How to Germinate Hibiscus Seeds


The hibiscus is a perennial known for its large, showy flowers that come in a wide range of colors and shapes. The foliage is also striking, with large, glossy leaves on tall, slender stems. The plant is grown primarily in warmer climates (USDA hardiness zones 8 to 10). Hibiscus seeds can be purchased or collected from the pods of parent plants.

Step 1

Cut disposable cups to about 3 inches high. Punch holes in the bottom for drainage and fill each cup with fine potting soil.

Step 2

Nick the tip of each seed with a sharp knife to allow the seed to absorb water more easily, improving the chance of germination.

Step 3

Check the nick to make sure the seed is viable. Look for the white endosperm in each seed.

Step 4

Make a hole in the soil about 1 inch deep and put one seed in each cup.

Step 5

Cover the seed with potting soil and water it lightly. Place each cup in a medium-size resealable plastic bag to keep the seed moist.

Step 6

Place the containers in the sun. Watch for growth in two to three weeks. Spray the soil with water to keep it damp but not wet.

Step 7

Remove the plastic bags after the seeds have sprouted. Continue to water regularly.

Step 8

Transplant your seedlings once they have grown to several inches. Plant them in larger pots or fertile, prepared soil in your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Disposable cups
  • Potting soil
  • Resealable plastic bags


  • The Tropical Hibiscus
  • Planting Seeds
Keywords: seed, sprout, start, hibiscus, propagate

About this Author

In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.