Meetings and Events
Our monthly meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month (except for July and August) at 7PM in the Auditorium of Mounts Botanical Garden.
At our monthly themed meetings, we learn interesting tips and information about growing tropical hibiscus. Topics include such things as grafting, repotting, pest control, and much more. Members can also bring blooms to compete in our monthly mini shows, with the winners bringing home new tropical hibiscus as prizes. Following the presentation, we enjoy refreshments and socializing.
Visitors are welcome to attend!
January 2022 Monthly Meeting
Our Thanks for the Arrabiatas Dinner in December!
We had a delicious holiday dinner filled with family, friends, and laughter over an amazing variety of authentic Italian cuisine and hosted with excellent service at Arrabiatas Italian Restaurant in Boynton Beach this past December. We also officially announced our new Board of Directors during dinner. We wanted to offer a huge thank you to Arrabiatas for hosting us for our festivities, as well as everyone who came out to celebrate the holidays and the end of the year with us. It made our holiday season even more memorable!
December 2021 Monthly Meeting Announcement
November 2021 Monthly Meetings Update
We loved this meeting in November that promoted natural resource retainment and renovation. Kayla O’ Brien, from the Department of Environmental Resources Management, gave a superb presentation on their efforts to restore and maintain the Lake Worth Lagoon Estuary. This area where salt and water mix in the Hypoluxo Intercoastal is a sanctuary for many of Florida’s native wildlife including sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, and many species of fish. These important Florida wildlife species were under threat due to the mini canals draining into it that reduce the water quality by promoting runoff, hard water, and algae blooms. The Lagoon also had muck that was killing the beneficial seagrass by reducing the light that reaches the bottom of the seabed. Ms. O’ Brien did a research experiment with microplastics to see if they were inhibiting the growth of the animals and surrounding natural areas. Microplastics are plastics that are less than 5mm in length and can be eaten by wildlife and is waste that reduces water quality. The biofilm and tiny pieces of plastic such as fibers, films, and microbeads are even present in our bottled water and congregates in every living organisms’ systems, (including our own!) and inhibits digestion, growth, and even survival. And plastic stays around a long time—it takes about 400 years for a 6 pack of plastic rings to disintegrate, and about 200 years for a plastic straw. Kayla’s research showed that there was about 6.63 microplastics per Liter at high tide, and a mean of 9.44 in the central Lagoon! That’s a lot of plastic floating around for nature to contend with (now you know why so many restaurants switched to paper straws!).
But the Department of Environmental Resources has been battling these problems. They have many restoration projects including water plastic cleanups, muck removal and promotion of seagrass with shoreline planters, artificial reefs including the beloved Phil Foster snorkeling trail, as well as the South Cove Natural Area and Tarpon Cove. These projects range over 46 acres and create shelter, clear water and habitat over 5 islands.
We are grateful to Ms. O’Brien to raising awareness about the importance of keeping our waterways clear, diminishing our use of plastics, and caring for the environment around us. Thank you for a wonderful presentation and all your hard work!
Our Thanks for the October 2021 Meeting
We were fortunate to learn how to grow rootstock for our tropical hibiscus at this past October 2021 meeting from the Seed Bank Director of the AHS and our treasurer, Don Bernard. Growing rootstock for grafted tropical hibiscus onto is important in South Florida. The roots of the more common varieties of hibiscus are better able to withstand our sandy and often too wet or too dry soils, and are nematode resistant. Thank you Don Bernard for sharing with us how to grow rootstock for our more sensitive tropical hibiscus so we can continue to grow healthy flowering plants on roots that are more acclimated to our soil. We enjoyed the hands-on activity of making our own rootstock to bring home. We also had a vibrant Mini Show and delicious desserts—thank you to all who participated to make this meeting a success!
October 2021 Meeting Announcement
Our Thanks for the September 2021 Meeting
We had many people show up for the first in-person meeting we hosted after the long Covid quarantine. We were all excited to be together and learn from our very own expert gardener and AHS seed bank collector, Don Bernard, about hybrid hibiscus seed planting. He did an excellent job explaining how to grow hibiscus seeds—thank you, Don Bernard for the presentation! He has written an informative guide that explains the process, I am writing it in the section below. Afterwards, we had a hands-on activity where we nicked and planted our own seeds that he provided from the seed bank. It was neat to start growing our own!
We also had delicious refreshments provided by volunteers, so thank you to all who participated in bringing those as well. We also had a Mini Show with Commercial and Collector participants—the winners won a new hibiscus plant for their gardens, way to go!
Thank you to all who came and participated, it was lovely to meet with everyone. We have a good group of people here and we are grateful to know each of you!
September 12th 2021 at 7:00pm
After over a year of quarantine for the Covid virus, we are excited to announce the first reopening meeting for our Conrad-Sunrise Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society!
You won’t want to miss this. We will be having an ice cream social, with ice cream provided by the Chapter – feel free to bring your favorite topping!
The best part is that we will be learning to grow hibiscus seeds. You can choose to grow your own tropical hibiscus seeds to take home that will be provided by Don Bernard, the official seed bank moderator for the American Hibiscus Society. Once blooming, your seedlings will produce flowers that have never been seen before, with unique colors and patterns of your very own.
There will also be a hibiscus flower mini show, be sure to see what is blooming in everyone’s garden and enter for a chance to win a free plant for the best flowers in each category!
If you are in eastern south Florida we are your Tropical Hibiscus Chapter, come meet with us! It is free to participate in the first meeting so please come and check us out. Membership to the American Hibiscus Society for a year is only $35 and includes the Conrad-Sunrise Newsletter, a membership to the AHS Seed Pod quarterly newsletter, entrance into hibiscus shows across the nation, monthly meetings with guest speakers, and socializing with like-minded garden lovers like yourself! You won’t find a better deal anywhere.
Come visit with known and new friends that we haven’t gathered with in way too long. We are excited to see and meet everyone again. Feel free to message us directly for any questions or directions.
February 19th 7:00pm Meeting: “My Favorite Plants” by Dr. Michael Pusin
Dr. Pusin is a retired dentist and snowbird from Baltimore, Maryland. He is a past President of the Garden Club of Greater Baltimore and is a well known speaker on gardening not just in Florida, but nationally. This was his second PowerPoint program for the Conrad-Sunrise Hibiscus Society. His presentation covered both northern and southern plant varieties that are inexpensive and require very little maintenance.
January 15th Meeting: Hybridization with Dawn Conrad
Ms. Dawn Conrad was the January 15th, 2020 presenter for the Conrad-Sunrise Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society. Her presentation on “Hybridization” attracted one of the largest audiences for the Society in the last year. Dawn offered a hands-on demonstration of the technique she uses to create new hybrids. Don Bernard also spoke briefly about the process for naming and registering a hew hybrid. The Society also welcomed several new members that night. Also a big congratulations to our Mini Show winners: Andrea Cryer in Amateur, Michael Pusin in Open Collector, Dawn Conrad for Collector, and Don Bernard for Commercial. Way to show!
December 18, 2019 7:00 PM: Annual Christmas Dinner
The attendance for this year’s Christmas Dinner was the best ever! The services of food at Arrabbiata’s kept coming: multiple appetizers, fresh, crisp salads including house-made Caesar salad; entrees of chicken, beef, and several pasta platters…This was all before the desserts of cakes, cookies, Italian tiramisu! No one went home hungry. It was a lovely evening to relax, converse with fellow Hibiscus enthusiasts and share ideas for 2020 programs and speakers.
November 20, 2019 Recap: Gardening with David Brach
David Bach’s presentation was much appreciated by the enthusiastic crowd attending the November 20th meeting of the Conrad-Sunrise Hibiscus Chapter. Our President, Mr. Corey Burchfield was correct when he introduced Mr. Bach and said, “There isn’t a flower he can’t identify.”
Mr.Bach came prepared with dozens of beautiful slides of all sorts of varieties of hardy Florida garden and border plant possibilities, including some rare, extraordinarily beautiful blooming options to consider.
Those in attendance commented that they were grateful to have a program that provided such. New information and options as well as to know “that there is much more I can do to beautify my property with color and fragrance.”
Thank you, Mr. Bach for your expertise!
October 16, 2019 7:00pm
October Meeting Recap: Hibiscus Photography with Kathie Comerford
At our October monthly meeting, we had a lovely time with Kathie Comerford who hosted a class on hibiscus photography. She demonstrated all kinds of tips and techniques to really get those outstanding flowers to shine as centerpieces to our photos while maintaining interesting angles, lighting, contrast, and patterns. For example, she showed us how greenery from around our gardens can be used to create diagonals and repetition to draw our eye to the hibiscus flower. Another method involves using a black background and moving in for a close up. With the nice cameras on many of our cellphones today, photography is not reserved for a select few – many people can take unique and beautiful pictures with just one click! Thank you, Kathie, for a wonderful meeting, and for all those that volunteered to help out with refreshments and everything else so we could have a great time.
October Meeting Recap: Hibiscus Photography with Kathie