Perennial Hibiscus quandary

Asked July 5, 2019, 2:40 PM EDT

I am so confused by my perennial hibi. I have a completely white flower, possibly a Blue River II variety. I cut the stems back late fall and my plants always start over in the spring with new shoots. I got the seeds from a Master Gardener through the mail in Madelia. I started plants for my mom but hers has pink flowers and got a substantial woody base on it the first year and started from that base this spring. My cluster is quite tight (many plants in small area), does that interfere with stem production? Do different color flowers control the stem itself, i.e. start over or start from woody base? I have read on the internet that harvested seeds may produce a different color bloom than the parent plant. How can that be? Also, some of my plants have a very jagged, wicked looking leaf and others have a leaf similar to the shape of an Aspen leaf. These plants are very confusing and I would like to figure out what is going on and learn more about them. Thank you.

Hennepin County Minnesota hibiscus horticulture

1 Response

Hybrids are the offspring of two related plants. They have been chosen to have some of the best traits of each parent. But when hybrids are the parents of a new generation, the genetic traits that are carried by the hybrid can be lost in the new pairing. So the offspring often won't resemble the parent plant. It's generally not a good idea to save seeds from hybrids, unless all you want to do is experiment. Read here:
https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/saving_plant_seeds_for_next_season

Hardy hibiscus are all hybrids. Read here about hardy hibiscus:
https://web.extension.illinois.edu/dmp/palette/090712.html