California to Puerto Rico


May, 2013

How to Make a Hibiscus Hedge From Clippings – It’s Free and Easy!

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We’ve just about hit the rainy season here in Puerto Rico, so tis the season to plant, plant, plant! All of the trees that we’ve planted over the last few years have finally blown up and our property is looking pretty lush. This season I am focusing on more detailed planting to make it look a bit more finished. Today, I planted a couple of hibiscus hedges, so I figured I would give a little tutorial on how to make a hibiscus hedge because, not only do they look nice, it’s super easy and free!

1. Get your tools together. If you are super lazy all you really need is snips and something to make a small hole in the ground (if your soil is hard). Today I used snips to cut some pieces off a hibiscus plant that was due for a trim, a pick axe to remove the grass where I wanted to plant the hedge and a pry bar to make the holes in the ground to stick my hibiscus clipping in.

2. Trim off some branches from an established hibiscus. Don’t have a hibiscus plant? Offer to trim your neighbors, or go on a midnight hibiscus trimming mission at a local park. When you trim them, cut them at a bit of an angle.

3. Use a pickaxe, shovel or hoe, to make your line for the hedge. I cleared away the grass so that weeding/mowing will be easier while the hedge establishes itself. If you’re lazy, you don’t have to do this part. I’ve made hedges without clearing the grass and they did just fine. This time I am making the hedge a bit curved, so this gives me a bit of a line to follow when planting the clippings.

4. Stick the hibiscus clippings in the ground 6″ – 12″ apart. If your ground is hard, use something to make a little hole. I used a pry bar, but you can also use a piece of rebar and a hammer to make a perfect little hole for hibiscus clippings. When making the holes for the hibiscus clippings, make them at a bit of an angle so the the clippings crisscross each other like an X. When they crisscross like this, it make a perfect, full hedge once the clippings start growing in.

5. Water your new hedge a lot. You want to keep it consistently moist until the clippings develop roots. I water once a day until I can see new green growth, but I live in the tropics where it is pretty moist. You may need to water more often to get hibiscus clippings to take off in a dryer climate.

Here is a hibiscus hedge that I planted last year and it has grown to well over 8ft tall. It normally has lots of red hibiscus flowers, but I just trimmed them all off to make a new hedge:

Hibiscus hedge made from clippings

And there you have it. How to make a hibiscus hedge for free! I prefer “living fences” and hedges are a great way to section off parts of your property as well as giving it a more landscaped feel.


4 thoughts on “How to Make a Hibiscus Hedge From Clippings – It’s Free and Easy!

  1. Wil

    Thanks for the criss-cross idea. I am starting a croton hedge next week!
    Do hibiscus prefer shade or sun?

  2. Arturo Ramos, Austin, Texas

    “go on a midnight hibiscus trimming mission at a local park.” Do not do this, buy some small 6″ pots at a nursery you’ll be surprised how fast they grow!!!

  3. Summer

    Hey Wil! Hibiscus are typically pretty tolerant and will grow in both shade and sun. The hibiscus I have planted in shadier spots are lusher, greener and have bigger flowers, but we have some if full sun that have gotten huge too.

  4. Anna/Maui

    Mahalo! My students will love helping to create a hedge using your method, as they will be able to track ‘their’ plantings. Seeing results will hopefully be fulfilling and will imprint their young lives. Thanx!

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