The hibiscus is one of the most popular tropical plants that is grown all over the world. The plant prefers a lot of light and needs a great deal of water. The hibiscus is popular because of the fact that it has gorgeous flowers, and it really improves the aesthetic of your garden.
The hibiscus plant grows really well in hardiness zones 9 and 10, and the large flowers can really improve the curb appeal outside. It’s a great way to make your garden more colorful and stylish.
Many people also want to propagate hibiscus seeds from time to time so they can make multiple plants, and it’s a great way to get multiple plants from one. But, the first thing you need to know is that the plant needs to be quite healthy before you can decide to propagate the hibiscus.
There are several ways by which you can propagate the hibiscus, and we are going to talk about each of them one by one.
One of the best ways to propagate the plant is by using the hibiscus seeds. The plant generally produces seed pods after at least two months once it has been pollinated.
You need to make sure that you keep a lookout for the pollination and then check the timings during the growing period. But, you also need to understand that there are strict environmental conditions that must be met before the plant is able to give off seed pods.
Since this is a tropical plant, you should know that it requires a considerably high level of humidity, and the temperatures need to remain between the 60 and 80 degree F mark. You will then notice seed pods appearing on the plant and falling off. All you have to do is gather them carefully.
Now, when it comes to propagation, you need to understand that the plant needs a sterile growing environment for itself. Ideally, you should consider using a potting soil that contains perlite. More importantly, bottom heat is very critical for the propagation process.
Propagating the plant by using the seeds is not going to be an overnight process. You need to be patient because it’s going to take roughly 6 to 18 months for the plant to germinate properly and then grow to its maturity. Also, if you are thinking that you will end up with the same looking plant as the parent, you might be wrong. The hibiscus is quite hybridized, so the offshoot plant will seldom resemble the parent.
Once you plant the seeds, you need to make sure that you provide adequate amounts of water to it. Because the timeframe is so long, most people often get disheartened and feel that the plant isn’t going to grow properly. Obviously, that’s not the case. You will want to bide your time and make sure that you provide the right watering and lighting conditions to the seeds, and with the passage of time, you are going to notice the plant slowly growing.
Obviously, it’s quite motivating when the plant begins to grow up from the ground, so you just need to keep a lookout for the first few buds. Once that happens, you will notice the plant growing happily from the ground. Once that happens, just continue providing water to the plant, and you are good to go.
Using the Hibiscus Cuttings
Another excellent way to propagate the plant is by using the hibiscus cuttings. Using stem cuttings is one of the best ways to propagate your tropical hibiscus, simply because it’s efficient, and once it is firmly rooted, you won’t have to wait up to 18 months to see the effects.
But, there are a few important things that you need to keep in mind. For starters, you need to understand that each of the cuttings must be at least 8 inches long. Any smaller, and the plant might not take root into the ground. Not only that, but you need to make sure that the stem is cut at an angle. Straight cuts are unlikely to make it as well.
When making the cut, try to make it straight through a leaf node. It’s very important that you do that, and you should remove all of the leaves from the cutting, except the two remaining at the top. This is important because the plant is going to expend a considerable amount of energy in establishing the roots in a new container.
If you have more leaves, it’s not going to be easy for the plant to maintain its health and also sprout new roots. By removing all the leaves, you will give the plant direction on where to focus. If there are any buds of flowers on the cutting, you will have to remove those from the plant as well.
Another thing that you need to choose is the planting medium. Ideally, you should consider opting for perlite, since the hibiscus takes really well in perlite. Or, you can also use coarse builder’s sand. Both of these mediums drain really well, which is very important for a newly growing hibiscus. The plant, as a whole, loves well-draining soil too.
The end of the stem cutting will have to be dipped first into a rooting hormone and then you should stick the cutting into a pot with builder’s sand or perlite. To improve your chances of success, you should make multiple cuttings. The chances of one cutting being planted and growing are obviously slim, so it’s best to improve your odds.
Being a tropical plant, it’s going to require a high level of humidity. You might want to consider keeping a plastic bag on top of the plant to improve the humidity levels. Or, you might want to consider keeping a tray filled with pebbles and water near the plant. If not, the conventional route is to place an electric humidifier near the plant.
The plant needs to be medium moist to give it the best chance of growing. The temperature in the surrounding area should remain between 70 and 85 degrees F, so any corner of the room will do. More importantly, you should know that the hibiscus plant requires bright, indirect sunlight, so you have to make a strategic decision about where to keep the plant.
It is going to take around two months for the cuttings to grow properly and establish roots. Unlike the propagation done via seeds, cuttings will allow you to create a virtually similar looking plant as the parent. It’s a pretty straightforward method that does require a bit of understanding and care, especially when you are making the cuttings from the parent plant.
These are the two most common methods that can be used for propagating the hibiscus plant. There are other methods such as grafting and air-layering, but those require a bit more knowledge about gardening.
Plus, the reason why most people propagate by seeds and cuttings is because it’s pretty easy to do, and you can easily do it by yourself with relatively little gardening experience. It feels wonderful to propagate a plant all by yourself, especially a gorgeous one like the hibiscus!