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Thread: braiding hibiscus.

  1. #1
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    braiding hibiscus.

    I have plenty of Hibiscus about a thickness of a magic marker. Is there a way to braid it. Im guessing that I have to dip them in some warm water to get soft.

    I may have to start from seedling stage.

    Let me know if theres a website or books on this matter.

    I cant remember the name of a member from FREE PLANTS that does plenty of this. Ill eventually remember her name after I submit this message. George.

  2. #2
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    George,

    I have looked and looked and found nothing on the subject...

    Perhaps some of the Bonsai techniques would work. I am not sure.

    I don't think you have to go as far back as seedling stage, but freshly rooted cuttings about half as thick as a pencil would probably be flexible enough. I have often made really long cuttings of hibiscus, and they root just as well as the shorter ones and easier than the softwood tips because I do not have an intermittent mist.

    Do a search by clicking on the search icon in the upper right of your screen. Type in 'braided hibiscus', and you will see where we talked about this once before.

    If anyone finds any information on this topic, I would surely be interested also...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  3. #3
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    Braiding Hibiscus.

    Ann I think its done at a seedling stage cuz the braiding starts at soil level, no cutting shown. If done at cutting stage the cutting would show. How would you hide 4-6" of the cutting. Unless done by softwood cuttings very small maybe a couple inches. After a few or so transplants the cutting part would not show. covering 4-6" of the cutting at any time, even in 5-10 years the plant would not servive.

    The ones I saw at nurseries that carry them use min 5 braches with a thickness of a magic marker. I have some done by seedling (only 2 branches being used). I dont know how to braid more than 2 branches. But again I have the cutting followed by the braiding.

    Ann unless they do braiding the same way they braid baskets. They apparently dip the wood in water so it gets soft and more workable. Ann, Hibisus would have to be done Bare root, and having the rest of the shrub in water until it got soft. Braided, then potted.

    Ill fool around with some different ways and if I find the nitch Ill take a course in braiding. NOT braiding hair, Im not even going there. Ann hope you find this interesting. George.

  4. #4
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    George,

    I am not sure I understand what you are saying about hiding the cutting unless you are talking about grafts. The ones I have are definitely not grafted, and I don't recall seeing a grafted one in our retail market, but that is probably due to our climate. Please explain...

    Unfortunately, the braided ones that I do have are a substantial size, and at this point, I do not wish to disturb the soil to see if they are cuttings. They are simply too pretty and too healthy to disturb. Perhaps, if I can find one on sale, damaged or out of season, I could check then...

    Since I have not had time to explore or experiment, I am anxious to hear what you learn in the process. I do think they look much nicer than the potted ones that have 3 cuttings per pot, not braided.

    Braiding is easy. At least it is with 3 strands. It is more complicated with 4 or more, but similar in process. You just have to be consistent.

    Simply take three stems, lined up side by side. Take the right stem, bend it over toward the middle of the left two. Then take the left stem, bend it over toward the middle of the right two.

    Repeat the process, again and again, and you have a standard braid...

    I have seen them here with 3 or 4 braids, and I have seen a few that look like they had 4, but one is missing and there is a gap. Those are not as uniformly braided and do not look good.

    The braided hibiscus here come in several sizes. I prefer to purchase the smaller one and let it grow. Not only for cost, but because hibiscus tend to require a lot of water and outgrow their pots quickly in our climate.

    Thanks for sharing with us, George. I have anxious to hear what you learn...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  5. #5
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    Ann, Are you talking about hardy hibiscus? Can you post a picture of yours for us?
    Couldn't you just plant them close together and keep braiding as they grow? Kind of like the houseplant ficus. I have done them this way. Or are we talking about the same thing? Just interested to maybe try this with some young ones I have.
    tennessee sue

  6. #6
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    Tropcial...

    The ones I have are tropical hibiscus, and I use them as patio plants, and they need to be protected from frost/freeze.

    Frost won't kill them, but they go dormant, and it will take longer for them to bloom.

    A light freeze will kill them to the ground, and it will take even longer for them to bloom.

    A hard freeze may or may not kill them entirely.

    Here's one the braided ones...



    Here's one of the blooms...



    The stem size is almost twice as big around as a pencil.

    They are VERY nice!

    The plant itself in a 3 gallon pot is about 4' tall.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  7. #7
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    Thank you Ann, now I see. The yellow is beautiful, my favorite color.
    tennessee sue

  8. #8
    I have braided three different colors of Rose of Sharon. These were about 4 ft. high and stems were very pliable. Put the stems side by side and do like you were plaiting hair. Braid up the stem to the leaves and tie the three with panty hose strips. As the bush grows, continue to braid up as long as you can handle the size. Plant all three roots in same hole. These are over a year old and doing fine.

  9. #9
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    Braiding Hibiscus.

    Ann- posted a picture exactly what Im talking about. What I meant about cuttings, is that if you look at the photo again youll notice a nice sequence of braids. Ive seen in retail stores where braiding is done from soil level up.
    The hibiscus had to have shoots at the base of the cutting in order to hide the cutting.

    I DONT get the panty hose thing. Sounds interesting, Please specify with a little more detail. REMEMBER I havent done any hair playing, so Im totally new to this George.

  10. #10
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    Braiding Hibiscus.

    Sorry I had to make my last post short. One of the kids woke up.

    Getting back to my post. I did hear that braiding had to be done id 3, 5, 7, braids in order to make the braid look round not flat.
    George.

  11. #11
    As to the panty hose. Tie the plaited stems at the top-where the limbs start on the shrub. This holds the stems together temporarily. As the shrubs grow taller, you can continue to plait, or just leave the pantyhose strips on the shrub until the plant grows enough to stay tightly plaited.

  12. #12
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    George, Pnaty hose are soft and the legs make great ties for plants. I use them to tie tomatoes.
    Another use for old hose is to tie soap in the foot and tie to your outside spigot and you always have soap available.
    tennessee sue

  13. #13
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    Braiding Hibiscus.

    I still dont get the plaited panty hose. The ones I saw in the outlets, all the branches that touch another looks like its grafted together. I pretty sure they remove some bark so the two bind and grow attached.

    I almost made a boo boo, In my paragraph I almost typed plaited panties instead. Proof reading is important. Specially when I cant type. I actually dropped typing in school. long time ago.

  14. #14
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    George,

    Think of the panty hose as a tie wrap, only the panty hose has a lot more give and stretch, but still has the firmness to hold the stems together.

    I don't know about your braided hibiscus, but these appear to be rooted cuttings. More often than not, if you purchase a tropical hibiscus plant in a 5" pot here, there are at least 3 rooted cuttings in a single pot.

    I have been told that they root better with more than one to a pot, but I think actually that has more to do with appearance of fullness and for the sake of being able to sell them with a bloom.

    When I purchased the one that is in the picture above, it was in a very small pot. I immediately upgraded it to a 3 gallon container. That was 1.5 years ago. It is root bound again, and has to be watered very heavily.

    That is the downside of having more than one of these in a single pot.

    Hibiscus need a LOT of water or the leaves turn yellow, start dropping and the plant does not bloom as well.

    The best suggestion I can give you on learning how to braid is to find someone with a young child that has long hair and have them show you just once, and believe me, you will see how easy it really is...

    Have FUN!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  15. #15
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    Braiding Hibiscus.

    Ann- thanks for your detailed response. I now understand its purpose. George.

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