Monarch Rosemallow, October Rose, Ruby Hibiscus
Hibiscus radiatus

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hibiscus (hi-BIS-kus) (Info)
Species: radiatus (rad-ee-AY-tus) (Info)
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Height:

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Spacing:

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Hardiness:

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:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Bloom Color:

Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Evergreen

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

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

Enterprise, Alabama

Belleview, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Hollywood, Florida (2 reports)

Jacksonville, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Webster, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Blakely, Georgia (2 reports)

Barbourville, Kentucky

Lumberton, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Beaumont, Texas

Huntsville, Texas

Port Arthur, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Dec 18, 2010, tchb from Zephyrhills, FL wrote:

Positive:
Easy to grow
easy to propagate by cuttings
Gorgeous blooms in fall

Negative:
gangly plant almost always tips over at the soil line, even if kept pruned
stake plants grown for their height of 15 feet
each bloom opens at dawn, closes by 4pm, once
self seeds like crazy
big plant = big dead stalk to clear after frost/freeze
drying seed pods identical to unopened bloom--careful not to trim off buds
PRICKERS--the seed pods are covered with break away tiny prickers

Neutral

On Apr 2, 2009, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Hibiscus radiatus is often confused with Hibisus cannabinus so I have completed research in an attempt to find distinguishing characteristics that differientiate the 2 plants. Hibiscus radiatus is an allotetraploid of Hibiscus cannabinus and perhaps Hibiscus surratensis. The term allotetraploid refers to an organism that contains four complete copies of the genome, but two (and rarely, one) of the copies are from a different species than the other two copies. H. cannabinus leaves and calyx lobes are glandular and has epicalyx (a series of bracts subtending and resembling a calyx) segments attached to the calyx which are not characteristics of H. radiata. H. cannabinus has an elongate nectary gland at the base of the lower leaf midrib and on the midvein of eac... read more

Positive

On Oct 27, 2003, onalee from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is an EASY to grow shrub that propagates EASILY from cuttings - even green stem cuttings will live with little effort! The flowers are beautiful - amazingly deep burgandy red and the plants are covered with them in the fall (zone 9). These grow fast enough to plant in spring and have plants over 10' high by fall and covered with blooms.

Negatives: The seed pods have tiny, clear, barb-like thorns in them that will get ALL OVER YOU and stick in your skin and break off when you try to get them out. Wear not only gloves but GOGGLES, LONG SLEAVES, ETC and don't try to open the seed pods in a windy place or those thorns will be all over you.

These also will spread rampantly from seeds. One bush last year produced so many babies, we had to pull them up l... read more