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Propagation

The best time in our climate to propagate is from end of March till End of July, later on the success rate declines with every month.

There are a few varieties which can be grown on their own roots in our climate and here is how itís done:

when taking the wood from your plants the cut should go through a node/an eye. The wood should be about 12cm/5Ē, the leaves all removed but for the tiny ones at the tip.

Dip the cuttings in a rooting medium, place them in a pot with seed raising mixture best mixed 50:50 with perlite and  water carefully. You can put several cuttings together in one pot as hibiscus likes company. Either cover them with a plastic bottle or you can put them in a plastic bag, closing it tightly. At a warm place  (no direct sun) or better placed on a heating mat the rooting will take 4 to 6 weeks.

A bit more difficult is propagating by grafting. A lot of the new, big flowering varieties can only be grown successfully as grafted plants. For this you need first of all a suitable rootstock which you can grow from several different varieties like Albo lascinatus, Natal, Hawaiian Salmon, Classic Apricot, Brilliant and El Capitolio Red. Those are especially good rootstock plants in our cooler climate. The very much used Pride of Hankins (in the USA) is very sensitive to wet soil and the less light in our long winter months so therefore I donít  recommend it if one lives in northern Europe, only older plants of this variety can stand our winter.

Cut the rootstock plant at a height of about 4Ē/10cm. Choose a healthy scion piece of the same diameter like the rootstock of the variety you like to graft with at least two to three eyes. Remove the leaves and cut it on two sides into a V shape. Now slice the rootstock in the middle, insert the scion and see that it sits tight, the most important is the connection of the cambium. Now use either a rubber band or grafting film to tighten scion and rootstock together. Cover the plant with a plastic bag to keep the moisture. Place the pot in a warm place but not sunlight .

After 2 to 4 weeks the scion starts growing new leaves and side shoots.

Here are some links regarding grafting:

http://www.jardin-mundani.com/English/GRAFTS/Grafts.htm

http://www.hibiscusworld.com/

http://users.bigpond.net.au/hibiscus

 

If you would like more information about grafting just mail to ulla@lengdobler.de

The other method of propagating hibiscus is hybridizing.

You never get a varietal identity as the hibiscus got crossed over hundreds of years and has an enormous gene pool. Even seeds from the same seed pod will never show identical flowers, every seed will give you a new variety.

To cross two blooms you just bring the pollen from one variety onto the five pads of the other variety. If pollinating was successful the seedpod  will (after shedding the flower) start swelling until after 4 to 6 weeks it splits open along the five chambers and reveals the small brown, sometimes hairy seeds.