Growing Hibiscus, Varieties, & Care Tips

Hibiscus is an easy plant to grow in your garden. When you know how to care for it, you will get a lot of lovely flowers ready to enjoy.

There will not be a fuzz to have a hibiscus for your space. This flower can grow well in containers and outdoor garden beds.

In this article, you will find out a lot of things including tips for hibiscus plant care, how to grow, the varieties, and many others.


What Hibiscus Really Is

What Hibiscus
What is Hibiscus

Before we get more detail about all the knowledge, let us get to know this plant first. This variety belongs to the mallow family, Malvaceae.

Furthermore, this flowering plant is native to tropical, subtropical, and warm areas all over the world. It is such a large genus.

Likewise, this variety is known for its large, showy flowers. Besides, some people know it as the rose mallow.

Some other names are also recognized such as rose of Sharon, hardy, and tropical hibiscus. We will talk about the cultivars later on this page.

Instead of being a decorative plant for indoor and outdoor gardens, you can also find a tea made from the flower.

The name of this plant genus is derived from a Greek name. A botanist from Greece named Pedanius Dioscorides gave the name to Althaea Officinalis.

About the tea made from the flowers, it is quite popular around the world.

This hibiscus tea has a red color and tart flavor. Vitamin C content is the reason why it is well-known widely.

It becomes the hibiscus benefit you need to have.

Knowing Many Types of Hibiscus

There are over 200 different species of hibiscus plants in the world, and each variety differs in size, shape, and color. Hibiscus can be separated into two categories: tropical hibiscus and hardy hibiscus.
Hibiscus Varieties

It is crucial to know the right types you are currently planting. There are two main varieties of this flowering plant, annuals, and perennials.

The tropical or annual hibiscus cannot tolerate cold temperatures.

Otherwise, the perennial ones will die in the fall season and they will grow again in the next spring. So, it will skip the cold temperature in the winter.

Let us learn to know how to differentiate them. The tropical cultivar will have glossy and dark green leaves.

Then, the flowers will be in the color of pink or red and yellow. This annual type is also famous for Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis.

Meanwhile, the perennials or the hardy ones have dull medium green leaves. The blooms come in white, red, and pink.

They are also known as a rose of Sharon.

All kinds of this blooms genus have huge, funnel-shaped flowers that will not last more than a day. However, they bloom abundantly.

As we know, The hardy kind needs very little care. However, you need to fulfill the demand for tropical types.

The annual hibiscus cannot handle light freezes. Thus, they will not survive in outdoor areas any farther north.

During the fall season, you should bring the plants indoors for overwintering. Therefore, tropical types are great to plant in containers.

If you plan to have it on the ground or outdoor garden bed, make sure to give them plenty of space and water.

The soil needs to be loose, moist, and well-drained. A lot of sunshine is also required.

The Features of Hibiscus

Characteristics of the hibiscus flower vary from disc-shaped petals to showy double-flowers, and from solid-color blooms to those with contrasting-color centers. With proper hibiscus care, you can enjoy this tropical plant year round. The hibiscus plant provides splashes of beautiful color for your garden.
Hibiscus Features

The plants have large flowers that look like a trumpet. Each of them consists of conspicuous orange anthers with five petals.

The flower comes in a variety of colors, but it depends on the cultivars. There is a chance of changing throughout the lifetime of the plant.

You will find some spiny pollen and fruit that are enclosed in capsules.

People plant the hibiscus mostly for landscaping and other ornamental purposes. As said before, the plants would do well in containers, but they must have good drainage.

A well-drained container will avoid the plant from being overwatering. Unless the hibiscus roots will rot.

Besides landscaping, you can use hibiscus as food and drink. The type called roselle is popular as a tea in many countries.

Popular Hibiscus Varieties

Hibiscus varieties are immensely popular in gardening, and range from annuals to perennials, hardy to tropical, and large shrubs to smaller plants.
Popular Rose Mallow

In the world of flowering plants, the hibiscus is one of the genera that have many varieties.

There are over 200 different hibiscus flowers you can find out there. Well, these are the most popular ones.

  1. Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis)

Rosa-Sinensis offer an excellent source of summer color in the landscape, and are among our most popular tropical and subtropical flowering plants.
Chinese Hibiscus

This is the most prominent tropical variety. Likewise, it is also known as China Rose and Hawaiian Hibiscus.

Furthermore, this variety is an evergreen shrub that could bloom throughout the year in tropical areas without a frost.

The slight-ruffled petals can come in several colors, white, red, bright pink, golden yellow, orange, and purple.

Then, the color will change as the plant grows older and older. This flower needs direct sun. The soil should be slightly acidic.

It is quite sensitive to condition changes compared to others.

  1. Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus Syriacus)

Rose of Sharon is a vigorous, vase-shaped, deciduous shrub with large, showy flowers resembling hollyhock blossoms.
Rose of Sharon

This variety has an attitude in contrast with the previous one. Hence, Rose of Sharon is a hardy perennial.

It can survive many different conditions, such as humid summers, harsh winters, and heavy urban pollution.

Therefore, this cultivar is a common garden plant. Even though it is originated in China, the plant was once discovered in Syrian gardens.

It became the reason why they named it Syriacus. Indeed, this variety has become the national flower and anthem of South Korea.

  1. Midnight Marvel Hibiscus

This variety combines the deep wine-purple, maple-like foliage of 'Perfect Storm' and the scarlet red, 8-9
Midnight Marvel Hibiscus

It is such an impressive cultivar that has massive dark red flowers the size of a dinner plate. This variety blooms longer than most other deciduous types.

The Midnight Marvel will bloom from midsummer until the end of fall.

  1. Swamp Rosemallow (Hibiscus Moscheutos)

The five pink petals of swamp rose-mallow flowers each have a red to purple center, are 4-6 in. long, and surround many stamens.
Swamp Rosemallow

Another hardy kind of North American cultivar, this one is found in wetlands. It grows near ponds or streams.

There will be flowers with white, pink, or rose petals. The red “eye” at the center becomes the reason many people call them crimson-eyed rosemallows.

This variety is a tough plant just like the Hibiscus Syriacus. Swamp Rosemallow can handle both humidity and drought. It grows the best in full sun.

  1. Blue Hibiscus (Alyogyne Huegelii)

Alyogyne Huegelii is a fast grow, evergreen shrub of upright and open habit, noted for its large, trumpet-shaped, lilac-blue to deep purple flowers, 4 in.
Blue Hibiscus

Even though this variety is no longer in the hibiscus genus, many people still call it the Blue Hibiscus. This flower is a part of the Alyogyne genus, the mallow family.

Further, this plant is native to the western part of Australia. The area is partial to the shrubby and sandy coast.

Many people grow the flower in greenhouses and gardens across the US and Europe. Technically, this cultivar is not a hibiscus but people still call it as such.

So, it deserves to be on this list.

Growing Hibiscus in Containers

Plant hibiscus in a pot filled with a lightweight, well-drained potting mix, such as a product that contains compost and perlite or vermiculite.
Planting Rose Mallow in Pot

The popular choice of growing this flowering plant is in containers. So, this variety becomes portable which can be moved anywhere at any time according to the needs.

For example, you can move the potted plant to an area with direct sunlight for six hours.

After that, you should move it back to its shady area. As a result, they will be many lovely blooms to enjoy.

When the condition is overly hot, provide the plants with a bit of afternoon shade. Once again, containers mean portability.

Choose an adequate size of the pot since the plants would prefer root bound inside the container.

Make sure the plant only has a little bit more room. In addition, growing hibiscus needs excellent drainage.

Make sure to provide it in the containers.

Taking Care Hibiscus

Hardy hibiscus plants are surprisingly easy to grow as long as you provide them with well-drained soil and a spot in full sunlight.
Caring for Hibiscus

Consider some factors such as temperature, watering, and fertilizing to take care of this flowering plant.


When you care for a hibiscus, you should remember that hibiscus flowers best in temperatures between 60-90 F. (16-32 C.) and cannot tolerate temps below 32 F.
Temperature for Hibiscus

The temperatures for growing this cultivar are between 60-90 Fahrenheit. It will grow best in that condition.

During the summer, place the plants outside. Move them inside when they get near freezing in the late fall.


Tropical hibiscus plants should be kept consistently moist, so water whenever the top inch of soil is dry. (Stick your finger in the soil to check.) Containers may need to be watered 3 to 4 times weekly at the beginning of the summer and daily toward the end of the summer as the plants grow.
Water Requirements for Rose Mallow

At the blooming time, a large amount of water will be needed. You should do regular watering daily in warm weather.

When it is cool, the watering should be lesser because too much water can ruin the growth.


The best hibiscus tree fertilizers can be either slow release or water soluble. With either, you will want to fertilize your hibiscus with a balanced fertilizer. This will be a fertilizer that has all the same numbers.
Hibiscus Fertilizer

To grow hibiscus plants, you may need to give them a lot of nutrients to give them well-blooming during the season.

In the summer, you have to fertilize the soil with a product that contains high potassium.

There are two choices of fertilizer, the diluted liquid fertilizer and the slow release one. For the liquid product, give them one a week.

Meanwhile, for the slow kind, you should apply once a month. A high potassium compost can also be added to the soil. Do not fertilize in the winter.

Hibiscus Care Tips

When hibiscus are in their blooming stage, they require large amounts of water. Your hibiscus will need daily watering in warm weather. But once the weather cools, your hibiscus needs far less water, and too much water can kill it. In the winter, water your hibiscus only when the soil is dry to the touch.
Rose Mallow Care Tips
  • Look out for pests such as whiteflies, spider mites, and aphids. They like to munch the plant. Remove them with a simple mix of castile soap and water.
  • Prune the perennial plant once in the spring. Pruning will help promote blooms in the future.
  • When the leaves turn yellow, decrease the frequency of watering. It may happen in the cold season for indoor plants. Check out for the condition as early as possible.
  • As said before, hibiscus plants are great for containers. However, you should avoid using clay pots to avoid the soil being more alkaline over time.

So, plastic and stone pots are ideal.


After knowing all of that knowledge about hibiscus, you are definitely ready to grow the flowering plants in your garden.

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