of Sharon in some of the same containers. I'm going to try leaving them outside all winter, since we are expecting a mild season.

    Try this way- you won't be sorry!

    One reminder- if you must add water, remember to water through the side-hole instead of from the top. You don't disturb the seeds. The small amount of soil in the neck of the bottle acts as a wick, bringing just enough water up without causing mold.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Pop Bottle Pots

  • webkat5


    You seem to be using the Winter Sowing method....glad you are having great success with it!

  • Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana


    Just when I thought I knew it all, you come along with that link. How very nifty and near foolproof.

    It looks like a very mini version of an Earthbox for growing plants. There are different 'plans' out there to make a makeshift EB at a fraction of the cost.


    By now you should have 'lots' of Rose of Sharon. Since they reseed so prolifically for me, I was go to suggest just scratching them into the soil, about anytime after they have matured some. Mine are everywhere, and mother nature sowed them without me doing anything at all.


    Here is a link that might be useful: Earth Box

  • trudi_d

    I do love my ROS. Here on LI they are practically everywhere. When I think of our suburban gardens, they are the shrub that is almost as iconic as a Hicks yew. They do reseed and the seedlings can be lifted and transplanted easily. When we first bought our home we didn't have two nickels to rub together. I wanted a hedge but had no money. On my side of the fence were growing several ROS seedlings that had sprouted from seeds dropped by my neighbors ROS bushes. I planted the little tiny seedlings along the top ridge of my property--I remember my FIL laughing at my "little stick hedge", but over the years those little sticks grew tall and wide and are now a glorious site each August and September when they bloom. They are a pretty mix of colors, some pink, some plum-purple, some dusty rose and even a few white. They are just what I wanted!

  • christineav8

    I was given a ROS by a friend three years ago. The tiny 18" shrub had been mowed over by my husband accidentally and I thought I lost it for good. It remained just a stub for the following winter but by spring had shown reasonable hope for survival. It did not bloom that summer but the following year it grew to about four feet tall blossomed quite well. This year the ROS has grown to be taller than me (about six feet) and had at least 100 blossoms with flowers that were a minimum of three inches in diameter. I have not pruned it at all since the mowing incident. My goal for the winter is to start some seedlings but I'm still a little unsure of the timing on planting.

  • grindstone

    My wife and I are aspiring gardeners. We have a plant that we believe is a wild hibiscus/Rose of Sharon that grows on the bank of Grindstone Island in the St. Lawrence River near Clayton, NY. The plant is located next to a sheer granite outcropping and is submerged in the river in the spring. As the water level drops, it blossoms and grows to 5-6' tall with beautiful pink flowers. It freezes completely each winter. We would like to replicate this plant. It is currently inundated with green pods about 1" in diameter. What and how can we gather and germinate seeds to grow additional plants. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  • wally_1936

    Just take a few branch cuttings! I do remember they bushed out a lot better in Michigan than they do here in Texas. They get up to 8' tall but may only be a little over a foot wide. I have seen bushes in Michigan that were quite wide and full. As soon as the pods start to turn brown they can be picked anything there after. They will open and seed themselves in bare ground.

  • raleigh_plantlover

    Hey, this is a good topic. How do you know when the rose of sharons are big/tall enough to plant in the ground?

  • emrickman_yahoo_com

    I threw my seeds on the ground, really because I wasn't certain that they would make it. After 4 days of intense rain I see 25 sprouts. When can I transplant? Leave them alone or should I pot them?

  • claudiapatx

    surrealgarden...I am trying the Pop Bottle Pot right now. I have some ROS seeds I needed to plant(Some Satin Blues)Great link. Looks pretty fool proof! Even for this fool! LOL I so want these to take. I have not seen any other Blue ROS where I live. I know they'll be beautiful!

  • ifraser25

    There's a huge amount of confusion in this thread. Rose of Sharon is not Alcea, which is Hollyhock, nor is it Hibiscus, a (sub)tropical species. Properly speaking Rose of Sharon is Hypericum and should be treated as cool temperate. ie. seeds need a cold period to germinate. - Ian.

  • aggiegrad

    no ifraser, not alcea, it's althea which is a rose of sharon shrub or tree. mine are tree size. the one your refering to is more of a ground cover size. yep, there's 2 very different plants called rose of sharon. one is yellow & grows on the ground, which is what you're talking about. but, the originial poster is talking about the trees seeds. if you've never seen the trees do a search for althea. they are beautiful. & really easy to grow. mine are about the size of my lilacs.

  • VanNav

    I am expecting purple Rose of Sharon Seeds soon. It's the middle of May and we are in the 60-80*F right now. Can I plant these outside right now, would it be better to start them off indoors?

  • flora_uk

    Rose of Sharon in the US refers to Hibiscus syriacus. Although sometimes known as Althaea it is not a true Althaea/Alcea, but a Hibiscus. Not all Hibiscus are tropical - I have H syriacus 'Red Heart' in my garden here in England. Althaea/Alcea and Hibiscus are both in the genus Malvaceae.

    ifraser, I believe, is a transplanted Brit and here the plant known as Rose of Sharon is indeed Hypericum calycinum.

    Yet another example of how common names can lead to misunderstanding. There are no standard common names and therefore no 'correct' ones.

  • lorilt37

    just realized this is an old link, but was just gathering my ROS seeds today and stumbled across the forum. We have a 50 year old ROS "tree" in front of our house. We've pruned it to have a fairly thick trunk and it's like a gorgeous bouquet in the early fall. Last year is the first I ever gathered seeds, we've always spent much time plucking starts out of the yard. I've found, the key to harvesting ROS seeds is to pick the seed pods when they've just dried out and snap off easily. if you wait too long they will have opened too much and spilled all the seed into the ground. we have two "trees" out front and get random starts all over the yard from the yearly re-seeding, so Mother Nature handles the seeds really well and apparently they overwinter without any help from us and germinate quite readily. they are hearty here.

  • Diane1943

    A friend gave me a green Rose Of Sharon seed pod, how do I plant this and when? I live in central Florida

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