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How to grow HIBISCUS ROSELLE in Uganda

Hibiscus Roselle is an aromatic, astringent cooling herb that is much used in the tropical and sub tropical regions of the world.

Roselle is a short day plant which is native to West Africa.

The plant takes about 3 months to bloom. On the Roselle flower it is the calyces which are harvest.

The juice from the calyces is claimed to be a health enhancing drink due to its high content of vitamin C, anthocyanins and other antioxidants.

Common Hibiscus Roselle varieties in Africa

Wester in 1920 described 3 named edible cultivars including;

Rico -this type is relatively low growing, spreading with simple leaves. Flower has a dark-red eye and golden yellow pollen. Its mature calyx is about 5cm; it gives the highest yield of calyces per plant.

There is Victor - it’s a superior selection of seedlings. It’s taller to about 2.13m, more erect and robust. Its flower has dark-red eye and golden –brown pollen. Also calyces are 5cm long.

And also Archer (sometimes called the white sorrel or Roselle). It’s believed to be of the race Albus. The Archer plant is tall and robust like Rico but has green stems. Flower is yellow with deeper yellow eye and pale –brown pollen.

Contact the Uganda agribusiness guide to buy hibiscus Roselle Seeds and fresh Calyces ('Fruits') in Africa

How to propagate Hibiscus Roselle

Roselle is mainly propagated by seed rather than by cuttings.

The cuttings usually result in crops that yield relatively low calyces.

Soil requirements for Hibiscus Roselle

Roselle appreciates soil with high organic matter levels, but too much nitrogen will delay flowering until too late in the season.

The soil should also be well drained as water logged soils attract root rot.

How to plant Hibiscus Roselle in Uganda

Roselle is very sensitive to changes in the length of day as it’s a short day plant.

This photoperiodism requires the planting time to be set according to the length of the day rather than rainfall requirements.

Deep plough the site meant for planting and the seed bed as Roselle is a deep rooted crop.

At approximately (2.5-5) cm deep, plant seeds at a rate of 6-8 kg per hectare.

Seeds should be planted at the beginning of the rainy season.

A spacing of (45x60) cm within rows should be used as reduced planting rate produces a larger calyx.

Sowing can be by hand or by a seed planter.

Contact the Uganda agribusiness guide to buy hibiscus Roselle Seeds and fresh Calyces ('Fruits') in Africa

How to weed and Prune Hibiscus Roselle

Weeding is necessary at first but when the plants reach 45-60 cm in height, weeds will no longer be a problem.

Early prune by removing tips to increase branching, and development of more flowers.

Roselle pests and diseases to Keep an eye on

Watch out for the root-knot nematode and also mealy bugs may be very troublesome.

How to harvest Hibiscus Roselle in Africa

Harvesting Hibiscus Roselle is done according to the ripeness of the seed.

The fleshy calyces are harvested after flowers have dropped but before the seed pod has dried and opened.

The more time the capsule remain on the plant after the seeds begin to ripen, the more the calyx is susceptible to sores, sun cracking and general deterioration of quality.

Contact the Uganda agribusiness guide to buy hibiscus Roselle Seeds and fresh Calyces ('Fruits') in Africa

Quick Tips for growing Hibiscus Roselle in Uganda

  • Clear land meant for sowing by deep ploughing .

  • Open up holes of about 2.5-5 cm deep.

  • Hand sow 4-6 seeds per hill or hole.

  • Leave a space of 0.9-1.8 m between sown seeds in arrow.

  • When 2-3 leaves have emerged, thin the plants to create appropriate space for growth.

  • In 2-3 months you will be able to harvest your calyces.

Contact the Uganda agribusiness guide to buy hibiscus Roselle Seeds and fresh Calyces ('Fruits') in Africa

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