Sunday, October 14, 2012

Harvesting Hibicus

Today we started harvesting our Hibiscus, ( my husband did, I just took pictures.) I have been intrigued with this herb since if you look at the back of a box of herbal tea, there will be that ingredient of Hibiscus flowers. I thought for the longest time it was for the tropical variety that grows in my flowerbed. After reading herb books this winter and seeing the difference we tracked down seeds and from those little seeds grew these loved big bushes. The old sunflower stalk in the middle is a giant stalk and it taller than my head so you can get and idea of how big these plants are now.

The flower is hard and has a lovely smell of cranberries.The plant does smell clean and a little like citrus.

This is the first batch on the screen that since next week is supposed to be warmer should dry pretty fast. We have maybe 10 times as much out there to harvest. We had no idea they would produce like this.

Once they are dried, you remove the petals. Then store them in a jar and use it to make Red Zinger tea.
Or add it to peppermint leaves. What I noticed about it is that is is used to add as a base in herbal teas because of the high vitamin C content.

This is what the Wikipedia said about it. "Hibiscus tea contains 15-30% organic acids, including citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid. It also contains acidic polysaccharides and flavonoid glycosides, such as cyanidin and delphinidin, that give it its characteristic deep red color.

I must need vitamin C because my mouth kept watering and all I can think about it making fresh hot tea with these next week when they are dried. They smell so good. I know I said that before but I wish I could just let you smell them. It is a popular tea in most parts of the world. It wasn't introduced to the United States
 until Celestial Seasonings introduced it to us in 1972 as Red Zinger Tea. You know I think I like it because I have always been partial to red drinks. I just think red in a drink looks better. I was also wondering about using it as a dye for wool.

I do like it when our experiments turn out. I finally found something I could plant the whole 2 1/2 acres of because it is just so pretty when it is growing. Rows and rows of it. The only thing is you have to cut each flower off and that might get time consuming. They remind me of cotton bolls.

I haven't taken a picture of my husband's trees in a while. I thought I would show them to you since they are starting to change colors. They are really growing and he will be grafting on to some of them to make different varieties. Some of them are being used for Bonsai and are wired. Others are just trees to replace the ones that didn't make it through this long hot summer.

I just thought I would share some things we have been doing this weekend. Thanks for stopping by.



Moonpie primitives said...

You have been very busy...Your hibiscus are so pretty....Thanks a bunch for always leaving the nicest comment on my blog...You are a sweetie, you make my day...
Enjoy the fall,

Julia said...

Kim, I had no idea that the hibiscus in the Red Zinger tea was made from a different Hibicus. Your post is very interesting and educational. They look so plentiful in your garden.

Are you planning to mass produce it? Picking all those flowers sure would be time consuming but if anybody can do it, it's you.

Take care and have a great week. JB

Meg said...

Wow, his trees are getting big! That picture looks like you took it at White Forest. :) Those flowers are really pretty! I guess if you planted the whole property with them you could start a Red Zinger tea company.

WhiteWhispers2u said...

Oh they are so pretty aren't they! I had no idea they were so healthy for you too.I may have to go buy myself some now.Do enjoy~Cheers Kim xo

TexWisGirl said...

i think it's great that you grow and harvest your own herbs and tea. :)

Nellie said...

Never thought to grow hibiscus! I wonder if it would grow here in our climate. We are quite the tea drinkers in our house!

Rugs and Pugs said...

Kim ~
Thanks for sharing. I'm not a tea drinker nor did I know there was a hibiscus herb. They look very pretty, too.
Hugs :)

camp and cottage living said...

Wow, that is going to be a whole lot of hibiscus! You may have to sell it to Celestial Gardens.
I like the Vit C part of it. I harvested some of my rose hips this year and was so amazed that it dried up to about a fifth of it's original size. I wonder how much the hibiscus will shrink.
Your husband has sure come a long ways with his trees!

Kim said...

That is really cool. And you have so much of it. It looks pretty too.

Primitive Stars said...

Hi Kim, that is very pretty the color....thanks for sharing....Blessings Francine.

Beth said...

Hibiscus tea is supposed to be good for high blood pressure. I didn't know that Red Zinger is that tea. I will have to try it.

myletterstoemily said...

wow, i never knew that red zinger tea came from hibiscus@
i learn something every time i come over here!

Patrice said...

Wow! That really grows well for you. The pictures are pretty.

Jacque. said...

Coming here is always a treat...never know what I will walk away with. For sure...always with a smile! xo

Kessie said...

I never knew there was a different kind of hibiscus! That is amazing. :-)

Christine said...

Really interesting, Kim! So healthy for you too!
Enjoy the fruits of your labor - Red Zinger sounds so exotic!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

One time I had a drink with Hibicus tea mixed with lemonade. It was delicious. The plants look healthy even at harvest.