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Hibiscus Plants [ Different Types, How to Grow and Care]

    This tropical beauty grows up to 15 feet. They attract and are super friendly to birds. They are mainly differentiated into two types of hibiscus’ perennials and annuals.

    They need to be protected from winters. They vary in size from large shrubs to small plants. Perennials are usually the smaller dwarf varieties and sometimes the tree-like bushes.

    They are a genus of the mallow family with a rough estimate of 220 species under it. These plants have hundreds of varieties. The flowers have four to five petals on them with a stigma for pollination. The flowers are 4-18 cm broad. 

    Types of hibiscus plants

    They can be found almost everywhere, swampy and marshy areas to even dry rocky areas.

    Native Hibiscus

    There are 35 varieties native to the states, mostly to the south-eastern part. These are usually tall and vary in lots of colours. They are known as Rose mallows.

    Hibiscus Moscheutos

    Hibiscus Moscheutos

    The most commonly found hibiscus moscheutos or commonly known as swamp rose mallow. These plants are shrubby and upright with large leaves. They have long straight stems. They grow up to 4 feet tall. 

    There are a lot of classifications under which the cultivars are placed depending on what conditions they grow in mainly tropical and hardy hibiscus. 

    Tropical Plants

    These plants can’t take the cold weather, they thrive in tropical and warm temperatures. These are mostly shrubby and small plants. These are usually annual plants. They are mostly hybrids of rosa-Sinensis.

    Simple Pleasures

    Simple Pleasures

    These beauties are tropical plants.The petals are 6-7 inch wide. They are a hybrid of the rosa and sinensa species. They bloom in numbers and all at once. They bloom in summer and spring and don’t fade in colour.



    Their bloom size is from 6’’-12’’ They grow in full to partial sun and can flower anytime. They have evergreen leaves. They can be used as annual flowers too. Containers as big as 6 gallons would suffice.

    Palm Strings

    Palm Strings

    The rosa-sinensis hybrid produces vibrant colourful flowers. These flowers grow about 6-8’’ in diameter. They grow in warm temperatures.



    These deciduous shrubs bloom from midsummer to fall. The flowers grow from 4’’- 9’’ in diameter while the plants grow from 8 to 12 feet tall. These tropical plants are fairly insect and pest free. 

    Hardy Plants

    Hardy Plants

    Hardy plants are perennial, cold tolerant plants that are shrubby. These flowers also come in a variety of colours like red and pink but aren’t as vibrant as their tropical counterparts. Some of these are:

    Scarlett Rose Mallow

    Scarlett Rose Mallow

    These hardy red-flowered plants have tall sturdy stems with palmate leaves. They grow from 5-8 feet and the flowers are 6-8’’ in diameter. These plants prefer good sun exposure and wet moist soils. They are fairly pest-resistant.

    Lord Baltimore

    Lord Baltimore

    These plants are known for their huge flower blossoms. The showy crimson red colour flower is 10 ‘’ in diameter and the plant grows from 4-5 feet tall. They grow in full sun. They blossom from July to September.

    Blue River II

    Blue River II

    HIBISCUS ‘BLUE RIVER ‘II’’ are hardy perennial plants that grow from 4 feet to 5 feet. The flowers grow from 6’’ to 10’’. They don’t bloom for too long but produce 240 blooms in summer. They bloom from July to September.

    Kopper King

    Kopper King

    HIBISCUS ‘KOPPER KING’ are known for their showy light coloured flowers. They have 12-inch-wide blossoms. The plant grows to 4 feet long. They are tolerant to wet soil. They bloom from July to September. 


    They are actually very useful in the field of medicine. They are helpful in weight loss and are used in the treatment of cancer.

    They are also used to help in maintaining blood sugar levels and also used in battling bacterial infections, fever and stomach upset.

    In modern times, the plant and its tea both show promising aids to blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and the treatment of heart diseases.


    • HIBISCUS TEA: The main use of hibiscus is its tea that is most widely used for. This brew of its petals is sometimes served hot with a squirt of lemon. It can also be served as iced tea. They are known to increase estrogen levels that increase fertility and chances of getting pregnant. They also work as antidepressants. They help with menstrual cramps. The tea helps in lowering blood sugar levels along with lowering blood pressure levels. In addition to all this, it is also rich in vitamins and flavonoids.
    • CULINARY BENEFITS: Dried petals are edible and hence they are used in salads as toppings. The colour of the flower brings in richness to the delicacy and trumps the oomph factor of the dish.
    • HAIR BENEFITS: Hibiscus is known for its vitamin C content that helps in production of collagen helps in strengthening of hair and regrowth. It helps in deep conditioning, frizz control and reduction of breakage. It also helps in reduction of itchiness and dandruff. 


    The perennial plants are hardy hibiscus’ that bring the beauty of the tropical hibiscus because they can withstand the cold weather. These cultivars can grow up to 6-12 inches. 

    The important points to be known before planting is that they need full to part sun. They require loamy soil which is slightly acidic to neutral and are moist that never completely drains out.

    To plant perennial hibiscus, dig a hole twice as wide. Plant the sapling in the hole and fill it with the loamy soil. They can be sown indoors 12 weeks before the last frost of spring.

    The seeds need to be soaked in water one hour before they are sown or soak more in water (say 8 hours) for speedy germination.

    Keep the temperature moist and the temperature needs to be around 70-75 degrees F. The seedlings sprout in 14-21 days. 

    The tropical hibiscus’ need warmer conditions, the warmer the conditions the more it grows. It grows 8- 15 feet tall and spreads from 5-10 feet wide.

    They tend to not grow well in temperatures below 45 degrees F. To grow a tropical hibiscus, select a container that is twice as wide as the plant’s root system. Fill 1/3 of the container with well-draining soil that is also rich in organic matter.


    Perennial hibiscus needs to be watered thoroughly the first few weeks after it’s planted. After that water them twice a week for the first growing season and once a week for the next growing season if it rains too much, do not overwater them.

    Tropical plants need to be kept moist. 

    Common Pests


    They come in a variety of colors like red, black, green, and peach. They feed on the undersides of the leaves, when they do they leave a sticky residue on them which attracts ants.

    The best way to deal with these is to introduce natural predators such as wasps and lady beetles who feed on them. They can also be washed off using a strong spray or an insecticidal soap.


    They need to be handpicked in the morning with soapy water.


    They secrete a white powder that forms a waxy shell for protection and hence leave white cottony masses on the leaves and stems. These can be washed off with a strong insecticide spray or natural predators can be used too.


    They are as small as a grain of pepper. They suck the juice and chlorophyll of the leaves and inject toxins creating white spots on the leaves.

    They cause the plant to become pale and yellow, dry and stippled. They can be gotten rid of with hot pepper wax or insecticidal spray. They need consistent spraying though. 

    These beauties are worth the wait; with a great foliage they also have good medicinal properties. Moreover, they work great as a beverage too.