Hardy Hibiscus

Hardy Hibiscus
Plant Type
Sunlight Amount
pink hibiscus moscheutos
Credit: Dean Schoeppner
pink hibiscus moscheutos
Hardy Hibiscus

A true showstopper, the hardy hibiscus is sure to impress with its dinner plate-size blossoms. These large-scale herbaceous plants are quick to grow and fill a space, and they add an instant tropical feel to any garden setting. Plant hardy hibiscus at the back of the border so they don’t block any of their smaller companions, then sit back and wait for the fantastic fall flowers to begin.

genus name
  • Hibiscus
  • Sun
plant type
  • 3 to 8 feet
  • 3-5 feet
flower color
foliage color
season features
special features
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9

Colorful Combinations

Hardy hibiscus is an exciting addition to any garden space, thanks to its giant blooms. While not quite as tropical looking as its tender cousins, the hardy hibiscus still has an exotic flair to it. The oversize five-petaled blooms start as bulging, pointed buds, then slowly unfurl into dinner plate-size discs of color. Generally, you will find these somewhere in the red to white color spectrum, with just about every shade in between.

While the majority of the petals are generally one solid color, they are often studded with a contrasting "eye" in the center of the blooms. This eye is typically a deep red color, which makes quite a statement against some of the paler toned petals. Many of the colored blossoms can have light blushes on the outer edge of the petal, giving the blooms a tie-dye or swirled effect.

Many varieties boast deep reddish-green to burgundy foliage. Because these plants can reach up to 8 feet in height, they can create quite a statement in a garden, even when not in full bloom. Just make sure to place these plants in full sun for the best color.

Hardy Hibiscus Care Must-Knows

These plants can take their time getting started, especially in the more northern reaches of their hardiness. More often than not, people assume their treasured hardy hibiscus didn't make it through the winter. Don't fret! Hibiscus are notoriously slow to come up in the spring, and sometimes won't even show up until early summer (depending on how cool the spring has been). Make sure to cut back any old woody stems before new foliage does arise, and keep a watchful eye out for signs of new growth.

Another thing to note, hardy hibiscus do not like to dry out too much. They actually can take quite a bit of water and can grow in marshy conditions as well. Full sun is always best for the biggest flower display, as well as the best foliage color on the burgundy leaf varieties.

New Innovations

People are always wanting more of these tropical-looking hardy plants. Luckily, breeders are constantly improving hardy hibiscus and adding more colors to the palette. Almost every year, they release new varieties with darker foliage colors, new floral patterns, higher bud counts, and better branching. Keep an eye out for the Summerific collection, an excellent option for the home garden.

More Varieties of Hardy Hibiscus

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