How to Root a Confederate Rose Bush

Overview

The Confederate rose isn't a rose at all, but an old-fashioned variety of hibiscus, (Hibiscus mutabilis). The Confederate rose hibiscus is prized for its gigantic double flowers that open up in the morning in shades of white and pink that turn deep red by evening. Although the Confederate rose can sometimes grow to tree-like heights of 12 to 15 feet, shrubs of 6 to 8 feet are more common. Confederate rose hibiscus can easily be rooted from stem cuttings in early spring.

Step 1

Fill several 4-inch planting containers with commercial potting mix. The potting mix should be slightly damp, but not dripping wet. Be sure containers have drainage holes in the bottom.

Step 2

Cut several 3 to 4-inch stems from a healthy Confederate rose bush, using a sharp knife or garden pruners. Each stem should have at least three or four leaves. Strip off all but the top two leaves. Dip the cut end of each stem in powdered rooting hormone, and plant the cuttings in the pots.

Step 3

Put the Confederate rose cuttings in a well-lit area, but avoid putting them in direct sunlight, which will be too strong. Continue to keep the soil moist.

Step 4

Watch for the Confederate rose cuttings to develop roots in three to five weeks. To determine if the cutting has rooted, tug lightly on one or more of the stems. If you feel a slight resistance to your tug, the cutting has taken root.

Step 5

Plant the Confederate rose cuttings outdoors in the spring, after any danger of frost has passed; or if you prefer, you can move them to a larger container and plant them outdoors after they grow a bit larger. When you move the Confederate roses outdoors, give the plants time to acclimate to bright sunlight. Put the Confederate roses under a shady tree or porch for a few days, then move them to where they will be exposed to morning light for a few days. After that time, the Confederate roses can be moved into their permanent home in full sunlight.

Step 6

Pinch an inch from the top of each young Confederate rose bush, just above a set of leaves. Pinching the tops of growing stems occasionally will encourage the hibiscus to branch out in a pleasing, bushy shape.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-inch planting containers
  • Commercial potting mix
  • Sharp knife or pruners
  • Powdered rooting hormone
  • Larger planting containers (optional)

References

  • Texas A&M: Hardy Hibiscus (Including Confederate Rose, Hibiscus mutabilis)
  • University of Minnesota: Hibiscus
  • Clemson University: Hibiscus
Keywords: confederate rose bush, confederate rose hibiscus, hibiscus

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.