Planting Instructions for Hibiscus Seeds


Hibiscus flowers come in a stunning array of colors, combinations and shapes. The large open flowers attract and delight feasting humming birds. Tropical hibiscus can only be grown in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 10b. Other varieties of "hardy" hibiscus thrive all the way from a chilly zone 5 to zone 8. Propagating hibiscus by seed is an excellent way to ensure genetic diversity in your garden. Whether you are ordering your seeds or collecting your own, planting hibiscus from seed can be accomplished in a few simple steps.

Step 1

Place the hibiscus seed between two pieces of sand paper and gently roll the seed around to abrade the surface until there are faint lines on the seed casing.

Step 2

Fill a planting tray with equal parts coarse sand, peat moss and potting soil. Trays that are divided up into individual 2-inch sections are perfect.

Step 3

Make 1/4 inch holes in each section, using your index finger or a pencil.

Step 4

Place one seed in each hole and cover it with soil. Orient the seeds so that the pointed end is facing down.

Step 5

Water the tray until the soil is evenly and thoroughly damp. Use a mist setting on your hose to avoid disrupting the newly planted seeds.

Step 6

Place the tray in a sunny area that has a consistent temperature of 70 to 80 degrees F.

Step 7

Transplant your seedlings when they produce four leaves. Fill 4-inch planting pots with potting soil and place one seedling into each pot. Handle the seedling gently by the leaves to avoid damaging the very delicate stem.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Planting trays
  • Peat moss
  • Coarse sand
  • Potting soil
  • 4-inch pots


  • North Dakota State University: Tropical Hibiscus
  • Purdue University: Hibiscus Sabdariffa L.

Who Can Help

  • National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: propagating seeds, propagating tropicals, hardy hibiscus, planting hibiscus seeds, propagating hibiscus

About this Author

Olivia Parker has been a freelance writer with Demand Studios for the past year, writing for Garden Guides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Parker is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts from Boston University Online.