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PlantFiles: Hardy Hibiscus, Rose Mallow, Swamp Mallow
Hibiscus moscheutos 'Kopper King'

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hibiscus (hi-BIS-kus) (Info)
Species: moscheutos (mos-KEW-tos) (Info)
Cultivar: Kopper King
Additional cultivar information: (PP10793)
Hybridized by Fleming; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1997

» View all varieties of Hibiscus

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

27 members have or want this plant for trade.

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

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:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

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12 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral JenDion On May 30, 2014, JenDion from Litchfield, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I added this Hibiscus to my garden as a plug/start in June 2013. It actually survived the winter of 2013-2014 which was a record plant killer! I truly can not believe it. My only complaint is that I have never seen Japanese beetle damage as bad as this plant gets. The entire plant was skeletonized before I realized there was a problem.

Positive ladyslipper8744 On Jul 20, 2011, ladyslipper8744 from Monson, MA wrote:

Had problems with pests eating leaves so applied Bayer systemic insecticide, once per season application, and this solved the problem, I put it on in June when it is about 8 in. high. Also use this systemic insecticide on my Tiger Lillies with success (had orange beetles eating them).

Positive CTYankeegirl On May 15, 2011, CTYankeegirl from Mystic, CT wrote:

I'm not sure if my Hardy Hibiscus is a Kopper King or not; it's a light to medium pink with darker centers. The blooms are huge! Easily 12" across!
I've had this plant for years. My dad initially bought one on sale a very long time ago. After a few years it got big enough to divide. He split it & gave one to my brother & one to me. The bugs ate my brothers, and not long after, ate my dad's too. Mine, however, is still going strong! This plant requires some care but it is such a GORGEOUS plant, it is well worth it! It really does stop traffic! It blooms profusely from July into the frost. I cut it back in late winter/very early spring. I also stake it and tie a string around the outside to keep the branches up. The flowers are so big, they make the branches droop!
Unfortunately there is some type of little greenish worm that will completely devour this poor thing if you don't spray under the leaves at the first sign of munching! They will eat all the leaves & just leave the veins as a frame of what once was. You have to be diligent in keeping an eye on your beloved hibiscus. Last year my Lord Baltimore almost died because I didn't see the bug damage soon enough & then just couldn't keep up w/ the infestation. I'm moving it closer to the house this year so I won't forget to check it often enough. Also, in the heat of summer, keep the plant well watered (near the roots, don't spray the leaves, you'll cook them). You'll know it's thirsty when you see it all droopy & wilted. water it right away!
This plant is so worth the care it requires. You won't be sorry!

Positive smeisha On Sep 16, 2010, smeisha from New Britain, CT (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant does not get going until late June. Then it takes off! Growing, growing and finally flowering in August., The flowers are huge and basically a real show stopper. This year it got plenty of water and fertilizer and has been blooming non-stop. It's great to have something as spectacular and here it is mid September. I do have it near the foundation and behind some very low shrubs which helps to hide the old stalks until the new ones start and also provides shelter from the wind and rain. I think I will opt for a new one but in another color.

Positive clpgirl On Aug 1, 2010, clpgirl from Chippewa Lake, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Bought a bare "root" of this plant through a co-op. It actually looked like a dead stick. This was in June. Now, here in Zone 5 it is 4 ft. tall with the largest blooms I have ever seen. I am delighted with this plant, and glad I bought 4. Have had it in a pot cuz I thought it was a tropical. Appreciate reading the feedback above so I know I can plant it in the ground in the fall.

The growth rate is phenomenal!!

Neutral otontisch On Jun 16, 2010, otontisch from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

I bought several Hardy Hybrid Hibiscus (Kopper King, Lord Baltimore, Blue River II, Fantasia). Unfortunately, the Vendors failed indicate that the plant during winter dies out above ground and that, very late (June-July) it comes back from the rootes. I nearly threw them away, fortunately, before tearing out the rootes, I assessed they were alive!!
This is an characteristic different as the one of the tropical and some other more or less hardy, natural varieties wirth smaller flowers.
By the way, these hybrids need further genetic manipulation.
The huge flowers are so wide drawing mass from their thickness, therefore any rain make them collapse, so you must hope that it will not rain during their short life! Anf of course, the wind damages these flowers, as it is often not possible to find outdoor sites both wind protected and with 6 hours sun.
And finally, the plant does not well in very hot dessert days, even if Zone 8.

1) Who has experience with indoor (or greenhouse) potted plants, sited in a sunny window, protected against high temperature, collapsing rain and wind??
What happens during winter?? Shall they, in such case, been cut down?

2) For reproduction with stems cuts: when to plant these, any special advise for how to prepare the stem or the soil?? I assume it can be done in a pot, indoor or outdoor??

Thanks in advance for comments, if you post one, please advise me of its availability to my E-mail



Positive julzperry On May 12, 2010, julzperry from Horn Lake, MS wrote:

Julie - Horn Lake MS.

I planted this beauty in late Summer '09.
I saw it at Home Depot when they arrived, there was only a handful of them, and I had never saw them before, so I knew I had to get it right then.. It bloomed very well the first year, and much to my delight it has returned again this year. It was the last plant to green up in my garden this Spring, and it is already bigger than it was last year. I am very happy with this plant. The flowers are stunning against the pretty foliage.

Positive Gitagal On Mar 10, 2010, Gitagal from Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I bought two KK Hibiscus in 2006 from a HD. It was late in he growing season, and they were reduced 50%. They seemed to be languishing in many HD's as they looked "different".....No one seemed to be buying it.
It was the maroon foliage that tempted me. I bought two--and planted one on the East side of my house--and the other one on the West side of my house.

The one on the East side thrived--even though it was in this tiny bed right against the foundation of my house.
The one on the West side bloomed--and then got some kind of a mosaic virus that crippled the leaves and the blooms. This was a mystery for me--as after I cut off the affected blooms and stems--it produced fairly normal-looking blooms aferwards.
Still--in the long run, this one never came back the next year.

The one on the East side thrived--in a tiny bed smashed against the foundation of the house. It bloomed and bloomed--5'-6' high. After the first flush--I cut it back and it re-bloomed again with it's gorgeous pink/white blooms about 5' tall.

A few years later--I decided to dig it up (carefully!) and move it to a new location with more room for the roots and better light. I was careful in transplanting it. In the following year (2009), it grew and bloomed beautifully---it was just not as tall as it had been. Still "settling in"--as I thought.
This year--2010, I am expecting it to be spectacular once again.

BTW---This Hibiscus does NOT make seeds (at least not here)--as it must be a Hybrid. It DOES make the seed pods--which appear--but are sterile and, soon, yellow-- and fall off.

I LOVE this plant--as it is amazing. The weird thing it, that in 2006, the year I bought it, it seemed to EVERYWHERE!
I have never seen it again since, anywhere not in any of the Big Box stores (where I bought it).....It seems to have become "RARE"! And--since it is infertile as far as the seeds go--It has become hard to find.

I hope they grow it again and sell it agin as it is very beautiful!


Neutral youngdf On Sep 28, 2009, youngdf from State College, PA wrote:

Multiple bulbs caused the plant to lean and eventually the main trunk broke off from high winds. After cutting off at the break, more bulbs came out and bloomed. There are still too many bulbs per branch. I have decied to cut off about half of the bulbs so the branches do not break. I have a myriad of blooms at this late date [Oct 2009] in central PA.

Neutral CDAArtlady On Jul 22, 2009, CDAArtlady from Post Falls, ID wrote:

I purchased this late last fall on clearance.Luckily I had left a marker because it just started emerging around the 4th of July

Positive kdaustin On Sep 25, 2008, kdaustin from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

The flowers are huge and profuse and stand out well against the bronze foliage. Wonderful to add texture and foliage color to the border. I have also grown them, as you can with most perennial hibiscus, in my watergardens.
Perennial hibiscus tend to be among the last plants to emerge in spring, even in mild 8b, they can be as late to emerge as early June. But no worries, they catch up quick.

Positive mboston On Aug 7, 2006, mboston from Granville, NY wrote:

This mallow grows well in my zone 4 garden, but as mentioned before, is very late to emerge in the spring. Even though I was aware of this, I had almost given up hope, since there was no sign of life until mid-June. It has shot up very quickly and has many large buds, in early August. The foliage color is spectacular for landscape use, especially if your house color is enhanced by the deep purple-green leaves. This is my first mallow, and I want new growers of this plant to know it is not damaged by breaking off dormant branches in the fall/winter. My husband was the recipient of an evil eye from me after breaking off a few branches when putting Christmas lights on the house. Since I now know the entire plant emerges from the ground each year, I suppose I owe him an apology!

Positive eileenbaney On Aug 5, 2006, eileenbaney from Crestview, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I got this plant from a mail-order catalog. I thought it wont grow but to my surprise it is thriving very well here in Northwest Florida. I have 4 of them now and I am planning to either propagate from cuttings or I read it grows from seed. I noticed a seed pod from one of the plant how will I know if it's ready for propagation? Any help will be appreciated:)

Positive faykoko On Jun 4, 2006, faykoko from Cross Lanes, WV (Zone 6b) wrote:

great dark foliage and huge flowers. I accidentally broke a stem off, stuck it straight in the ground-now I have 2 :)

Positive boucher On Feb 28, 2006, boucher from Somerdale, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

I'm a little late giving information on the hardy hibiscus, but by all means plant from seed directly outdoors. Bloomed 1st year, and every year since. My first group of seeds were white blossoms, but a pink one came through. I'll add red this year. They are outstanding. Good idea to plant something in front. Depending on the amount of rain we get, it can be sad looking toward the end of it's bloom period.

Positive BDunn On Nov 16, 2005, BDunn from Sunset Beach, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I originally purchased several of these when living on the coast of NC. About 2 years after I planted it, I moved to a different house so, of course, 2 of these moved with me. Now I'm in the Panhandle of FL and, yes you guessed it, 1 had to move with me. We're now living happily after one bloom season. It is slower to come back and bloom more than some other hibiscus, but it's worth the wait. The flowers are HUGE! Up to 8" flowers! Needs lots of water and fertilizer in summer.

Also, since it grows to 4'-5' tall, I plant shorter evergreen bushes in front of them. That way, the shorter bushes hide the stalks when it dies down and I don't have an empty spot during the winter. Once the stalks start to die down, I cut them off (need tree pruners since stalks get so big) and wait till next year.

You can split the plants (winter or summer) and have more -- they get thicker again. I've never tried seeds, but I think I'm going to take a cutting and see what happens. It's starting to loose its leaves now and die back so we'll see how the cutting works.

Neutral ultrajoy On Jun 14, 2004, ultrajoy from Reading, MA wrote:

I have found the Kopper King Hibiscus very late to emerge in my Mass. Garden. Here it is the middle of June and it is just starting to break through the dirt. Has anyone else experienced the late show? I was beginning to think it didn't make it through our cold winter without much snow.


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

Capistrano Beach, California
Fallbrook, California
Laguna Beach, California
Los Angeles, California
San Clemente, California
Yuba City, California
Denver, Colorado (2 reports)
Mystic, Connecticut
New Britain, Connecticut
Crestview, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Canton, Georgia
Post Falls, Idaho
Evanston, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Plainfield, Illinois
Saint Charles, Illinois
Farmersburg, Indiana
Logansport, Indiana
Terre Haute, Indiana
Creston, Iowa
Minburn, Iowa
Ellinwood, Kansas
Osage City, Kansas
Slidell, Louisiana
North Yarmouth, Maine
Edgewater, Maryland
Millersville, Maryland
Dracut, Massachusetts
Medford, Massachusetts
Monson, Massachusetts
Berkley, Michigan
Blissfield, Michigan
Harrison, Michigan
Lincoln Park, Michigan
Mount Clemens, Michigan
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Kasota, Minnesota
Rosemount, Minnesota
Grandview, Missouri
Hallam, Nebraska
Papillion, Nebraska
Litchfield, New Hampshire
Jamesburg, New Jersey
New Milford, New Jersey
Somerdale, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Averill Park, New York
Brewster, New York
Granville, New York
Gibsonville, North Carolina
New Bern, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Chippewa Lake, Ohio
Uniontown, Ohio
Norman, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Yukon, Oklahoma
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
Sellersville, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Bluffton, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Houston, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas
Temple, Texas
Lexington, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Puyallup, Washington
Charleston, West Virginia
Lesage, West Virginia
Hartford, Wisconsin
Oostburg, Wisconsin

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