The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus Coccineus

Question: A friend in St.Louis, MO, raises Hibiscus Coccineus. I cannot find this variety of Hibiscus. Could you please tell me about it? Can I raise it in southern California?

Note: My friend spelled Hibiscus as Hibescies. I just assumed this was a misspelling, but maybe not.

Thank you for your help.

Answer: Hibiscus coccineus, or Scarlet Rose Mallow, is native to the coastal areas of the eastern United States. It thrives in wet areas such as swamps and marshes but will tolerate drier soils and should perform reasonably well in your southern California garden. This rose mallow has 5"-6" wide leaves which are lobed, making them look like long, bony fingers. The deep red, funnel-shaped flowers are 5"-6" wide. It's a narrow, upright plant, growing 6'-8' tall in full sunshine, slightly lower in partial shade.

Provide your new plants with average garden soil and keep the soil on the moist side, to promote best growth.

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