How to Start a Hibiscus Tree


Hibiscus trees (Hibiscus tiliaceus) commonly grow along coastlines and watercourses. These trees grow between 26 and 32 feet tall. Hibiscus trees thrive in sandy areas with moist conditions. The numerous, heart-shaped leaves provide dense foliage on bushy trees. The large, yellow blossoms appear during the warmer months of the year and last just one day before fading. Like various other types of ornamental woody plants, hibiscus trees grow readily from stem cuttings.

Step 1

Select healthy, mature trees for your stem cuttings early in the summer. Look for the appearance of pliable, new shoots with numerous leaves. Propagating from stem cuttings reproduces the growth characteristics of the parent tree, so choose specimens with uniform growth and an abundance of healthy foliage and blossoms.

Step 2

Prune your cuttings from your selected tree during the cool, morning hours. Using sharp pruning shears, cut 5-inch sections of green twigs. Remove any flower buds on the twigs and pinch off leaves from the lower half of the cuttings.

Step 3

Dampen the bottoms of the cuttings by dipping in water. Dip the dampened cuttings in a rooting compound. These powdered compositions encourage healthy root formation. Gently tap the excess powder from the plant segments.

Step 4

Fill shallow pots with an equal mixture of peat and sand. Insert the bottom one-half of your powdered cuttings into the loose planting soil. Allow 3 or 4 inches between each cutting to provide adequate space for sunlight and airflow. Pat down the soil around each cutting.

Step 5

Add enough water to create a slightly moist environment in the soil. Lightly mist the exposed portions of your cuttings with a spray bottle. Place a piece of clear plastic over the tops of your planted pots to retain soil moisture and humidity. Place your pots in a warm location with filtered sunlight. Check the soil moisture every two to three days and add water to retain a slightly moist environment.

Step 6

Transplant your cuttings into their permanent location after roots form, commonly within one month after planting. Place the rooted cuttings in well-drained soil. Keep the surface of the root balls even with the surrounding soil to avoid depressions around the new plants. Provide enough water to maintain a slightly moist environment near the roots as your trees grow and mature.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Rooting compound
  • Plant pots
  • Peat
  • Sand
  • Spray bottle
  • Clear plastic


  • North Carolina State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings
  • Hibiscus: Australian Native Hibiscus
  • North Dakota State University: Hibiscus
Keywords: grow hibiscus, hibiscus tree, hibiscus cuttings

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.