It’s always rewarding when you grow plants from seeds. This is especially true with the beautiful, blooming Hibiscus.
Growing this tropical plant from seed takes a little bit of effort but the results are very rewarding.
In this simple guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about growing Hibiscus from seed.
How to Grow Hibiscus from Seed?
Growing Hibiscus from seed can be split into two steps, germinating and planting. Hibiscus seeds need warm temperatures and lots of humidity to sprout and grow. And they may also need the help of fluorescent or LED grow lights to mature. It takes around 2-3 months to start Hibiscus from seed.
Ideally, you should start the germination process indoors. Around 3 months before the last spring frost is due.
This means that the conditions will be perfect when it’s time for your young plants to go outside.
Once you have your Hibiscus seeds then first you have to prepare them for germination.
Hibiscus seeds come with thick skin for protection. This is why you should nick the seeds with a knife or sandpaper before germinating.
Nicking your seed will speed up the germination process by several weeks.
When you nick the seed, you make an entrance for water. And you’ll also make it easier for the seedling to break through.
Once you’ve done this, you need to soak the seed in water at room temperature for at least an hour. For better results, you should leave the seeds soaking overnight.
Once soaked, you need to put your seeds, nicked side up, into small pots or trays. These should be filled with a starting mix that doesn’t contain added fertilizer.
You should choose trays or pots with drainage holes because it’s easy for Hibiscus seeds to rot in soggy conditions.
The seeds need to be placed between a half and a quarter-inch (one to one and a half centimeters) deep into the earth. Then you should lightly cover them over with compost.
A light covering of compost will make it easier for the seedlings to come through.
Temperature and Humidity
The ideal temperature for germinating Hibiscus ranges from 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (25 to 29 degrees Celsius). If you don’t live in a country with a warm climate then you might have to use a heat tray.
Because Hibiscus are tropical then you have to keep the heat and humidity levels right. You can do this with a humidity dome.
You can buy a purpose-made humidity dome or you can make your own.
You can make a humidity dome with a large, plastic, food storage bag or a takeaway food container. For small pots, you can use disposable plastic cups.
The dome must be transparent and it must cover the whole of your tray or pots. You should also give it one small air hole to encourage circulation.
Check your germinating Hibiscus daily and water them if they feel dry.
But don’t give them too much water. Hibiscus like a lot of heat and moisture but excessive water is bad for them.
Your baby Hibiscus will start to sprout after 7 to 14 days, however, sometimes they may take a little longer.
If they haven’t appeared after three weeks then don’t be afraid to check what’s going on in the soil. Sometimes you may be able to give your seed a little helping hand.
Once your seedlings have surfaced then they will need strong light for 16 hours a day. You can provide this at a window or by using fluorescent or LED grow lights.
When you’re using grow lights make sure that you give your plants the recommend 8 hours rest at night. They need this break to rejuvenate in the same way that we need sleep.
In around 2 to 3 weeks your Hibiscus should be ready to be transplanted into their own individual pots. By this time they should have woody stems and at least two sets of true leaves.
You should put them into small 4-inch (10 centimeters) pots. And you should be very gentle when you’re doing this. The roots of young Hibiscus are easily damaged.
Now is also the time to start giving your Hibiscus some food. Give them half-strength, water-soluble food as per manufacturers instructions.
Once they’ve settled into their pots and there’s no more risk of frost outside, then it’s time to harden your plants off.
You can do this by leaving your goji berry plants in a sheltered area outside for at least a few hours each day. This gives them a chance to adapt to their new environment.
With tropical Hibiscus, unless you live in a warm climate, you should keep them in pots rather than plant them in the ground.
This is because you’ll have to move them inside during the winter otherwise they will perish in the cold.
Perennial Hibiscus on the other hand will thrive outdoors so you can plant these directly into the earth.
When you’re choosing a spot for your hibiscus, make sure that the plant gets lots of sunlight.
Hibiscus also thrive in rich, loamy soil. So you may have to prepare the earth beforehand to get the conditions just right.
When you plant your Hibiscus outside, do it on a cool, cloudy day. This will stop it from suffering from transplant shock.
If you live in a place with colder climate, your Hibiscus will usually die back in the winter. But you should add extra mulch to help protect its roots from the cold.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Grow Hibiscus from Seed
Is it easy to grow Hibiscus from seed?
Hibiscus plants aren´t the simplest plants to grow from seed. But even though it takes a bit more effort, you’ll find it very rewarding.
Do I need lots of equipment to grow Hibiscus from seed?
If you live in a hot and sunny climate then you won’t need specialist equipment to grow Hibiscus from seed. But in colder climates, you may need a heat mat and lights.
How long does it take for a Hibiscus to grow from seed?
It takes around 8 to 12 weeks to grow Hibiscus from seed, depending on their growing conditions.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.