Rooting a Hibiscus from a Larger Plant


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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Are you referring to a Hibiscus Mallow or the exotic hibiscus trees? If you mean the Mallow (which dies back each year and sprouts from the ground each spring) I have had luck dividing them in the spring before they grow more than 6 inches or so. They seem to be very hardy here in Michigan and I have had the same original plants for bout 15 years now.

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Thanks for you answer but this is an exotic tree I have had it for about 5 years. I but it out in the spring and bring in it usually around the beginning of October.

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You should be able to take a cutting from the big plant and cut the stem on an angle. I put maybe 2 stems about 6-7 inches long in a bud vase (a clear one) and it will take awhile but eventually you will get some roots on the tropical hibiscus. It will get calcium deposits on it from the water so don't confuse them with roots. Make sure that some of the stem is under water where maybe a leaf was at and it will eventually root. I have had 3 on my kitchen window sill for some time and they are still nice and green and some calcium deposits and a few roots. so don't give up on it. I have done this for year and it can be done. Good luck. Connie--------this is for a tropical variety that you can purchase at lawn and gaden centers in the summer. If they don't get alot of roots by spring plant in a pot of sterilized medium.

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Thanks Connie I will give it a try.

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Very easy. I live in Houston, TX and hibiscus are everywhere. Ihave 4 on my back patio from last fall that are growing in small pots.You take a cutting about 6 inches long from a new shoot, clip off the lowest leaf and trim the cutting and inch or two below where you clipped of the lowest leaf, and stick it in some dirt. That's it. Make sure you water it and don't let it dry out too much.

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The hardy hibiscus, like AGeeksMom has, is very easy to start from seed also. I started many last year. Save the seed this fall and then you can share with friends.

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Do as Denese said, but if you dip the (damp) bottom into some hormone powder (aka rooting/striking powder) from the h'ware store, or you can also try honey. This will give you a much better chance for a good strike rate. I have taken a small piece of an apricot coloured hibiscus, then found that some of the flowers were apricot, some pink & others, half pink & half apricot .... as though they had been cut in half & glued together! Good luck & have fun with it. Wendy

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I just start my hibiscus from the previous years seeds. I plant them in late winter in pots (inside), transplant outside in spring and they will bloom by mid summer. That's interesting, Wendy from Oz, last year I noticed my pink hibuscus had pink and white flowers on it. They weren't on the same blossom like it sounds yours were, but scattered all over the bush! Wonder what causes this? I have red seeds I am going to plant this year, we'll see if I get red & pink!

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Thanks everyone : ) Hoping to have a new tree.

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In This Article
Starting a Hibiscus from a Cutting
Starting a Hibiscus from a Cutting
Home and Garden Gardening RootingFebruary 28, 2008
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