The Q&A Archives: Dividing Hibiscus In Spring

Question: I have a beautiful hibiscus filled garden. The plants have survived many winters in Wisconsin (4-5 zone). My question is how to go about dividing them. The roots are very deep and very tough. Can I cut the root a few feet from the main root stem without killing the plant or do I have to dig up the whole root. How much root do I need to transplant and keep it alive?

Answer: I am assuming here you are talking about the perennial hibiscus such as the hybrid "Lord Baltimore". These huge perennials can be divided but it does take a tremendous amount of strength. Use a very sharp spade and dig out a section of root as best you can starting as close to the center as you can -- I have never managed to do this myself. In my experience it is a lot easier to propagate these by taking tip cuttings in mid summer!

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