Please Identify - Confederate Rose? - Knowledgebase Question

Charlotte, NC
Question by carnesfresp
June 29, 1998
A friend just gave me a plant she called a "confederate rose", but it looks more like a plant in the hibiscus family than a rose. The buds form just like a hibiscus on the top of each stem. She said she cuts the branches off in the fall and roots them over the winter in a dark closet. It apparently dies back to the ground in the winter here in NC, then comes back each spring. Can you help me identify what the real name of this plant is, and tell me anymore about it?


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Answer from NGA
June 29, 1998

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Hibiscus mutabilis is the botanical name of your Confederate Rose. It grows as a perennial in USDA zones 7-10. The cuttings your friend takes and overwinters for spring planting is similar to the treatment of other tender perennials in cold winter regions. You can plant your Confederate Rose Hibiscus in a permanent spot in the garden and it will flower in the summer with white or pink blossoms that change to deep red by the end of the day. If your plant freezes back in the winter it will return in the spring with vigorous new growth. If it doesn't freeze back, cut out about a third of the plant in the spring to encourage new wood. Pinch out the tips of the branches in the spring and summer to promote additional flowering. Your hibiscus will grow into a large hedge-like shrub, but you can keep it pruned into a smaller size. Plant in full sun in soil with good drainage, and water deeply during the spring and summer months.

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