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Starting a Hibiscus from a Cutting

Category Rooting
Hibiscus plants are relatively easy to start from cuttings, if you follow a few simple steps. This is a guide about starting a hibiscus from a cutting.


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February 28, 2008


Does anyone out there know how to or if it is even possible to root a hibiscus from a large hibiscus that I have?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Barbara from Philadelphia, PA



Not only is it possible, but some varieties actually root quite easily. Start with woody cuttings that are about the size of a pencil in both length and diameter. Remove all but one or two of the leaves at the top - these leaves will help with the transpiration process as the roots develop. At the bottom of the cutting either scrape away some of the bark or simply make a small slanted cut through a leaf node (eye). This will make it easier for developing roots to emerge. When taking your cutting from the mother plant, it is a good idea to cut it at an angle above a leaf node that is facing out so that when new growth resumes, it does so in an outwardly direction.


Hibiscus cuttings seem to root better when crowded together in a pot, so I encourage you to find a gallon - sized pot and try rooting several at one time. This will also increase your chances for success. Use a lightweight mixture of moist perlite and sand as your medium. Before inserting your cuttings into the pot, use a pencil to pre - drill" holes. Then dip the bottom of each cutting in some rooting hormone and insert them into the holes. Optimum temperatures for rooting are 60 - 70ºF. Hibiscus like a high degree of humidity so either mist the cuttings regularly or cover the pots with plastic bags. Just be sure not to bake them in the sun. Keep the pot of cuttings moist and in partial/filtered sun for about 6 - 8 weeks. Once the roots have developed, remove the cuttings carefully and repot in single pots.

Good luck!


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November 14, 20160 found this helpful

A very clear explanation of how to propagate hibiscus from cuttings.

All I need to find out is what is rooting hormone?

Thank you for your help Ellen!

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0 found this helpful
August 25, 2009

How do I get new start hibiscus plants from current plant that comes back every year?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By becca03262 from IN

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photographs. Click at right to share your own photo in this guide.

August 24, 2015

Photo Description
Many years ago (more than I care to remember), I tried to root stem cuttings of Hibiscus Moscheutos. Every stem died. I blamed it on the stems being so young and tender. I gave up on the project, figuring it couldn't be done.

Recently, I read several ThriftyFun accounts of people rooting Hibiscus Moscheutos stem cuttings. I said to myself, 'Surely all these people can't be wrong'. So, I gave it another try. I covered the cuttings with a clear plastic dome to keep a high humidity level. I'm not so sure I did this, years ago.

Anyway, I have successfully rooted four Hibiscus Moscheutos Luna Pink Swirl. A first for me. Rejoice with me, Y'all!

And thanks to ThriftyFun for keeping this and lots of other important information, flowing!


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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 25, 20090 found this helpful
By Ellen Brown

Q: Is there a way to start a hibiscus from a cutting?

A: Annette,

Cuttings are the method most commonly used by nurseries to propagate hibiscus. Some varieties tend to root more readily than others, so you might have to experiment to see what works best for yours. Here are some general guidelines:

Take cuttings from new growth in the spring or summer. The cuttings should be trimmed to about the length of a pencil, leaving 2-3 leaves at the top. Cut slits in one or two of the nodes (eyes) near the bottom of the cutting (this is where the roots will emerge). Dip the nodes in a rooting hormone and place the cuttings in a large pot filled with a moist, but well-drained, growing medium like perlite. Place several cuttings in the pot, as they tend to do better when grouped together.


Hibiscus cuttings prefer bottom heat and a humid environment. A water-filled tray placed under the pot is a good way to ensure that the growing medium stays moist. Just make sure the water covers the pot's drainage holes so it can wick up the moisture as necessary. Mist cuttings often and keep them in partial sun at temperatures of 70°F to 85°F. Cutting should root in 6-8 weeks.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


Starting a Hibiscus from a Cutting

I have started new plants, shrubs, etc. by just taking one of the branches and laying in the soil next to the mother plant, and by spring it should be ready to cut off and transplant. It should work I would think, I have a large rose of Sharon that I buried a couple of branches in the soil next to the"mama" without cutting them off, I know that by the next growing season, they should be ready to cut loose and transplant somewhere else. Give it a try, you have nothing to loose as long as it is not cut off from the mother plant. (09/22/2005)


By Rosa

Starting a Hibiscus from a Cutting

I've never tried to, but you might try a cutting that is strong looking & then use rooting powder. Just follow instructions on bottle. (09/23/2005)

By darrellg

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