How to Root a Confederate Rose
The confederate rose is a member of the mallow family and a longtime favorite variety of hibiscus. The handsome Hibiscus mutabilis is also referred to as cotton rose or Texas star hibiscus. Eye-catching bloom displays begin in late summer and continue well into the fall as long as early frost doesn’t hit. Propagating confederate rose is so simple that even the greenest novice will beam with pride when setting out the new plant. Cuttings taken in early spring are the most likely to succeed, although this method of propagation may work well for you anytime during the growing season.
Select an attractive, mature confederate rose that you like to take your cuttings from in early spring when new growth has begun. Choose carefully because your cutting is a clone and will grow into an exact replica of the parent plant.
Use a clean, sharp knife to cut 12 to 15 inches from the tip of an actively growing stem of the hibiscus. Strip all of the foliage and buds from the cutting except for the top set of 2 leaves.
Fill a quart jar with water. Stand the cutting up in the jar and set it on a warm, sunny windowsill.
Refill the jar to the original level as water evaporates.
Plant the cutting in a 6-inch pot with a quality all-purpose potting soil when roots are about 2 inches long. Water well enough to keep the soil surface evenly moist. Keep it on the sunny windowsill.
Plant the confederate rose outdoors in a lightly shaded spot in April after all danger of frost has passed for your area.
Confederate Roses Bloom?
Suited to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 11, the hibiscus may become a 15-foot tree in USDA zones 9 and above. Typically, in USDA zones 7 and 8, the plants freeze back to the ground each year and grow rapidly into 6- to 8-foot shrubs by the fall. Flowering starts in late summer and lasts through the fall. True to the "mutabilis" in its botanical identification, Confederate rose flowers go through a series of color changes in their three-day lives. Foremost among its assets are spectacular flowers and ease of care. The bush thrives in full sun, as well as partial shade. Different traits of the Confederate rose, such as its size, quick growth or tropical appearance, make it a natural for a variety of landscape purposes. Used alone, it excels as a specimen tree in a front yard or as a container plant on the patio or indoors.
- Clean, sharp knife
- Quart jar
- 6-inch pot
- All-purpose potting soil
- North Carolina State University: Confederate Roses
- Texas A&M University: Hardy Hibiscus, Including Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis)
- FloriData: Hibiscus mutabilis
- Monrovia: Confederate Rose Mallow
- Texas A&M University Extension: Hardy Hibiscus
- Floridata: Hibiscus mutabilis
- The New Sunset Western Garden Book; Kathleen Norris Brenzel