The Q&A Archives: Rooting Cuttings for Hibiscus

Question: Can you root hibiscus?

Answer: Yes, take softwood cuttings from early to late summer or hardwood cuttings from late autumn to midwinter. Bottom heat will improve rooting. Softwood cuttings are of new growth that is not yet firm. They should be about two inches long, with two-three pairs of leaves at the top of the stem. Insert the cuttings into the planting medium, just up to the lowest leaves. Rooting hormone may be used, but is not essential. It helps to pinch off the growing tip, which helps force more roots. If possible, place the cuttings in a covered environment (a mini greenhouse) and provide bottom heat. Hardwood cuttings are taken in when the plant is dormant in late autumn or late winter just before bud break. Cut about 12-24 inches of healthy growth. Cut the shoot at the union of the one- and two-year old wood. Bundle up to 10 cuttings with a piece of twine; dip the base into rooting hormone; insert the bundle into planting medium and put in a sheltered place or cold frame over winter. They should root by spring. Keep moist, but not wet.

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