Hardy Hibiscus, Rose Mallow, Swamp Mallow 'Fireball'


Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hibiscus (hi-BIS-kus) (Info)
Cultivar: Fireball
Additional cultivar information:(PP13631)
Hybridized by Fleming-Zwetzig
Registered or introduced: 2003
» View all varieties of Hibiscus


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Bloom Color:

Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Blooms repeatedly



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Broomfield, Colorado

Wilmington, Delaware

Florahome, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Miccosukee Cpo, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Buford, Georgia

Farmersburg, Indiana

Logansport, Indiana

Waverly, Iowa

Wichita, Kansas

Burlington, Kentucky

Belle Chasse, Louisiana

Denham Springs, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sandstone, Minnesota

Billings, Montana

Eagle, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska

Exeter, New Hampshire

Manchester, New Hampshire

Raleigh, North Carolina

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Mandan, North Dakota

Amelia, Ohio

Mentor, Ohio

Norman, Oklahoma

Happy Valley, Oregon

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

College Station, Texas

Fabens, Texas

Overton, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Temple, Texas

Moab, Utah

Fort Valley, Virginia

Woodford, Virginia

Kansasville, Wisconsin

Sauk City, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 11, 2012, Nkytree from Burlington, KY wrote:

I planted this plant several years ago on the sunny west side of my house at the base of the downspout. It has loved this location and never fails to impress and please with its tremendously heavy flowering. I still think it is one of my all time favorites in terms of the hardy hibiscus selections. The cut leaves with a reddish tint only add to its ornamental appeal.


On Dec 13, 2007, WeedyWagner from Raleigh, NC wrote:

Tons of dinner-plate sized, dark red flowers! Each flower lasts about 1 day; deadhead for more blooms. Sawfly larvae and Japanese beetles love to munch on the leaves, so keep them in check.


On May 13, 2007, twinkles from Amelia, OH wrote:

I have 2 Fireballs and when I moved, I up-rooted them. Which was not easy and very scary considering I did this in January 2006.
I originally planted them in 2003, so when digging them up I had to cut LOTS of roots,thats what scared me. Wasn't sure they would make it. But, woola. Transplanted Fireballs came back stronger then ever. LOVE these plants. We get lots of cold weather here in Amelia,Ohio (25 miles east of Cincinnati). Everybody in the neighborhood has come down to see and marvel over these plants. I have them in full sun. 1 is in a very low spot where it stays pretty wet and the other is in a more dry area.They both do great.


On Aug 23, 2006, BingsBell from SC, MT (Zone 5a) wrote:

Absolutely beautiful! The dark red is spellbinding.
I forgot how late coming up they are and thought I had lost both my plants. Definitely DON'T GIVE UP!

I didn't cut mine back and saw dead sticks standing this spring. The mulch had blown off and the sticks were poking through the weed barrier I had put down.

So glad I was too busy to dig up the dry sticks....I wouldn't have the beautiful plants.


On Aug 7, 2006, MichelleVQuinn from Grand Rapids, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I purchased 3 Hibiscus "Fireball" Rose mallow plants in June and was concerned they would not do well in Michigan. Up until this week I almost gave up in seeing any buds. One plant has about 7 buds, the other 2 buds and the 3rd has none. I can't wait to see the actual flowers, but it sounds like I'll need to be patient. All suggestions recommend cutting back in the fall....ouch, but I guess I'll have to do it. When they flower, I'll send photos.


On Jul 7, 2006, CherylGP from Orlando, FL wrote:

We used this plant a lot recently in landscapes and I just think it's beautiful. Even the couple we have left over are thriving while still in a pot. They have seemed to be very strong plants who love lots of sun and water.


On Jul 14, 2004, cskate from Norman, OK wrote:

I grow this plant in Norman Oklahoma and it is the envy of the neighborhood.


On May 19, 2004, JJJWADA from Lincoln, NE wrote:

The most floriferous, cold-hardy, and drought tolerant of the hardy-hibiscus introduced by the Fleming Brothers of Lincoln Nebraska. One misconception is that it needs a lot of water to survive. It does prefer water when coming out of its late dormancy (May-June in Zone 5). After it has become established, the plant is extremely drought tolerant. It has beautiful 10-12" bright red, campanulate, flowers. When cut, place the flowers in water in the refrigerator until placing where desired to keep the flowers lasting longer. Cut the foliage back to the ground after a hard freeze to 3" from the ground. This plant can also benefit from a 3-5 inches of mulch to help protect over cold winters. Remember that this plant breaks dormacy later than most plants so don't give up on it!