The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus in Florida

Question: My neighbor has a beautiful hibiscus bush. Is it possible to take a cutting and get it to root. If so, please tell me how.

Answer: You can take cuttings of hibiscus and root them. There are two ways, so try both. The newest greenest growth will sometimes root in water. Cut a non-flowering stem, remove all but the top leaves and just set it in a glass of water. Roots should form at the leaf scars. Or, take semi-hardwood cuttings. Start with a one-gallon pot and fill it with perlite or sand, then wet it thoroughly. Make your cuttings about the length of a pencil and slightly smaller around than a pencil. Cut off all but one or two leaves at the top; cut through an eye (a leaf node) on a slant; dip this end in a rooting hormone such as Rootone; poke a hole in the potting medium with a pencil so as not to wipe off the hormone and stick in the cuttings. (Many growers will scrape some of the bark from the bottom 1" of the cutting.) You can put many cuttings in one pot as they tend to root better with company. Keep the cuttings moist and in bright shade outdoors sun. They should root in about 6 - 8 weeks with temperatures in the roughly 70-85? F range. (Some varieties will root without using rooting hormones.) Good luck with your project!

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