How to Graft Hibiscus Plants

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Things You'll Need

  • Sharp grafting knife

  • Grafting wax

  • String or grafting tape

  • Plastic bag

You can create strong, resilient hibiscus plants through grafting.

Grafting is a common method for propagating woody plants such as hibiscus. One reason for grafting a hibiscus is to use the root system of a strong variety to help support the growth of a less hardy variety. It is also a much faster way to grow new plants than starting with seeds. There are many methods for grafting plants. Some are quite involved and require a lot of skill and practice to perfect, so it's no wonder that many gardeners are leery of trying it. Fortunately, the grafting method used for hibiscus is a simple one and hibiscus plants are not very fussy. Grafting a hibiscus is usually successful even if the technique isn't perfect.

Step 1

Identify the root stock, the hibiscus that will be planted in the ground, and the scion, the hibiscus cutting that will be grafted onto the root stock.

Step 2

Select a healthy stem on the root stock that is about the same thickness of your scion cutting. Cut it back to the ground until there are only about 4-6 inches of it above ground.

Step 3

Cut the root stock with a slanted upward cut so that the pointed edge of the cut rootstock is skyward and the total length of the cut is about 2 inches.

Step 4

Cut the scion in the opposite way so that it mirrors the cut you made in the root stock; cut it downward so that the pointed tip of the cut scion will point towards the ground and the total length of the cut is the same as the one you made on the root stock.

Step 5

Fit the cut edge of the scion against the cut edge of the rootstock so that as much of the exposed cambium (the inner layers of the stems) of each hibiscus as possible is touching.

Step 6

Secure the graft with grafting wax and strengthen the graft with grafting tape or string to hold the scion firmly against the root stock.

Step 7

Cover the grafted section with a clear plastic bag for two weeks, being sure to keep the scion moist and the rootstock watered as normal.

Tip

Grafting will be most successful as the dormant season ends, which could be late winter or early springtime depending on where you live.

Warning

The scion should have two or three buds on it when you select it. Be sure it does not dry out between the time you cut it and the time you graft it onto the root stock.

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