Althea (Hibiscus Syriacus AKA Rose of Sharon) can be successfully grown in Texas, and is much hardier than the tropical hibiscus. The best way to ensure your Althea cuttings will successfully root is by taking softwood cuttings and soak in rooting hormone solution. When done this way, it will root far faster than traditional hardwood cutting method. Below are instructions...
- Althea cuttings can be taken in June or July.
- Choose a new stem to use as a cutting, and snip off a 4" - 6" length.
- Snip off all the leaves, except for two at top of cutting.
- Use a razor blade to wound the bottom inch of cutting by thinly slicing off the outer layer.
- Combine water-soluble rooting hormone with the appropriate amount of water to create a 50 ppm solution (parts per million concentration of water to solution). As a rule of thumb, one 50 mg rooting hormone tablet dissolved in 1 quart of water provides the proper solution.
- Place the wounded end of the Althea cutting into the solution until at least the bottom inch is submerged, and allow the cutting to soak for 6 hours.
- Prepare a pot with planting soil-less potting mix and put the cutting into a prepared hole in the mix deep enough so that the wounded area is completely buried. Pat the plantingmix around the cutting to hold in place.
- Slip the potted althea cutting into a plastic bag, but don't seal it. Set it in a shady area. Keep the soil-less mix moist while the cutting produces roots, which should occur within 5 weeks. You'll know that it has roots when you see new growth or when you tug on it gently and it doesn't pull free from the planting mix.
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Source: Bridget Kelly, Demand Media