Confused about Hibiscus? By Beth English

Perennial hibiscus, hardy hibiscus, tropical hibiscus, rose mallow, swamp mallow, scarlet rose mallow, Texas Star hibiscus, hibiscus moscheutos, hibiscus coccineus, hibiscus mutabilis, Rose of Sharon(shrub form of hibiscus), or rose mallow (perennial form).  OK, now to make it simple.

Perennial hibiscus are commonly called “hardy hibiscus” and “rose mallow,” and the rose mallow is the same as moscheutos.  Perennial hibiscus are hardy in zones 4 to 9, and die back to the ground every year.  The plants are slow to emerge in spring so just be PATIENT for them to start growing.

Hibiscus coccineus is known as swamp hibiscus, scarlet rose mallow and Texas Star hibiscus. These plants also come back every year.  Then, there is the tropical hibiscus and it’s just that, tropical, meaning it will die if not protected from cold temperatures.  It is perennial in zones 9 and 10.  The features of  hibiscus include large saucer shaped flowers measuring 6″ to 1 foot across, lovely colors of pink, red, purple, white and various shades of the above.

The leaves are green, reddish purple, or bronze depending on the plant variety.  For a dramatic look space your hibiscus 3 foot apart in the garden.  Keep in mind your hibiscus prefer moist to wet soil and the moisture availability influences the height, (staking is not normally needed).

One good thing for the Texas gardener, the hibiscus plant is tolerant of heat and humidity, and is attractive to hummingbirds and the butterflies, but ignored by deer.  If you want to wow your friends and neighbors, people walking their dogs, or riding their bikes start planting your hibiscus collection today.

Really it’s not that hard, easy to grow, full sun,  decent soil, and water.  Check out our supply at the nursery,  you would be” Plum Crazy” (my favorite purple) if you didn’t!