Hibiscus sabdariffa, also known as sorrel in the Virgin Islands, is an annual plant that is grown mainly for its colorful fleshy calyxes during the Christmas Season. Sorrel is used to make a healthy drink that is high in vitamin C and anthocyanins which is claimed to be better than cranberry juice. Sorrel is normally planted at 60 cm during July and August. The objective of this study was to compare sorrel growth and production of a Caribbean day-neutral variety and a Zambian short-day variety planted in September with in-row plant spacing of 20 cm, 40 cm and 60 cm, and 150 cm between rows. Data was collected weekly on plant height, branching and fruit set. The results indicated that the Caribbean day-neutral variety can be grown at 20 to 60 cm with no effect on branching or production. However, the Caribbean dayneutral plants were shorter at 60 cm spacing than either at 20 or 40 cm, while spacing was not an influence on plant height for the Zambian short-day variety at 20 to 60 cm. The Zambian shortday sorrel has greater branching and fruit set as the plant spacing increases from 20 to 60 cm. Planting sorrel in September at 40 cm can increase production per length of row. This research was funded through VI Dept. of Agriculture Specialty Crops Block Grant and USDA-NTFAResident Instruction in Insular Areas (Grant # #2008-34816-20016).


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