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How to Propagate a Confederate Rose

Confederate Rose, known botanically as Hibiscus mutabilis, is as its name suggests--a hibiscus shrub from the Mallow family of plants, not a rose. Grown widely in the temperate and warm climates of the Southern United States as a shrub or small tree, it is prized for the large bright blooms that appear from early summer through fall, and its easy maintenance requirements. Confederate Rose is best propagated by healthy vegetative cuttings harvested in the fall.

Harvest fresh Confederate Rose branch cuttings in the fall after flowering has finished, but before the first hard frost or freeze occurs in your area.

Take branch cuttings between 12 and 15 inches in length and choose the fattest diameter branches for best rooting.

Place one branch cutting alone in a clean glass jar filled three-quarters of the way with clean tap water. Place the jar in a warm, sunny location indoors, such as a window with an east, west or south exposure. Leave in place for roughly eight weeks, until there is green growth on the top and sides of the branch and roots in the water.

Plant the cutting in a nursery pot filled with fresh, sterile potting mix. Press the soil gently around the roots, and water until the soil is drenched.

Place the rooted and potted cutting back into its window location and keep the soil evenly moist at all times. Plant the cutting out in the garden in the spring after the last threat of frost has passed. Choose a full sun or partial sun location for an optimal growth rate of 6 to 8 feet in a year or two after planting.

Feed the young Confederate Rose plants twice a year in the spring and mid-summer with a slow-release granular fertilizer that is balanced and complete with a guaranteed analysis of 10-10-10. Apply according to product label dosing directions and water.

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