Celebrating Hibiscuses

Welcome to the Member Ideas area! This community feature is where our members can post their own ideas. These posts are unedited and not necessarily endorsed by the National Gardening Association.
Posted by @dave on
We open the Hibiscus Celebration Week with a look at the top cultivars, top comments, most thumbed images, and more!

Share your photos this week, and keep watch on the photos that get shared by others. Give thumbs to the ones you like, and participate in our Hibiscus forum. At the end of the week, I'll give a report of the best images and the most active members. Each member featured in that report will be awarded the Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Microbadge! You can always see the latest Hibiscuses photos by going to the ATP homepage and you'll see the latest pictures right below the articles.

Now, let's see the most popular Hibiscuses cultivars in our database:
#1: Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos)

@SongofJoy says, "The large flowers can measure up to 8" in diameter. Several waterfowl species reportedly eat the seeds."

@Catmint20906 added, "Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos) is a larval host plant for the Grey Hairstreak Butterfly."

#2: Scarlet Rose Mallow (Hibiscus coccineus)

@fiwit says, "It says to propagate seeds indoors, but here in the Atlanta GA area, the gentleman who gave me the seeds from his plant told me to just take them home and plant them where I wanted the plant to grow. I have this plant in several places around my yard, and other than transplanting the original plant here, all the others are from simply popping open a seed pod in the fall and letting the seeds fall where I wanted the plant to grow. I don't even cover the seeds - I just pop and drop."

#3: Rose Of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)

@Catmint20906 says, "Hibiscus syriacus is a larval host plant for the Grey Hairstreak Butterfly."

@Sharon added, "This plant is an old one and was started from seed from a plant that grew in the mountains of southeast Kentucky. Here in western Kentucky, zone 6b/7a, I find it to be quite the spreader. It is not native to the US, so when combined with its invasive tendencies, it might not be very popular. But in its defense, it grows and blooms in areas and at times when nothing else will grow or bloom. We have hot dry summers and quite often by September our blooms have ended. This Rose of Sharon is just getting started by then. It will continue to bloom until November.

It will also grow with little to no care in soil that is rocky and sparse. Bumble bees love it."

#4: Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis)

@SCButtercup says, "I winter-sowed this from seed in February and I now have a small plant that is thriving in a container in part shade. The plan is to transplant it in the fall with some protective leaf mulch when my zone 7/8 cools down and weather gets rainy. Will post more info in spring."

#5: Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos Luna™ Pink Swirl)

@SongofJoy says, "Produces a large amount of seeds and is fairly easy to grow from seed. One of the few rose-mallows to bloom the first year from seed. Flowers are 8"-9" in diameter and keep coming all though the season."

#6: Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos Summerific™ Summer Storm)

@clintbrown says, "Hibiscus 'Summer Storm' has the darkest foliage of any hardy Hibiscus I've seen. The dark foliage contrasts nicely with the pink flowers. The centers of each flower are red and streak out into the pink. It blooms repeatedly from July to September here. This is probably the best hardy Hibiscus cultivar I have seen so far."

#7: Japanese Lantern (Hibiscus schizopetalus)

@SongofJoy says, "HVH: "Hibiscus schizopetalus is one of the original hibiscus species that were used in Hawaii and elsewhere to create the ancestors of today's modern hybrids. The name means "split petals," due to the unusual, lacy blooms that this hibiscus makes.

The bush is tall, graceful, and blooms abundantly. All of the original hibiscus species are strong healthy plants that grow well with minimal care in suitable environments.""

#8: Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos 'Kopper King')

@SongofJoy says, "This hardy Hibiscus reaches 4 ft. in height. The 12" flowers are white with a red and then hot pink eye-zone that streaks out through the veination to the edges of the petals. It has a consistent copper-red leaf of a "maple cut" shape."

#9: Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos 'Lord Baltimore')

@mattsmom says, "Stunning, huge, dark red blooms on this beauty. Blooms for months here in my zone 4a garden, only stopped by frost. Unfortunately, a choice foodsource of the dreaded Japanese Beetle."

@SongofJoy added, "Modern cultivars began with Robert Darby who named his two most famous successes after Lord and Lady Baltimore. During the 1950's Darby created 'Lord Baltimore' --a solid red hybrid--by crossing several quite common, but at that time largely unknown, wild hibiscus species found in wetlands from Louisiana to New Jersey. Most wildflower enthusiasts have never seen one in the wild."

#10: White Texas Star Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus 'Alba')

@stetchworth says, "For me in Mississippi, this grows to about 10 feet tall with large showy white flowers. It is very easy to grow from seed. Each year I cut it back down to the ground in the winter and it comes back every spring."

@SongofJoy added, "Requires consistently moist soil; do not let it dry out. Suitable for bogs and water gardens."

#11: Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos 'Plum Crazy')

@SongofJoy says, "A 4' tall hardy Hibiscus with a 10" plum-colored flower. The flowers have strong purple veination to the edges of the petals. The "maple-cut" leaves are of a consistent dark purple coloring."

@Catmint20906 added, "Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos 'Plum Crazy') produces huge, dusky mauve blooms in midsummer. 'Plum Crazy' likes full sun and medium to wet soil. Native to North America, 'Plum Crazy' has a mature height of around 4 feet. The Japanese beetles *love* 'Plum Crazy', and I have found companion planting, plus the use of Milky Spore, important to control grubs and beetles around this plant."

#12: Red-Leaf Hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella)

@quietyard says, "I have grown this plant for a couple of years now in the hot desert heat of Tucson. I have found that it likes filtered shade. It propagates very easily from cuttings that I just stick in a bucket of water. Within a week or two, tiny white roots will appear. So far I have not had any problems with insect damage on these plants."

#13: Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus 'Blue Bird')

@stetchworth says, "This plant is a slow grower but well worth the wait. Lovely shade of light blue. Flowers about 3 inches large cover this bush every spring. In my zone of 8b it does not have to be mulched in the wintertime."

@pirl added, "I've had this plant for years and never had trouble with the deer eating it until this year. So sad to see it eaten down to a foot tall!"

#14: Flower of an Hour (Hibiscus trionum)

@gardengus says, "Considered a weed/wildflower here. I find it pretty enough to leave a few in the garden even if the flower stays open for only a short time."

@jmorth added, "A common wildflower/weed in central and northern Illinois. Introduced from Europe as an ornamental. Each bloom (white/pale yellow w/ a purple base) lasts but a few hours.
Self-seeds prolifically; seeds can remain viable in the soil for years. Plant is pollinated by bumble bees primarily. Caterpillars of the Checkered Skipper, Grey Hairstreak, and Painted Lady find them quite munchable. Common Illinois habitats are croplands, field edges, roadsides, railroad right of ways, gardens, vacant sites, and construction sites. Plant has an interesting calyx."

#15: Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus Blue Satin®)

@SongofJoy says, "This cultivar from a dutch nursery (M. Verweij & Zonen, Boskoop) was released in 1995. 'Marina' looks like 'Oiseau Bleu', but it is said to have a stronger growth."

#16: Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos 'Midnight Marvel')

@clintbrown says, "Hibiscus 'Midnight Marvel' is a great red hardy Hibiscus. It has dark foliage and looks nice even when not in flower. It blooms longer than other red hardy Hibiscus plants. The red flowers last for one day each, but there are many of them daily. I've also noticed that it is more resistant to insects than other hibiscuses I have grown."

#17: Halberdleaf rosemallow (Hibiscus laevis)

@Chillybean says, "This Rose Mallow was among the first natives I planted on our property back in May 2012. I was looking for something that could tolerate the yearly field run-off from the heavy rains. They did not bloom until July 2014. I had almost given up hope, but I was surprised when I looked out one morning.

The flowers are smaller than the Swamp Mallow, but no less beautiful. The dried seed pods are interesting with rows of small, round, furry seeds.

This is not a plant that can tolerate drought. They will become droopy and the leaves begin to yellow if they do not get enough water."

#18: Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

@SongofJoy says, "The cultivars of this species are 10-15 ft. rounded, woody, evergreen shrubs or small trees with lance-shaped, glossy dark green leaves having toothed margins. Most bear 4-to 6-inch blooms all summer, although some blooms can be as large as 9 inches across. The solitary blooms range from single to ruffled and double. Colors include yellow, orange, pink, red, and numerous combinations.

The tender hibiscus cultivars won't survive freezing temperatures but are useful as showy summer bedding plants or in containers in those climates where they are not hardy.

Care: Provide consistently moist, rich soil in full sun. Plant in a protected site
Propagation: Divide in spring. Root greenwood cuttings in late spring or semi-ripe cuttings in summer.

Problems: Rust, fungal leaf spots, bacterial blight, Verticillium wilt, viruses, and stem and root rots, whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, mites, Japanese beetles, and caterpillars."

#19: Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos 'Fireball')

@SongofJoy says, "Four feet tall with 12" diameter bright burgundy blooms. The "extremely cut-leaved" foliage flames forth with a purplish overlay. Hardy."

@Catmint20906 added, "Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos 'Fireball') produces huge, deep reddish-purple blooms from mid to late summer. In the fall, its leaves turn an orange-red, making this a multiseason ornamental plant. 'Fireball' likes full sun and medium to wet soil. New growth is slow to emerge in the spring. Native to North America, 'Fireball' has a mature height of 4 to 5 feet."

#20: Variegated Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Snow Queen')

@plantladylin says, "The Snow Queen Hibiscus can reach heights of 8 to 10 feet and spread of up to 4 feet. This plant prefers a full sun location and regular watering but is drought tolerant once established. The beautiful variegated foliage is green with white splashes and large red flowers are produced from summer to fall.

My Snow Queen Hibiscus at one time reached about 8 1/2 feet in height but was knocked back by two extremely cold winters in a row. I thought it was totally dead after last winter's freezes but to my surprise it re-sprouted from the ground in late spring this year. It's now only about 4' tall and wide but has been blooming all summer."

#21: Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Creole Lady')

@jeri11 says, "My plant was located in a 5-gal. pot, in full sun. I had to water it quite a bit and I added a little MG once a month but it bloomed from a 4" pot size and is located in my greenhouse for the winter, and is still blooming in great abundance."

#22: Heartleaf Hibiscus (Hibiscus martianus)

@SongofJoy says, "While valuable in the butterfly garden due to its heat and drought tolerance, Heartleaf Hibiscus has magnificent flowers ranging from two to three inches in diameter. The flowering period is long, from spring through fall but is dependent on rainfall.

Flowers and fruits of the Heartleaf Hibiscus serve as caterpillar food for the Yojoa Scrub-Hairstreak, Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak and Gray Hairstreak.

Heartleaf Hibiscus is an excellent long-blooming nectar source for butterflies."

#23: Hibiscus (Hibiscus grandiflorus)

@SongofJoy says, "Giant swamp rosemallow is a large, herbaceous perennial, sometimes reaching 10 ft. or more in height and often developing a semi-woody stem near the base.

The palmately three-lobed leaves are grayish-green and velvety, fuzzy on the top and bottom, and are large.

'Hibiscus grandiflorus' has very large flowers with five six-inch petals that are pale pinkish-violet with crimson bases. The flowers open in the late afternoon and are finished by noon the following day. A succession of blooms (up to a dozen or more per plant each day) occurs from mid-summer through autumn. A well situated Swamp rosemallow plant grows larger each year by adding additional stalks from its root crown."

#24: Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos 'Fantasia')

@SongofJoy says, "A very elegant hardy Hibiscus with 9" lavender-gray, ruffled flowers and refined, green "cut-leaves". The plant has a nice compact habit. This cultivar stays to about 3.5 ft in height."

#25: Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Me-Oh My-Oh')

@SongofJoy says, "HVH: "'Me-Oh-My-Oh' blooms prolifically with big 7-9" flowers. The opening colors soften to a soft lilac. The bush is medium-sized and upright.""

The most thumbed-up image in the Hibiscuses area is shown below:

Comments and Discussion
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Snow Queen by donnabking Sep 5, 2015 8:52 AM 2
Two of my 6 by bhart90 Aug 30, 2015 11:05 AM 1
Great Article! by doggieshop Aug 30, 2015 11:04 AM 1
Hibiscus by Missielover Aug 29, 2015 8:32 PM 0

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