'Candy Crush' Hibiscus Brings Tropical Pink Bliss to Your Garden

With huge flowers that flaunt bubblegum pink petals around a maraschino cherry center, this colorful hardy plant lives up to its name.

What's pink, tropical, and delightfully sweet? No, we're not describing a cocktail. We're talking about one of our most enduring flower crushes: the 'Candy Crush' hibiscus, a low-fuss plant that packs a big floral punch. Commonly called "rose mallow," this newer variety of a favorite garden perennial is a cousin of tropical hibiscus. Both plants promise huge, colorful blossoms during the summer, but what sets 'Candy Crush' apart is its hardiness. This beauty offers a longer-lasting touch of the tropics in cold-climate landscapes, since snow and ice don't faze it. It will come back year after year for a magnificent show of color.

The 8-inch-wide pink flowers of 'Candy Crush' are impossible to miss, grabbing the attention of passersby thanks to their sheer size and bright color. They're also attractive to all kinds of pollinators, like hummingbirds and bumblebees, and are deer-resistant. Unlike the smaller, less flashy flowers of plain old rose mallows, this vibrant hybrid hibiscus will produce a ton of mid-summer flowers along the length of the stem—it looks like the whole plant is covered in blossoms. Expect the floral display to last for at least two weeks; after all of the flowers have withered, they can be deadheaded to keep the plant looking tidy.

pink candy crush hibiscus flower close up
Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

Buy It: 'Candy Crush' Hibiscus, (Price varies by location, Proven Winners)

Reaching roughly 5 feet tall and about as wide, 'Candy Crush' hibiscus is hardy all the way to USDA Zone 4. It's capable of surviving temperatures well below zero, but it also tolerates summer heat and humidity well, provided it gets plenty of water. If these moisture-loving plants dry out, you may lose the current season's blooms. Water the 'Candy Crush' frequently and spread a layer of mulch along the base to help keep its roots cool and moist. This pretty shrub flowers best in full sun to light shade and prefers rich, well-drained soil.

candy crush hibiscus shrub with pink flowers in bloom
Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.

Because of its size, 'Candy Crush' will fit best along a border behind smaller neighboring perennials. But it's also at home in a large pot on a deck or patio where it can be viewed from multiple perspectives. Hardy hibiscuses usually take a bit longer than most other perennials to wake up after dying back to the ground in winter, so you may want to surround it with early-flowering annuals and perennials like snapdragons or delphiniums. This will help provide some color until early summer when your hibiscus appears above ground again.

As part of the Summerific series by Proven Winners, 'Candy Crush' is one of several easy-to-grow hardy hibiscus varieties that offers a tropical look, without the hassle of more tender hibiscuses growing in cooler regions. For other vibrant options, try 'Cranberry Crush' with its deep red blossoms or 'Cherry Choco Latte', a red-veined pink giant.

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