The Hibiscus Plant is popularly grown in the Northern region of Nigeria – Kano, Bauchi, Katsina, Borno, Gombe and Jigawa. Although they can be planted in any area, provided there is sunlight, good source of water for irrigation and other requirements.
This plant is popularly known as Zobo leaves in Nigeria. Almost everyone is familiar with the final product called Zobo.
Hibiscus Tea Flower falls into varieties but the most common is Sabdariffa species, which is used in making all sought of drinks menu in Nigeria and other part of the world. Other species includes Tropical hibiscus, Hardy shrub H. Hardy perennial. Also the Sabdariffa variety has the best flavour among all the varieties.
Hibiscus tea flower can be grown in open space throughout the year provided the following is available;
- Enough moisture and sunlight to aid their growth others .
– Proper planning
– Good management and
– Correct marketing planning
Required pH for planting
-5.5-6.5. Mostly Sandy loam soil. Sometimes can be added if the need for it is noticed.
Seed Broadcast: The broadcast seeding is a method of seed that involves scattering parent plant by hand or mechanically, over a relatively large open area.
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Propagation by stem cuttings is the most commonly used method to propagate many woody ornamental plants. Stem cuttings of many favorite shrubs are quite easy to root. Typically, stem cuttings of tree species are more difficult to root. The stem propagation method is probably the best since hibiscus plant are considered as ornamental plant.
The process is stated below :
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Cut the stem of the parent plant from about 5-6 inches.
Seed needs to be soaked overnight before planting.
Wetting the stem with liquid fertilizer to hasten establishment and root formation. Propagated stem usually take 8_ 10 weeks before sprouting or getting roots.
Pruning of the Plant
Pruning should be done from August-October as to stimulate new growth of shoots and buds. To have erect and beautiful growth remove sideways growing branches leave only about 3-4 straight growing branches. To stop them from becoming too big cut 1/3 of their main branches away
Water supply/ Irrigation
Irrigate during dry season. If hibiscus plant is deficient of water, it leaves will become yellowish and afterward fall off. During raining season irrigate them when there is drought or shortage of rain. To avoid root rot (disease) avoid watering too much.
Manure or fertilizer application.
Hibiscus plant requires a lot of nutrient to blossom. dung to be applied must be treated to avoid transfer of diseases. This is done Every month and liquid fertilizer every week. Apply more of Potassium fertilizer and little phosphorus to make an ideal hibiscus farming.
Disease and pest control
Mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, stem/root rots are their most commonest pest and diseases that attack hibiscus farming.Use neem oil or correct pesticides to attack them. Avoid planting in waterlog areas.
Noticeable or traceable growth
Growth is noticeable at 4-8months. First five months it will require about 12-13 hours of sunlight to prevent pre-mature flowering.
Harvesting often happen around October and November make sure you harvest them once the flowers are fully bloom by hand picking them.
Post plantation processes
Dress the flower by removing the stamens (yellow slider long in the centre
Allow some stem in the flower for easy drying. Ensure to use only healthy flower. Trash any flower attacked by pest.
Spread on mats, rocks for a considerable amount of sunlight needed for drying. Flower will shrink and brittle when completely dried.
While hibiscus flower are used mainly for drink in Nigeria, this plant are used for various other things in western developed countries eg. Cream , shampoo, lipstick etc. They are essential requirements in the cosmetic industry. This explains the high demand and require for hibiscus flower by Westerner.
A bag of hibiscus flower costs about N30,000 in Nigeria and $1700_2000 in the United States.
It can be exported to Europe, Asia, USA etc. The season for exportation is best between October-March
Requirements for hibiscus exportation
Hibiscus flower 12% maximum moisture content, dark red colour.
480 bags in 40FCL.
Packaging 40-50kg PP bags.
All this requirements are necessary to avoid microbial growth which may lead to spoilage of the content.