Propagate hibiscus - extract marshmallow from seeds and cuttings

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Hibiscus hibiscus

Only the hard shell of the seeds is cut open or filed and the inside must not be injured. After opening the seed coat, the inside of the seed should be visible. If the coloring is light yellow, the seed is fine. If there is a brown to black color in the interior, the seed is useless. As an alternative to watering, the seeds can also swell in a 0.2% potassium nitrate solution from specialist retailers at room temperature.


It is important that the seeds do not re-dry after watering and swelling. For sowing the seeds, ready-to-use substrates from the garden center, even mixed, low-nutrient substrates with a high sand content or peat wells are suitable. Hibiscus seeds need a germination temperature of 26 to 30° C and a humidity of about 90%. A heated mini greenhouse for the windowsill is therefore ideal for sowing. The bottom of the greenhouse we covered about 2 cm thick with expanded clay or perlite and then filled the substrate or the peat wells placed on it.
  • Insert seeds one at a time with the cut, round side up into the soil
  • Cover seeds sparingly with soil
  • Spray soil with water and keep it moist
  • Cover planter with foil or glass plate
  • Place the greenhouse or planter in a bright place without direct sunlight
  • Ventilate the planter regularly to prevent mold growth


The more constant the temperature in the plant box, the better the seeds germinate. After about 4 to 10 days, the seeds begin to germinate. If the shell of the seed is pushed upwards, it can be removed carefully with your fingers or better with tweezers. If pots are used for sowing, the first roots grow out of the small pots within a few days. If the seedlings are about 6 cm tall and can see roots, the seedlings can be transplanted into larger pots with substrate for hibiscus and be fertilized for the first time after another week. During this time, the cover can be removed step by step, so that the young plants slowly harden.
When Hibiscus syriacus are raised from seed, it takes 2-3 years before the first flowers show up on the plants and it becomes apparent which characteristics of the parent plant have prevailed. In the 3rd year, the self-pulled garden marshmallows are strong enough and can be planted in the garden.

Propagation by cuttings

Hibiscus hibiscus

If already in the house or garden existing marshmallows are to be propagated, the propagation by cuttings offers, so that the new plants have the same characteristics, like the mother plants. The effort for the cuttings propagation is not higher than in the propagation by seeds. The ideal time for propagation through cuttings are the months of May, June and July.

Cultivation soil and environmental conditions

Suitable growing areas are finished substrates from specialist retailers or even mixed substrates of about 1/3 sand mixed with humus soil or peat. Also suitable are so-called peat pots. The substrate should be fresh, fine-grained and always moist. A wet substrate or waterlogging must be avoided.
The rooting of the cuttings is best achieved at a constant temperature of 26° C to 30° C and a humidity of 80 to 90 percent. The more stable the temperature and humidity are, the better the cuttings root.
A heated greenhouse for the windowsill or a heating mat that can be placed under the planter ensure even temperatures. The regulation of the heating takes place over a thermostat, which is put down into the plant box. Suitable heating mats are available in the terrarium trade or in the greengrocers supply trade.
In order to ensure a constant high humidity, the planter should have a transparent hood or be covered with a glass plate or transparent plastic film. An approx. 2 cm high drainage layer of gravel or perlite is placed under the substrate in the plant box.
As a location for the planter or the mini greenhouse is a bright place without direct sunlight on a windowsill in the house. A place without direct sun is important, as the temperature in the planter can fluctuate too much due to the sun's rays.
During the rooting period, the planter must be ventilated by regularly lifting the cover to prevent mold growth.

Preparing the cuttings

The proliferation of hibiscus by cuttings succeeds the safer the fresher and healthier the shoots are. The shoots should not be fresh green, but slightly woody. Most suitable are shoots from the previous growth period. The shoots selected for propagation are slanted at a length of about 10 to 15 cm and opposite a vegetation node.Then the tip of the bleed is shortened by 1 to 2 millimeters to dull the tip. Since not all cuttings form roots, it is advisable to prepare about twice as many cuttings as plants are to be used.

Hibiscus hibiscus

It takes some effort and patience to haul marshmallows from cuttings or seeds, but it is also easy for laymen to do. Important are good seed quality, fresh cuttings and above all the right environmental conditions for the cultivation. The more uniform the temperature and humidity, the faster and better the seeds of the Hibiscus syriacus germinate and root the cuttings of the tropical hibiscus varieties. Careful preparation of seeds and cuttings also contributes to successful propagation, such as rooting aids and the right substrate for cultivation.

Video Board: How to plant hibiscus seeds.

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