Hibiscus syriacus, also known by its common name Rose of Sharon, is a type of hibiscus native to Asia and often used in landscaping for desired vertical accents and hedges.
The shrub grows quite tall, often above 7′ or even 10′ feet, and produces masses of blooms in shades of lavender, pink, or red in the summer.
As a drought-tolerant plant, it’s commonly grown in hardiness zones 5 to 9 for its delicate flowers. They also provide late-season food for pollinators, such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
Many homeowners want to know how to propagate Rose of Sharon plants to share with others.
While ordinary varieties of Rose of Sharon can be grown from seeds, many hybrids can no longer produce seeds naturally.
Other hybrids, by definition, will not breed true from seedlings. Fortunately, it is easy to propagate this Hibiscus from cuttings.
With little effort or expense, gardeners can produce many new plants. Create true copies of hybrid plants if you especially like their flowers.
Tips On Propagation Of Rose Of Sharon
Here are the steps to consider when taking Rose of Sharon hardwood or softwood cuttings.
Select A Shoot For Cutting
When starting a Rose of Sharon from a spring or early summer cutting stem, select a green branch of the plant with new growth that spring.
Select a hard branch grown for one season or longer to start new plants in the late summer or fall.
Softwood cuttings are commonly taken in May or June from soft new growth, just as it begins to harden or mature.
In contrast, hardwood cuttings are taken from dormant mature stems in late fall, winter, or early spring.
Cut The Shoot
Once you have picked a branch to root, cut a length between 4″ and 10″ inches long. Remove lower leaves from the cutting but leave a few at the top of the shoot.
Prepare And Plant The Cutting
Dampen the cut end of the shoot and dip the cut end into a rooting hormone powder. It isn’t necessary to completely cover the end in rooting hormone; a little will be enough.
For container planting, put it in a pot, and cover the bottom 1/3 to 1/2 of the shoot with a soil-less medium.
Also, check your potting medium regularly and ensure it stays moist but not oversaturated.
Do not use potting soil or dirt for this project. Neither is sterile, and your rose of Sharon cuttings could attract plant infections or suffer from decay.
Water the pot lightly and place a clear plastic bag over the pot. Then, place the pot in a bright location or partial shade, preferably in a controlled environment like a greenhouse.
Also, always keep out of direct sunlight.
Keep the potting mixture moist by misting the cutting daily with a spray can, but do not overwater the deciduous shrub, as it may begin to rot. After a week, remove the plastic bag.
Another option is to root your cuttings in compost.
After a month or two, your cutting should have developed roots and grown new foliage. You can tell by pulling gently on the stem. If you feel resistance to your pull, the shoot has rooted.
The appearance of new leaves is also a sign that your plant has developed roots.
Wait until at least two inches of stem growth has developed before transplanting the Rose of Sharon cutting into your garden.
Planting A Cutting Directly Into The Garden
If you don’t have time or a desire to transplant a cutting from a container, try planting a Rose of Sharon cutting directly into its new home.
Unfortunately, there is some risk that the cutting will fail to develop roots.
Follow the procedure described above. First, select a brightly lit spot suitable for planting hibiscus or Rose of Sharon.
Planting a cutting directly into your garden is best done in the summer, not late spring or fall.
Also, ensure your plant is getting enough moisture after planting.
Growing Rose of Sharon From Seed
Mary varieties of Rose of Sharon are self-seeding, though some hybrid varieties do not. Rose of Sharon grows naturally from seed, and you can plant seeds yourself.
To grow Rose of Sharon from seed, harvest from seed pods and start twelve weeks before your area’s expected last frost date. Put soil-less mix in a container, and plant the seeds to a depth of a 1/2″ inch.
Next, moisten the soil with a mister, and place the pot in a bright, sunny location.
The ideal temperature for growing the Rose of Sharon from seed is 75° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit, so the area must be kept warm.