Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Aibika, Sweet Hibiscus, Edible Hibiscus, Palmate-leaved Hibiscus, Sunset Muskmallow, Sunset Hibiscus
Abelmoschus manihot

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Abelmoschus (a-bel-MOS-kus) (Info)
Species: manihot (MAN-ee-hot) (Info)

Synonym:Hibiscus manihot

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

41 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 25 photos.
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14 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive vihosta On Sep 3, 2013, vihosta from Nanaimo BC
Canada (Zone 8a) wrote:

I received a bright yellow musk mellow seed in a bag of topsoil from a local garden shop - a volunteer - I didn't know what it was until it started blooming! Now it is 5 feet tall and produces one big bloom at a time gradually up the stem! Wonderful free gift! Brian, Nanaimo B.C., Canada.

Positive TropicBob On Jul 3, 2013, TropicBob from Cooper City, FL wrote:

I live in South Florida and this grows very well. I trimmed it a few months ago and use the sticks as stakes for vegetables. Almost every one rooted without any care. I use small leaves in salads and large leaves for wraps and burritos. The flowers are beautiful and hibiscus-like.

Positive AmandaEsq On Jun 13, 2013, AmandaEsq from Greensboro, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I was surprised and pleased to find last year's plant grown from seed pushing up new growth this week. I did not expect it to return so I have added a couple of seedlings in the same area. Striking lemon chiffon flowers with maroon throat were perfect in a part sun location. This plant is very closely related to southern favorite okra. Not an okra fan, but I intend to investigate the edible nature of this plant this year.

Neutral BUFFY690 On Sep 16, 2011, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Winter sowing this in with some of my wild hibiscus in a boggy area. Thinking some texas star is goin in as well.
Should bloom ass thru our hot southern summers

Positive poisondartfrog On Aug 11, 2010, poisondartfrog from Barbourville, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Lovely and easy to grow self-sower: I have not started new plants once since I first planted one out 5-6 years ago. I pull the old plants up each fall as well as scores of seedlings in spring, but they are easy to control if you get them early. If you procrastinate they can be more difficult.

Positive hottropics On Aug 6, 2010, hottropics from Bokeelia, FL wrote:

This is the Easiest plant ever to start from seed ,cutting or roots. Seeds should be started outside in summer in regular soil with sand mixed in. When seedlings are about 12'' tall plant several (i like 3 together) about 10'' apart.Mulch, water in every morning for a week. These should grow like crazy, when they are as tall as you, they can droop after rain. You can now trim these down to about 8''-12'' from the base. I prune the outter branches shorter than inner to give new growth ample room to spread. Remember everywhere you cut, that branch will probably send out three new shoots. this plant should go at the back of your bed-garden and can be planted in full or part-shade. It's a very fast grower.I haven't tried eating any of it yet, I got this for its beautiful red and purple foliage that resemble a Japanese Maple.

Positive DMgardener On Feb 5, 2010, DMgardener from (Daniel) Mount Orab, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

An excellent plant for any garden, and not too tropical;)

The seeds can take a month to germinate, so be patient! I threw out my first batch thinking that they were dud seeds. But I sowed more, outdoors. Those only took 2 weeks to germinate. The plant grew rather quickly, and then buds came! The first flower amazed me... A yellow Hibiscus! Lots of blooms right up to frost.
This is it's first winter. Later on this year I will post again to tell how it did in it's second year...

Positive KatCush On Jul 21, 2009, KatCush from Kaysville, UT wrote:

I have the hardy version growing in my flower bed. I love this plant. It is a beautiful pink. Lagoon Amusement Park also grows a ton of them.

I lived as a small child in Hawaii. It reminds me of there.

I have not had any die because of Utah Winters. I am in zone 5. I do have a cage around it because it tends to get blwon over. My plant is over 5 feet tall.

Blooms only last one day, but it is never without blooms once it starts blooking. I got my first blossom last week, around July 15.

It did take about 3 years for it to bloom from the small nursery plant I bought.

I am going to try and germinate the seeds this year. My neighbor got a piece of root from me last year and hers is blooming this year too.

Positive bermudakiller On Jul 8, 2008, bermudakiller from Union Grove, AL wrote:

I have some 20 plants that survived last winter. I am in 7b, only lost 2 with medium mulch, already anywhere from 6 " to 4' and 2 in bloom. by end of June, i like this plant a lot, not only as an ornamental but as food. leaves are quite nice as a green, but the blossoms beat okra as a wrap, or in salads.

Positive lovetogrow On Jul 6, 2007, lovetogrow from London
United Kingdom wrote:

I am growing this for the first time in Morden, Surrey in UK, they germinated very quickly in two days. I grew them in cells, one to a cell. I have just planted them in the garden will let you know how this goes. The weather is awful here raining and cold.

Neutral bluespiral On Jan 4, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

To facilitate germination, soaking overnight before sowing has been recommended, and possible successive nicking.

Positive frostweed On Oct 1, 2004, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

In Arlington Texas it is a tender perennial, it dies to the ground and comes back the following year. We love this plant.

Positive Somb1240 On Sep 30, 2004, Somb1240 from Pocahontas, TN wrote:

This plant is outstanding here in our gardens. It would be interesting if the pods are edible as with other okra types.

Positive sbarr On Oct 4, 2003, sbarr from Albany (again), NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I grew this as an annual in zone 5. I started them late winter and transplanted them after frost.

Germination - seemed pretty slow, several weeks. Don't lose hope!

Transplanting - seedlings may need to be staked for the first month or two, they can topple very easily.

Height - Put them in the BACK of the garden. They can easily reach 6 feet tall. My mistake - I put these tiny seedlings "front and center" and they dwarfed many things behind them.

Collecting seeds - After the flower dies, you will get a prickly pod that eventually turns brown. When the seeds are ready, you can easily split the pod seams with your nail and scoop out the seeds.

Positive Shirley1md On Jan 4, 2003, Shirley1md from Ellicott City, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Tropical Hibiscus Abelmoschus Manihot can be grown as an annual in zones colder than 8b. Most likely, it is a perennial Hibiscus in warmer zones. The flowers are a lovely pale yellow with a dark purple/maroon center. Whichever zone you live in, it is a lovely plant to add to your garden.

Positive geckeroo On Jun 27, 2002, geckeroo wrote:

I grow this plant in Hawaii, and use it's leaves in salad, and as wrappers for food, "tortilla style". I find it easy to propagate by rooting "woody stems" (I'm no botanist, but I think that's correct) in water, or putting them directly into the ground (and watering them a lot.) I've been told they grow "bushy" for some people, but mine grow tall and stalky.

Neutral talinum On Sep 6, 2001, talinum from Kearney, NE (Zone 5a) wrote:

TP used as annual
This species is another tropical perennial that is grown as an annual. It grows 5-6' tall and bears 6" flowers in late summer. It has palmately divided leaves.
Useful as an accent plant or a plant for the back of the border.
Plants should be spaced 2' to 3' apart in full sun or partial shade.
The flowers turn to mush at the first frost.

Native to tropical Asia


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama
Arley, Alabama
Tuskegee, Alabama
Union Grove, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Martinez, California
Merced, California
Richmond, California
San Jose, California
Wilmington, Delaware
Bokeelia, Florida
Bonifay, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Miami Beach, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Bowersville, Georgia
Brunswick, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Lagrange, Georgia
Waycross, Georgia
Honolulu, Hawaii
Greenville, Indiana
Barbourville, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
New Orleans, Louisiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Randolph, Massachusetts
Mason, Michigan
Maben, Mississippi
Blair, Nebraska
New Milford, New Jersey
Albany, New York
Bellerose, New York
Greensboro, North Carolina
Crooksville, Ohio
Thornville, Ohio
Wren, Ohio
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Pawleys Island, South Carolina
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Crossville, Tennessee
Pocahontas, Tennessee
Alice, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Fort Worth, Texas
Kendalia, Texas
Pasadena, Texas
Kaysville, Utah
Kennewick, Washington

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