Do you love the tropical flare of hibiscus flowers? Did you know there are actually three distinct types of hibiscus? Learn which one is right for you!
Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) aka Chinese Hibiscus or Hawaiian Hibiscus.
Hardy zones 9-12, this plant will die when temps fall below 35 degrees fahrenheit, making it an annual here in the Midwest. Tropical Hibiscus can be overwintered indoors and should be pruned back in the spring. Single or double blooms come in a wide range of colors and sizes, including orange, yellow, red and pink. This tropical beauty needs full sun and like to have consistently moist soil.
Perennial Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos or coccineus) aka Rose Mallow
Hardy Zones 4-9, these hibiscus are native to swampy soils from Florida to the upper-midwest. Perennial hybrids grow 3-5 ft tall while native varieties can reach 10 ft. In mid-summer, 6-9 inch “dinner plate” flowers bloom in shades of red, pink and lavender. Plant perennial hibiscus in full sun and keep soil evenly moist.
Shrub/Tree Hibiscus (Hybiscus syriacus) aka Rose of Sharon or Althea
Hardy in zones 5-9, these woody hibiscus make a great screen when planted in a row or along a fence. Also make an attractive focal plant in your landscape. Standard sizes can reach 12 ft inh height while dwarf varieties max out around 3ft. Blooming in early summer, flowers can be single or double in shades or pink, purple, blue and white.