Hibiscus are attractive flowering shrubs that produce flowers that range in size from a modest 3 to 4 inches wide to a whopping 10 to 12 inch dinner-plate sized. One of the most popular and widely planted hibiscus is the Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) according to D. L. Ingram and L. Rabinowitz with the University of Florida Extension. Yet the easier variety of hibisucs to propagate and grow is the hardy hibiscus, (Hibiscus moscheutos). Hardy hibiscus can tolerate colder weather and are relatively simple to propagate, just make sure you start with healthy, green cuttings taken in spring or summer.
Things You'll Need
- Hibiscus cuttings
- Hormone powder
- Bowl or sheet of paper
- Potting mix
- 4-inch plastic pots
- Bucket or basin
- Pencil or chopstick
- Plastic bags
- Rubber bands (optional)
Cut freshly growing sections off of a hibiscus plant. Use a pair of snips and cut each section between 4 and 6 inches in length. Try and cut the end of each hibiscus cutting at a 45 degree angle.
Strip off all but the top 1 inch of leaves from each cutting. Cut the remaining leaves in half using a pair of scissors. This prevents moisture loss since excess foliage draws precious moisture away from newly forming roots. Set the cuttings into a glass or bowl of water to keep them from drying out.
Sterilize 4-inch plastic pots. Pour out 1 cup of household bleach into a large tub or basin. Measure out 10 cups of water and add it to the bleach. Set the pots into the bleach and water solution to soak for about 25 to 30 minutes. Rinse each pot off with hot water.
Scoop or pour out a sterilized planting mix that contains peat moss, compost, perlite and some well rotted bark into each of the plastic pots until they are well filled. Pack the mix down firmly in each pot using the back side of a metal spoon, or the base of a small drinking cup.
Make a hole in the middle of each pot using a pencil or a chopstick that is approximately 1-1/2 inches deep. Make sure you make the hole between 1/4 and 1/2 inch wide.
Pour out about 1 tbsp.of the rooting hormone powder that contains a fungicide onto a sheet of paper or into a small bowl. Dip about 1 inch of the cut end of each hibiscus cutting into the rooting hormone powder. Flick off any excess powder by tapping the cutting a few times with your finger.
Place the hibiscus cutting into one of the holes you created in the planting mix. Try and avoid bumping the cutting against the sides of the hole so you don't remove any hormone powder accidentally. Pinch the potting mix in and around the cutting pushing it down gently.
Secure a plastic bag over each of the pots. This helps to keep humidity and moisture levels high. You can use a rubber band to keep the bags in place just use care the bag does not come in contact with the cutting. Keep the mix in the pots moist, provide water only if the mix starts to dry out. The hibiscus cuttings should begin to sprout and grow in approximately 2 to 3 weeks, depending on conditions.
- Photo Credit Hibiscus image by CÃ©dric FROEHLICH from Fotolia.com
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