Propagate Hibiscus: How It Works With Cuttings

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:39 pm

With cuttings you can easily propagate hibiscus and enjoy a variety of the colorful plants or even grow a hedge. We show you how to do it.

Hibiscus is a popular plant that decorates many a garden or balcony. Depending on the species, hibiscus is annual or perennial and hardy or not. Hibiscus is also known as the national flower of Hawaii. How you can best plant and care for hibiscus, you can read in our article Hibiscus planting, pruning, care and overwintering. Propagating hibiscus is not only worthwhile for you – the plant is also one of the bee-friendly shrubs.

Propagate hibiscus with cuttings: Cut off shoots

Propagate Hibiscus: How It Works With Cuttings

Propagate Hibiscus: How It Works With Cuttings

The best way to propagate hibiscus is through cuttings. These are best cut in the summer from May to July.

  • Choose a suitable shoot. It should be healthy and strong. It is best to choose a new branch.
  • Flowers or flower buds should not (yet) be on it. If they are, remove them.
  • Cut off a shoot about twelve centimeters long at an oblique angle (about 45 degrees). If you want to have several cuttings, cut several shoots. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears.
  • Remove the lower leaves of the cut shoot.

You should use the shoots immediately after cutting. There are two ways to root and propagate the hibiscus.

Hibiscus propagate in water

The first way to propagate hibiscus is to root the cutting in water.

  • Fill a container (for example, a glass or vase) about five centimeters high with water and place the freshly cut shoot in it. If you have several cuttings, place each one in a separate container.
  • Place the container in a bright place. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Cover the cutting with a cap. This can be a bowl, a glass or an old plastic bag that you already have at home. Note: If possible, do not buy new plastic bags for it, as plastic waste is a problem for the environment. Read more: Plastic waste – the 5 worst consequences.
  • Spray the cutting with water daily to allow moisture to build up under the canopy.
  • Change the water every two to three days. It is best to use rainwater or stale tap water for this.
  • After several weeks, the cutting will grow roots.
  • Once they are three to five centimeters long, you can plant the cuttings in the ground.
  • Prepare a small pot with humus soil and plant the rooted cutting in it.
  • Especially in the beginning, keep the soil well moist and do not expose the plant to direct sunlight.
See also  Do It Yourself: Make Your Own Potting Soil

Hibiscus propagate in soil

To propagate hibiscus, you can also put the cutting directly into the ground.

  • Prepare a small pot with humus. You can also use growing soil and a growing pot.
  • Moisten the soil properly.
  • Place the freshly cut shoot about five centimeters deep into the soil.
  • Place a glass container or an old plastic bag over the cutting as described above. If you have a mini-greenhouse, you can put the pot in there instead.
  • Always keep the soil slightly moist. Take off the hood every now and then to prevent mold from forming.
  • Place the pot in a bright place, but avoid direct sunlight.
  • After about two to three months, roots will have formed. Then you can place the hibiscus cuttings in a larger pot.
  • In the first year, you should overwinter the home-grown hibiscus indoors.
  • The following spring you can plant the cuttings outside.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.


  1. Hi! My potted hibiscus growing in a zone 8 greenhouse looks very dead. (We had a late cold snap that caught me by surprise.) The main stem is dead. However, as I was tossing it in the compost, I noticed that some of the roots look healthy. Any chance I can propagate from a root cutting?

    • Hi! Thanks for the message, yes the roots being healthy is a very good sign and a good chance that it can be propagated from the cutting, give it a shot!

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