How to Propagate Hibiscus Plants


Hibiscus, the state flower of Hawaii, is a tropical specimen that offers large, flamboyant blooms in a rainbow of colors. Since they prefer tropical climates, hibiscus plants are grown mainly as annuals in colder climates. Hailing from the Malvaceae (mallow) family, the Hibiscus genus is filled with over 220 varieties that provide color, character and a range of folk remedy benefits to gardens all over the world. Dried hibiscus flowers, which create a deep red hue, are used in tea recipes and as a natural dye that colors cosmetics.

Step 1

Fill a container with perlite or sand and moisten it thoroughly.

Step 2

Take cuttings from a healthy, established hibiscus plant. The World of Hibiscus recommends that cuttings be at least 5 to 6 inches in length. For tip cuttings, where no hardwood is established, take cuttings in late summer or early fall. Hardwood cuttings can be taken throughout the spring and summer months.

Step 3

Make a clean cut just below the leaf node, also referred to as an eye. The node is a swollen portion of the stem from which leaves emerge.

Step 4

Remove all foliage from the bottom half of each cutting and cut larger leaves in half.

Step 5

Use a sharp knife to scrape away bark from the bottom inch of each cutting. Making a small, slanted cut in the bottom-most node of each cutting will also increase chances of successful rooting.

Step 6

Dip the bottom of each cutting into rooting hormone. The hormone, which comes in liquid, gel or powder form, helps promote earlier and more vigorous rooting.

Step 7

Insert each cutting into one pre-formed hole and pack medium around the wood for support.

Step 8

Place cutting pots in a location that offers at least partial sun and temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 9

Keep cutting medium moist during root formation. Rooting should take place within six to eight weeks. Successful root establishment is indicated by formation of new leaves on each cutting

Step 10

Remove each successfully rooted cutting very gently and transplant it to its own container filled with slightly moistened potting mix.

Tips and Warnings

  • Full sun exposure will bake and destroy hibiscus cuttings.

Things You'll Need

  • One-gallon container
  • Perlite or sand
  • Sharp knife or pruning snips
  • Rooting hormone
  • Pencil
  • Water
  • Transplant pots
  • Potting mix


  • Tropical Hibiscus - Propagation by Rooting
  • The World of Hibiscus: Propagation from Cuttings
  • Hibiscus Flower Profile
Keywords: Hibiscus propagation, hibiscus hardwood cuttings, Growing Hibiscus flowers

About this Author

Deborah Waltenburg has been a freelance writer since 2002. In addition to her work for Demand Studios, Waltenburg has written for websites such as Freelance Writerville and Constant Content, and has worked as a ghostwriter for travel/tourism websites and numerous financial/debt reduction blogs.