Growing Rosella, also Queensland Jam Plant, Roselle

Hibiscus Subdantta : Malvaceae / the mallow family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

Not recommended for growing in USA - Zone 5a regions

  • Sow in garden, or start in seed trays. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 20°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 140 cm apart
  • Harvest in 21-25 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Feverfew, Coriander, Nasturtium and Hyssop
  • Rosellas on plant
  • Rosella bud
  • Rosella plant

This frost tender annual grows to a height of 2 metres. It is grown for its red fruit which make delicious jam or jelly.

Rosella needs a growing season of at least 6 months warm weather so is best suited to tropical or sub-tropical areas. Can be started under glass in cooler areas. Water well and give a dressing of fertiliser when flowering starts.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Rosella

The large flowers produce a crimson enlarged calyx.
Use the fleshy red calyx, without the green seed pod to make jam or jelly.

Your comments and tips

19 Mar 08, Bob (Unknown climate)
We have bought Rosella in a jar with liquid/syrup and would like to know if anyone knows how to make this preservative. It takes the place of strawberries in champagne. Yum Yum I have a rosella growing at the moment.
29 Mar 08, Bruce Hankin (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Where can I buy Rosella (Queensland jam plant) seed or plant in Western Australia??
04 Apr 08, Jacky (Unknown climate)
There's a great article about growing and using the rosella fruit in ABC's Organic Gardener Spring 2005.
26 Apr 08, Anne (Unknown climate)
Pick rosella when as long as your thumbs first digit. Rinse, cut small slice off base, place thumbs between half way section of calyx and peel back separating seed case from fruit. Place in heavy base pot, water to cover (less is more), simmer until fruit breaks down. Add lemon juice, tblspn per cup of jam, add sugar approx 1/4 cup to cup of jam (the sweetness you like) and bring to rolling boil. always stirring, never allow to stick. When syrupy, coating back of spoon thickly, take of heat, cool slightly and jar. Put jars in oven at approx 110 degrees for 5-10 mins prior to jam pour to sterilize.
14 May 08, Alana (Unknown climate)
I have a Rosella plant that has taken quite a hit from something that has eaten all it's leaves off. I am very new at gardening I'm not sure what I should do - as we eat the fruits I am hesitant to use chemicals and there doesnt seem to be any grubs. Any ideas? Also, we are finding the water excreted from our worm farm is LOVED by our Rosella bush, whenever we put some on it, more flowers are generated. Thanks
06 Jun 08, Lyn (Unknown climate)
Re Anne's tip - I have always boiled up the seeds and used that liquid to pour over the fruit leaves as the seeds contain the pectin to make the jam set better - is this a myth that I have followed faithfully for decades????
11 Jun 08, Chris (Unknown climate)
Lyn, if the rosella seeds contain pectin, then it's a useful tip. I've always used lemon and orange pips like this in marmalade.
11 Jul 08, Noelle (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My mother's recipe (recipe 80 years old, and now mine) -always boil the seed pods up separately. Strain through fine muslin and add liquid to the red pods and sugar. No lemon is used, as it changes the real rosella flavour.
18 Jul 08, Renate (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
After a lovely harverst, I cut down the plant and a few of them look like as if they are dying. How do I look after them after flowering and seeding as this is my first year. Comment for jam making, you do not have to boil the seedpods, there is enough pectin in the fleshy part to set and it is a cleaner taste. I have been making jam for years.
23 Jul 08, (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Could anybody advice me where can I buy rosalla leaves in Australia. I live in sydney. Thax
Showing 1 - 10 of 469 comments

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