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Hibiscus is a flowering plant with attractive foliage and large, showy flowers. There are many different types of hibiscus plants, including the Chinese hibiscus, a perennial evergreen bush that can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) tall, and the annual hibiscus flower that reaches no more than 2 feet tall (about 0.6 meters). These beautiful flowers are normally propagated with cuttings instead of by seeds. This entails taking healthy cuttings from the plant, placing them in a sterile rooting medium, and keeping them well-watered until they develop roots.
One essential part of growing hibiscus cuttings is to use only high-quality cuttings. The plant must be healthy with no signs of disease or stress. It is best to check for signs of pests, water stress or nutrient deficiency when choosing a plant to use as a cutting source. Yellowed leaves, brown spots, or a wilted appearance are all indicators of problems and suggest that plant should not be used as a source of cuttings.
Timing is important when collecting cuttings. Branches cut early in the morning have more water in them, and tend to have a higher survival rate than those cut later in the day. Hibiscus cuttings should be about 6 inches (15 cm) long and cut at about a 45 degree angle with very sharp pruning shears to avoid crushing the stems. It is also important to keep the cuttings cool and damp until they are placed in the rooting medium.
When rooting hibiscus cuttings, first trim the leaves from the bottom third of the branch and remove any flowers or buds. These steps help the cutting to put its energy into growing roots. The branch will grow roots more easily if it is treated with a liquid designed to promote root growth in cuttings, although this step is not absolutely essential. Once the branch is ready, it can be planted in a pot or tray along with other cuttings.
Hibiscus cuttings will grow best when planted in sterile potting soil mixed with vermiculite or sand. The cuttings must be kept wet but must also be able to drain well, so drainage holes on the bottom of the container are important. Once the hibiscus cuttings are planted, they should be covered with clear plastic, though the plastic must not touch the plants. The plastic will let light pass through it but will keep the humidity level high, which is the best environment for rooting cuttings. After they have developed an adequate root system, the hibiscus plants can be transplanted into soil or individual containers.