Thursday, November 10, 2016

Growing and Harvesting Roselle

Roselle is a type of hibiscus used for herbal tea.  It is easy to purchase, but I am trying to be more self sufficient.  You can purchase seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  They are currently out of stock, but seeds can be purchased from other places.  I think I got mine from eBay.

I started my seeds in peat pellets early in the spring.  I transplanted the plants into my raised beds and left them to grow.  The plants got very big, but there were no blooms.  By September I was beginning to think it had all been a waste of time.  Finally in October I saw some tiny blooms starting to form. Maybe the fact that it was still nearly 90 degrees had something to do with it.

The blooms last just one day and then fall off.  After this the calyx will continue to grow.

Here is a calyx right after the flower has dropped off.

This is one that has continued to grow.  You can see the size difference as well as the seed pod.  I was able to just snap them off by hand, but you can also use a pair of clippers.

This website has a good explanation of how to remove the seed pod.  I cut the bottom of the stem off and was able to pull out the seed pod.  Here is another good resource.

I put them in the dehydrator to dry completely.  Then I vacuum sealed them in glass jars.

Now that I know what I am doing.  I will grow more.  I plan to leave a few of the calyx on the plants so that the seed pods can dry.  I will grow some in the garden but will most likely put a few in the front yard as the plants are quite pretty.

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