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rainbowgardener
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applestar, you are always two steps ahead of everyone else in growing really interesting things!

I never heard of roselle before, so I looked it up:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roselle_(plant)

the drink pictured is really pretty.

Now I want one, but of course I don't have any more room for a 7' tall shrub!
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applestar
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Here is a Roselle "shrub" now:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/84A2CFE0-C799-4151-B962-97F7B36165B7-32986-000017DCF1E216BD.jpg[/img]

I've severely pruned and potted up two others to bring inside 8)

Out of focus (sorry!) close up with hibiscus-like flower about to open:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/C60D6F94-CBC6-4F71-AF77-802BA9DF9D1B-32986-000017DCE343B3AC.jpg[/img]

Harvesting the calyx:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/80700062-2DC5-4AE3-8726-DFDE85CA19FA-32986-000017DCFECB2AAD.jpg[/img]

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applestar
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I highly recommend growing this shrub. It's easy to grow and the tea/infusion is wonderful!

I gave some of the harvested whole "pods" in an assortment of last harvest to my brother's partner this weekend, and when I started to explain roselle, it turned out she knew more about what to do with it than I did. -- She'd spent some time in Africa doing her doctoral research. :D She said they are very nutritious -- another reason to grow them. :wink:

Lorax from Ecuador provided some wonderful descriptions about their use too -- I'll go find those posts and copy their links here.

imafan26
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I found a few links to growing roselle and the second one for recipes. I also have false roselle, Hibiscus acetosella which is also edible.
https://www.growingguides.com/SeedGuides ... ecipes.htm
https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/roselle.html
https://www.eattheweeds.com/false-roselle/
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applestar
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Here's the link to Lorax's post
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... 298#275298

@Lorax or Imafan (or anyone else)

I brought three plants inside for the winter. One dried up and looks dead, 2nd gorgeously healthy one got SMOTHERED by scale insects before I realized they were there, and I had to take some drastic measures. I guess I went too far or it was too weakened -- it died.

BUT I have a third one with fresh leaves and just starting to grow new leaves that has been sporting what looks like mature fruit capsules all winter. I thought I was waiting for them to dry up -- I was expecting something like cotton or hibiscus -- hard brown, dried up and split open. But it hasn't happened. I've tried gently pulling aside the still bright red waxy calyxes but they are pretty firmly closed and all I did was I break off the tip of one "petal". All three capsules are still bright green though the seams are well defined.

When will the seeds be mature enough to harvest for viable germination?

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I grow roselle (H. sabdariffa) from seed. But it is very short lived, really its an annual. H. acetosella (false roselle) gets beat up with the wind and bugs but lives longer.

Is true roselle perennial for you?
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applestar
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I grew H sabdariffa for the fist time last year. Seeds were obtained from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Mainly I was trying to overwinter them to see if I can extend their season and harvest more after late Octobr when we had our first frost. I also wanted to collect seeds from some of the pods.

It turned out that even though they did bloom indoors, they were sporadic and weak, and I couldn't get them to pollinate with a watercolor brush. They may have done better if my main focus wasn't so much on the tomatoes. But belated hint I had from that other project was to collect pollen by shaking them out with the electric toothbrush, then applying them to other flowers -- but that'll be a project for next winter.

I'm a bit relieved to hear that it's not really anything I did that's making them decline rapidly. Any thoughts about how/when to collect viable seeds?

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PunkRotten
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It is on my want list but I don't know if I have room for it. Mexicans over here make a drink out of it called Jamaica (pronounced ha-my-ca). I have a 2 pound bag of the dried petals. It has a tart taste by itself. Add some sweetener and it is good. I think it is best when it is cold rather than warm/hot.

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lorax
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applestar wrote:Here's the link to Lorax's post
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... 298#275298

@Lorax or Imafan (or anyone else)

I brought three plants inside for the winter. One dried up and looks dead, 2nd gorgeously healthy one got SMOTHERED by scale insects before I realized they were there, and I had to take some drastic measures. I guess I went too far or it was too weakened -- it died.

BUT I have a third one with fresh leaves and just starting to grow new leaves that has been sporting what looks like mature fruit capsules all winter. I thought I was waiting for them to dry up -- I was expecting something like cotton or hibiscus -- hard brown, dried up and split open. But it hasn't happened. I've tried gently pulling aside the still bright red waxy calyxes but they are pretty firmly closed and all I did was I break off the tip of one "petal". All three capsules are still bright green though the seams are well defined.

When will the seeds be mature enough to harvest for viable germination?
Keep waiting. The pods need to turn deep carmine-y red before the seeds will be viable.

But don't despair either - you can take cuttings from your one live plant and propagate that way as well.

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applestar
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Thanks, Lorax :D
I'll try taking cuttings once those leaf buds start getting more active. 8)
...but it would be cool if these seed pods mature as well - I'll keep waiting. :wink:

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I had to take out the roselle from last year, it just dried up and started to die back.

I did save the seeds and I am starting new ones this year again.

I have noticed though that the germination rate is slow and rather poor. Anyone else notice that?
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rainbowgardener
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Don't know, I haven't started my roselle seeds yet, but I will be soon. Keep you posted! :)
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Roselle

So I got a few roselle seeds from applestar and planted them. Germ. rate was a bit low, but I came out with three nice roselle seedlings. Gave one away and planted two, one at home and one in the community garden. GroundHOG got the one at home, but the one in the (neglected) community garden bed is thriving, about three feet tall, bushy, covered in buds, one lovely open flower.

So thanks, applestar! Now what?! Do I harvest the buds before they open?

Do you think I will be able to dig it up and bring it in for the winter?

I also have malabar spinach for the first time this year. It is very ornamental, but I haven't managed to actually use any of it...

Also new this year were lemongrass and pineapple sage. The lemongrass is still thriving; the pineapple sage just up and died when we were getting so much rain. I think it didn't like staying so wet.
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Re: Roselle

I planted the roselle late this year because of all the rain, but it only produced 5 flowers. The other plant did grow and is still alive but has produced no flowers. This is the first time that has happened. I saved the seeds I did get. I let the pods dry on the plant and watch them, when the seeds are ready the pods will start to crack. If I get there too late some of the seeds will spill out.

I got two more roselle from someone else, the leaves look a little different in shape, but I don't know if there are different varieties. It is a little over two feet now so, I will find out in a while if it is going to bloom. I have never kept them this late before and even the false roselle does not usually bloom this late in the year.

I have heard the leaves of roselle are also edible. Is that true?
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Re: Roselle

I have read that too, stems leaves and all can be steeped for tea and leaves can be eaten in salads. But I have not yet tried it.

Applestar, it is thanks to you that I have roselle. Are you growing any this year?
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applestar
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Re: Roselle

At seed starting time, I had three plants I was overwintering, and I wanted to see if they would pull through, and I was swamped with all those tomatoes I was trying to start. By planting out time, two had died and I only had one which I planted in the Spiral Garden, but it turned out to be a water logged spot due to all the spring rains, and it didnt make it. It DID finally mature two seed pods that it never matured over the winter,but the seeds were minuscule and not as good looking as the original seeds I purchased.

It irks me that it doesn't look like I could save seeds from year to year, but that's sometimes the way it goes with tropical plants up north. If the older commercial seeds I sent rainbowgardener had poor germination, I'll probably have to buy new seeds for next year. I miss not growing them this year.

Last year about this time is when mine started to bloom, then kept going until hard frost killed the one I left outside under the floating cover. You want to let them bloom and fruits to set, then when the fruits are good size, snap them off to harvest. The ones I dug up and brought inside did bloom but I couldn't get the fruit to set despite hand pollinating. I think if I were doing it again, I would just pick the flowers and dry them.

Before killing frost, you should probably strip the plant outside.

I separated the calyces/bracts from the fruit and dried them. I recommend freezing the fruit because they molded easily and I lost quite few. :( I mostly used the dried calyces in herbal tea blends.

Earlier in this thread, I posted a link to some uses that Lorax posted, including -I think- what to do with the fruits. I think there is also another thread or post, but I have to look for it. Imafan, I did not read that you can eat the leaves -- what have you heard?
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Re: Roselle

this is from the wiki article on roselle:

The green leaves are used like a spicy version of spinach....

then there's a bunch about cooking with roselle in Asian cultures, but it is about Hibiscus cannabinus, kenaf. What we call roselle is Hibiscus sabdariffa.

The leaves, stems, and calyces are all edible. Their flavor is reminiscent of cranberries, though less bitter.

Read more: https://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/ ... z2d4ix4xB4

The leaves are edible and add a nice zing to a salad
https://www.ocala.com/article/20110924/C ... /110929874
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