Callirhoe involucrata (Malvaceae)
The flowers close each evening and remain permanently shut after polination. The stems and leaves of the entire plant die back in the heat of summer and should be trimmed to promote fall growth. Easy to grow from seed.
How To Grow Wine Cups (Callirhoe) from Seeds
- The seed is actually enclosed in 2 seed covers, which I didn't realize at first since it isn't very hard. Here is the only way this stubborn variety will sprout by artificial means. First, remove the first seed cover (sandy color) by snipping at the edge with nail clippers. Then slide the black seed out. This is the second coat. Carefully nick it on the side to allow moisture to penetrate. Soak in hand hot water over night. Wet a kitchen paper towel, squeeze out excess. Fold the towel in 1/2 and place seeds in a corner. Fold one end over the seeds, then fold again. You will have a square. Place this in a zip lock baggie, zip it but leave room for you to blow it up like a balloon, then quickly close it. The air will stay if the track are lined up correctly on the bag. This allows the seeds to "breathe", rather than have the plastic laying on the package. Place the baggie in a 40 to 55F degree temperature. I used the windowsill. Depending on your climate, you can place the baggie outdoors in a protected spot out of sun. It took only 3 days for my seeds to poke out radicals (tiny roots) from where I nicked the seed. When you see radicals (roots) develop they have germinated. Allow them to grow 1/4" long. With tweezers, pick the seed up, holding it by the cover. Make a hole in the sowing mix with a pencil and gently guide the seed into it. Make sure that when you plant the sprouted seeds that the roots are placed downwards in the soil. Tuck the seed in level with the soil and barely cover. Or, plant in individual small containers or pots.
- For the best germination rates, soak the seed in water overnight, then mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 30 days before planting.
- After the last frost of spring, sow the treated seed ¼” below the surface of the soil.
- For fall planting, simply soak the seed in water overnight and direct sow ¼” below the surface of the soil. Thin or transplant seedlings to 15-18” apart. This plant grows well in dry, rocky, or shallow soil.
- Since this plant withstands drought very well, it does not need to be watered; too much moisture will cause disease. For the most profuse blooms, remove faded blossoms.This plant will self-seed and slowly spread. Since mature plants have long tap roots, transplanting is not recommended.This plant attracts bees and many butterflies.