Hibiscus, Rose Mallow

(Hibiscus moscheutos)

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Hibiscus moscheutos (Photo courtesy of Maureen Gilmer)

Plant type: Multi-stemmed shrubby perennial
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 10

Valued for its beautiful dinner plate-sized exotic flowers and green foliage. Bloom colors are white, pink, red and bicolors. Blooms last for one or two days. Starts flowering in late June and lasts through frost. Plant size ranges from four to six feet tall and three to four feet wide.

How to use it: In masses or as a specimen. Use in the back of a sunny, mixed perennial border or as a temporary screen. Can be used near a water feature.

Culture: Prefers a moist soil and tolerates a wet site. Plant in full sun. Provide adequate moisture and fertilizer throughout the warm months. Needs good air circulation for healthy plants and good performance in the landscape. Bud drop may occur with too little or too much water or overfertilization. Benefits by pruning in spring to encourage flowering and branching. Primarily propagated through cuttings or seed. Can be divided, but division can be difficult. May have some problems with aphids or Japanese beetles; the beetles can defoliate plants but won't kill them. Foliage can become tattered and unsightly by the end of summer.

Special notes: It has the largest blooms of all Hibiscus. Attracts wildlife, including butterflies.

Selected Cultivars

  • 'Disco' series. Seed-propagated series featuring large flowers. 'Disco Belle' has a white flower with a pink blush and red center. Plant size ranges from 18 to 24 inches tall and wide.

  • Hibiscus moscheutos 'Luna Blusha' (Photo courtesy of Maureen Gilmer)

  • 'Luna' series. Plant size is two to three feet tall. Bloom colors include pink, red and bicolors. 'Luna Pink Swirl' has gorgeous eight-inch flowers that are white and pink.

  • Hibiscus 'Lord Baltimore' and 'Lady Baltimore'. Hybrid. Zones 5 to 9. 'Lord Baltimore' has scarlet red flowers. 'Lady Baltimore' features vibrant pink flowers. Both cultivars are four to five feet tall.

  • Hibiscus 'Kopper King'

  • 'Kopper King'. Gorgeous purple foliage are complemented by blush pink flowers with deep red eyes and veins emanating from the center. Plants are four feet tall and one foot wide. Zones 4 to 9.

  • 'Sweet Caroline'. Brilliant pink flowers with red eyes. Plant size is four to five feet.

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