GROWING ROSELLAS IN THE TROPICS
|Rosella pods ready to pick in a couple of weeks|
Growing rosella plants from seed is very easy. Last year I dried and saved some seeds from our first crop of rosellas. These were the rosellas which I didn't consider good enough for jam, however they produced enough seeds for a future planting, I just dried the seeds on absorbent kitchen paper in my sunny laundry for a couple of weeks and then stored them in a plastic container in the crisper of the refrigerator until I was ready to use them. In September 2014, I planted the seeds in the front garden in an area that wouldn't be invaded or require much attention and left the seeds to their own devices. After Christmas. four or five healthy plants had sprung up and should this year provide enough rosellas for a decent batch of jam.
|Rosellas from the 2014 harvest|
Growing rosellas in the tropics is fairly uncomplicated, however it has been a very dry summer this year, and whilst we were away overseas for 6 weeks in March/April 2015, the sprinkler system stopped working at some stage in the rosella patch and with no rain falling the rosellas looked a bit neglected when we returned home. However, they are very resilient, and now with some frequent watering and TLC they are starting to produce what promises to be a good crop.
I harvested a few ripe seed pods this morning before the ants destroy them, cut off some dry leaves, fertilised the bushes with some fish emulsion and they are looking a lot healthier. I am hoping that within a couple of months, I will have enough rosellas to make some more rosella jam. Always a winner, and still my favourite jam.If I don't have enough for a worthwhile quantity of jam, there should be some available at the markets. I am hoping I will have enough to make some cordial as well.