Hibiscus Seeds

Hibiscus seeds and cuttings are the primary ways of propagating new plants of this species. If you should grow one of the older species hibiscus from seed, you will find that it reproduces itself identically. The only thing that mitigates against this method is that it takes a lot longer to grow a new plant than it does from cuttings.

However, if it is a hybrid hibiscus you wish to duplicate, hibiscus seeds may not be the best way of doing it. That’s because a hibiscus hybrid cannot positively reproduce itself from seeds. The whole process will produce a hibiscus plant but it may have the looks of one parent or the other, or even the looks of an older relative.

If you do want to produce plants from hibiscus seeds, you can use a starter mix from the gardening store. All you need to do is push the seeds into the soil about the depth of the length of the seed itself, water it and keep the pot in a warm place approximately 70 degrees or above. Keep the soil a little moist. In around a month a new hibiscus plant will push its way through the soil and start to grow. Transplant into a larger pot when the plant reaches 7-8 inches high.  It may take as long as six months to a year before the plant will begin flowering.

Hibiscus cuttings will grow much faster than hibiscus seeds. The best time to get cuttings is in the late winter, before the plant goes from its dormant to active state. Find a hardwood stem that is healthy and about the diameter of a pencil-- then cut it below a node where a bud or stem will grow.

You will need to plant the cuttings into a container, sliding them into the planting mixture so they are approximately one-inch deep. Keep your pots of cuttings in a warm place (70 degrees or above). You can make them even more comfortable by putting plastic over the top of the pot. Raise the plastic over the top of the cutting by using something such as wire or a stick. You can rubber-band the bottom of the plastic around the container so it stays in place. If you water well at first you won’t need to take off the plastic covering.

After around eight weeks, you should transfer the new hibiscus plants to individual single pots. A peat-type mixture combined with fertilizer is perfect. It will take several weeks for these little hibiscus plants to grow large enough to put outside. In the meantime, move them into a sunny spot each day for 3-6 hours.  

Whether you are using hibiscus seeds or cuttings, you will enjoy the whole process of developing new plants. You will be very proud when they flower for the first time.