Hardiness: 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) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: Red White/Near White
Bloom Time: Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing the rootball From herbaceous stem cuttings From seed; sow indoors before last frost From seed; direct sow after last frost
Seed Collecting: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
I've had great success with this plant for the 3 years I've had it in the garden. I planted 4 of them in a row to form a border and they look amazing. They usually grow to be about 6 feet tall, this year a little taller. All of them have white flowers with pink centers, although sometimes the flowers have a bit of pink to them all over.
Winter care is as easy as it gets for my zone 6 garden. I just let them die back in the fall and cut them down to 2 inch stumps and new growth rapidly comes up in the spring. In the summer they don't require much care other than plucking Japanese Beetles off of them. Those beetles love to chew little holes in the flowers and leaves, but the damage is minimal and the flowers only last a day or two before being replaced anyways. The funny part is watching the beetles crawl into the flowers and get stuck in the pollen.
On Mar 11, 2012, Tibble22 from Panama City Beach, FL wrote:
My Swamp Mallow is peculiar; it is in a large pot which I move into the greenhouse over winter because it won't take the "cold" of Florida! The plant dies and needs to be replaced each year if I don't protect it this way. During the regular growing season it will do alright but tends to begin to die back with the leaves turning red in mid summer and the few blooms it gets last about a day. It's an interesting plant but causes me great worry and not worth the stress. It won't be replaced again...
On Feb 6, 2012, morningloree from Heathrow, FL wrote:
It is February and my Rose Mallow sits among the brown sticks that were Night Blooming Jasmine and blooms it's little heart out. I think it is prettier than the more tropical Hibiscus. The flower is large and almost has a light of it's own. I have it planted on the south east part of my yard, where there is plenty of sun. I keep it watered and put lots of mulch around the base and I am rewarded with color when not much in my yard is making an effort.
On Jul 29, 2011, amazar from Eau Claire, WI (Zone 4a) wrote:
I've had several varieties of this for about 6 years. Just noticed the first open flower of the year on a big white one. My care for these is benign neglect - I cut them back in spring once the tulips are blooming (this helps me remember where they are as they often don't pop up until early June in my area). Some years I thin out about half the emerging shoots in mid-June, otherwise they get a little leggy from self shading and fall over. I'm in zone 4a and do nothing to protect them in winter. I've only had one variety that I've tried not survive the winter. I find they stop blooming for the year if there is an extended dry period any time after mid-August. (I suppose deep watering would help with that...)
On Jul 24, 2011, rubies0724 from Stratmoor, CO wrote:
My husband purchased two varitys and both plants keep dropping their buds before they open. we have cut back the watering but they still fall off before they open...Any suggestions? they are beautiful flowers, we live in CO
On Jul 20, 2011, OlafTris from Bridgewater, NJ wrote:
I have a Kopper King that is doing great. My other red- blooming cultivar is not so great (don't know the name of). The red one is on top of a berm. It is laying down instead of bushy and upright. The stems are sturdy but snap if you try to stake it. Do you think it does not like the top of the berm (maybe soil dries out too quickly)? Or is it just this cultivar? Does anyone else have problems with the hibsicus spreading out horizontally instead of vertical?
On Jan 24, 2011, phase2682 from Roseville, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:
I planted six in my east facing planter that is always moist due to drainage issues. Where other plants died due to too much moisture, the hardy hisbiscus has thrived. Everyone raves about the large and beautiful 'dinner plate' blooms.
On Feb 11, 2010, catcollins from West Friendship, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:
I had never heard of this plant until I bought our current home. It was planted by the previous owners in the middle of the very large backyard. It wasn't marked and since I didn't know what it was, I didn't worry about the little leafy thing sitting out there all by itself. It was July in a drought year in central Maryland, and it was only 1 foot tall with no buds.
Two years in a row, my husband accidentally ran over it with the lawn mower, repeatedly, before I finally decided to mark it with some bamboo stakes to finally let it grow. Imagine my surprise that second year when those gorgeous flowers started popping in late summer through fall! It was actually two plants together - one pale pink with a ruby throat and one bright red with a maroon throat. My husband could not believe what he had been routinely mowing down (by accident).
We have now moved this beauty to the frontyard, as a showcase plant in the corner of a flowerbed. It has mulch and never has to worry about the lawn mower again! We have since planted four others and just love these guys! SUPER TOUGH AND VERY FORGIVING!
On Dec 7, 2009, holeth from Lehigh Valley, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
Prefers moist soils, but can live in dry clay. In Aug-Sept 1995, was one of the few plants thriving in Palmerton, PA at homes relatively near NJ Zinc Superfund Site. Soils were heavy clay & slate tills.
Love huge showy flowers. Highlight of garden full of favorites. Nothing else close to its stunning display.
One problem with this plant: one of the last to shoot up in late spring/early summer** Easy to panic & think they're dead or something's wrong. Waiting for shoots especially stressful if one "remembers," perhaps incorrectly, when they were up the prev yr. **(They race for last place w/Cardinal flower [Lobelia cardinalis] & some of the milkweeds [Asclepias sp]).
TG for DG Journal! Yay for dbase of actual shoot/bloom instead of foggy memories!
I have only had these 3 plants (Hibiscus Rose Mallows) for about a week (planted on 9/19/09), they seem to be doing very well along the fence-line on the West side of our yard in Orlando, Florida, the three plants I purchased are NOT always in full sun, they are in shade for most of the morning and get the sun starting a little later in the afternoon. They seem to be holding up very well in the morning shade/afternoon sun environment and are still producing extremely large and beautiful flowers.
On Aug 2, 2009, steadfast4life from Lincoln, NE wrote:
I have two 'disco belle' plants. One has a pink tinge to the outside of the petals, the other is white with red center. I haven't had any problems (other than some pesky grasshoppers) and they are planted in hard clay and tend to get neglected during late summer when they should probably have more water. They haven't been invasive. The shape is a very pleasing mounding form about 3' tall. Wish I had more room to plant more.
On Jul 16, 2009, redcamaro350ss from Statesville, NC wrote:
Grows naturally (so it seems) along the banks of Lake Norman. Very pretty blooms when they are open. They tend to be open at night and in the morning, but close in the heat of the day. Recently planted some H. coccineus and H. moscheutos 'Flare'. A few seedlings have come up from the H. coccineus that lack the typical 'marijuana' leaf shape. Interesting to see if the seeds are hybrids between coccineus and moscheutos. Not sure if they hybridize readily. H. moscheutos tend to lack the drought tolerance seen in H. coccineus. Moscheutos prefers its feet wet and anyone having problems with moscheutos dying should probably try giving them more water, and worry less about crown rot. They can also tolerate poor soils as long as they are kept wet.
On Dec 29, 2007, MistyPetals from North Augusta, SC wrote:
As a new gardener, I didn't know what to expect from this plant when I first laid eyes on a small pot at a local garden center. There it was, dejected and clearanced to its lowest price. We had recently purchased our home and there wasn't a lot of cash for plants so the end of the season sale was right up my alley, so to speak. I paid the pittance for her and popped her in the garden, in full sun along with some others found that day. She looked sad to say the least. This was during the month of May. I visited DG and cut the plant down to the roots, in an effort to start her over again. Well, in the late summer/early fall, she blossomed.She was suddenly gorgeous! I would anxiously anticipate each morning's arrival to see if a bloom spotted the previous day had opened, some were slower than others but they all opened with a few days of my noticing their buds. I LOVE THIS PLANT!!! It's a performer if ever there was a performer. I could almosst here her call out, thanks for working with me, have I got something to show you! My husband even enjoys this plant.
As mentioned, I am a new gardener, thinking I had something to do with her positive development encouraged me to purchase seeds to try this year.
I am very grateful for all that I have learned here on DG. THANKS TO EVERY ONE WHO CONTRIBUTES HERE! Thanks a million. MistyPetals :)
I live in Minnesota, this year it was so warm it came up early (in May) and stayed warm so it still had flowers in early Nov. I get as many as 15 or more at full bloom in good years. I have never had a pest problem. I have difficulty with my hands and have found that if I wait till after the first frost its much easier to cut them back, as the stems soften after the frost. I do cover them with the last grass/mulched leaves pick up of the season. During dry periods I have to water them every 3 days with a good soak, otherwise they are work free. Everyone loves the flowers. I bought one for my daughter as they had a few left at the end of season at a steal of a price. The hardy ones do excellent in this cold zone.
On Sep 23, 2007, jlmc from Jacksonville, FL wrote:
We bought our Lord Baltimore Rose Mallow earlier this year, it bloomed and bloomed and was doing very well, all of a sudden it started to die, leaves turned black, stems turned brown, we went to our nursery and they told us to use an inseticide to get rid of spider mites, we used that but the plant got worse, then we trimmed the dead stuff back to the green and went back to the computer and did some research I thought it was crown rot, the nursery guy said rootrot, we treated it for root rot and now it is all brown we are going to try using some fertilizer and hope that if the roots are still alive we can bring it back buy doing a drastic cut back of the plant, if that doesn't work then we will have to get another one cause we love it so. If anyone knows what else might have taken our beautiful plant from us please let us know.
On Aug 24, 2007, Chris001 from Kingston Canada wrote:
I put in a few of these plants a couple years ago and they're doing just fine. Depsite it being a dry summer, they're huge this year and full of bloom. Some are in a sandy soil on a hill and some are in clay. Apparently they aren't so common around here because everyone stops to have a look and ask what they are. In winter I just make a mound over them with the stalks and cuttings from the garden. The main thing is to avoid a freeze-thaw cycle. Once the ground is frozen - you want it to stay that way until Spring. Never had a bug problem despite an infestation of Japanese beetles on the lillies last summer. I live north of Kingston, Ontario so I'm sure they're hardier than given credit.
On Jul 10, 2007, leegee01 from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I've recently added the Flare variety to my garden. Flare has been rated a "Texas Superstar" performer by the horticulture department at Texas A&M. So far, I'm inclined to agree. In three weeks, I've gone from no budding to over 150 buds on three plants, and expect many blooms in the next few days. (This is without any fertilizing, in less than stellar soil.) They do wilt quickly if you let them get dry, but with regular watering I should have quite a show until our first frost, likely November.
On Aug 21, 2006, guardians from Thomson, GA wrote:
This plant was given to me last year and I planted it after we moved here in July 05. I thought it had died, so when it started growing like a weed and setting buds, I was amazed! It bloomed like gangbusters and blessed me with tons of seed pods. It was totally neglected and forgotten, (as in not watered or fertilized).Beautiful 7" or better blooms, and although they only last a day or so, I have had as many as 5 open at a time. I have already started some from seed to spread these all over my little yard.
one of the first plants i brought home when the 'gardening bug' bit me - i fell for the magenta, satellite-dish sized blooms. put it at the back corner of a triangular sw-facing garden and it bloomed, spectacularly & non-stop, til frost (despite a gnarly infestation of what i now know is the dreaded whitefly). when it died to the ground in winter, i thought it was my fault for not dealing aggressively wth the pests. it came back bigger than before! i thinned out the suckers once in late april, and now have a 4'x5' very blowsy bush w/up to 6 buds on each stem end. show should start by 1st week of july. note to beginners: i don't water this as heavily as some here have recommended, and it seems to be dandy anyway.
On Jun 19, 2006, eurokitty from Seattle, WA (Zone 9b) wrote:
It seems that one key to this plant is to be sure to leave an adequate amount of stem above ground when planting. I have about nine of these in my yard that I am growing as a hedge. The difference is dramatic - the ones with at least two to three inches of stem exposed have grown much better.
On May 21, 2006, hostaguy52 from Tonawanda, NY wrote:
One of the showiest of all later blooming perennials adding a huge dash of color in July and August here in Western New York State. I've over 100 plants now, hybrids of moscheutos, many the 'Southern Belle' variety in several colors, started from seed in 1984. I usually add a few new ones to the garden each year. Lord and Lady Baltimore, turn of the Century and Blue River II (a huge white) are doing fine in their 3rd and 4th years. Fireball, Kopper King, Plum Crazy, Fantasia and Old Yeller (a very, very pale yellow) in their 1st and 2nd years. I've added 'Sweet Caroline', 'Luna Red' and 'Luna Blush' so far this year, 2006. I will also be trying my hand at seed propagation this year from the several hundred seeds collected from named varieties last fall.
Hi, I'm a newby to this site. I came for information and got lots but I also think I can give some. As to the issue of over wintering, I wouldn't bring it in the house. If you're in zone 5 or greater just leave it in the ground and ignore it. If you're zone 4 or less I still might try the same thing, but if I decided to dig and store it, I'd wait until it had died to the ground, then I'd put it somewhere it wouldn't get colder than 15 deg. or warmer than 40. A garage? No water now. It's dormant. Also I've had good luck growing this one from seed started in Feb. under lights.
Throughout the summer, my Rose Mallow was doing great on my terrace: dark green leaves and brilliant red blooms. In mid October, I brought my Rose Mallow inside before the 1st frost. However, the leaves began yellowing a bit and falling off. The soil is moist, but I think the sunlight is not enough.
On Aug 21, 2004, randi_rives from Lubbock, TX (Zone 7a) wrote:
I LOVE THESE BLOOMS! They are the size of dinner plates. The only drawback is the amount of water they require here in Lubbock. They tend to wilt heavily in the afternoon heat, but with watering they bounce back. We have gotten to the point that we can water every other day now. The first year we watered daily. They are now 4 years old. We cut them back to the ground in early December, and they come back stronger every year. We have three colors of Hibiscus. We are trying to get our plants and yard as xeriscaped as possible, but I don't want to give these beauties up!! They will just have to have their own corner of the yard. The desert willows, agaves and yuccas can be the watersavers.
On Jul 22, 2004, vs71099 from Osage City, KS (Zone 5b) wrote:
I too LOVE this plant.... and have had great success with it next to my fence. There is some sort of worm that likes to prey but if I watch close I can usually catch them before they do much damage. The plate size blooms are worth the effort and the wait as they seem to be the last plants to poke thru in my garden in the spring.
On Jul 15, 2004, ROCKFORDINN from Hamilton, OH wrote:
MY FAVORITE PLANT. HAVE ABOUT 30 HIBISCUS PLANTS IN MY OHIO GARDEN. I RECOMMEND GOOD FERTILE SOIL FOR BEST COLORS AND GROWTH. I FEED WITH MIRACLE GROW EVERY 2 WEEKS IN SPRING THROUGH SUMMER AND SOME VARIETIES REACH 7 TO 8 FEET. I STAKE AND TIE ALL MY ROSE MALLOWS TO PREVENT STEM BREAKAGE FROM STRONG WINDS. BLOOMS 1ST WEEK OF JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER. ROSE MALLOWS CAN BE PINCHED BACK WHEN THEY ARE 1 TO 2 FEET TALL TO MAKE MORE FULL WITH MORE BLOOMS. MULCH IN FALL WILL PRODUCE MORE STEMS THE FOLLOWING YEAR. NEW VARIETIES COME IN YELLOW AND PURPLE AND BI-COLORS IN ADDITION TO THE STANDARD RED,PINK AND WHITE.
It is interesting to note that propagation of these plants is
simple and easy. Take a young cutting and place in water until
roots are noted. Then plant in soil or potting mixture and keep
damp. When well established
transfer to permanent bed or
border. My experience with this method has been very successful.
On Jul 6, 2004, Commonsense from Rock Hill, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:
This plant is currently (early July) giving me an excellent show here in Zone 7 South Carolina, outside Charlotte. I planted it from a twiglet last fall and forgot about it until it went berserk about a week ago. It's planted in a permanently boggy area and it seems to love it there.
On Jun 28, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I haven't grown this plant myself, but have seen it at the Lady Bird Johnson National Wildflower Research Center growing in a bog area and hanging over the pond at the front entrance of the center. It can DEFINITELY live in boggy, wet areas, hence the name "Swamp Rose".
I have several of these hardy hibiscus plants. Some are in normal clay garden soil with normal moisture. Others are in an area that floods for much of the winter, in fact they have often been underwater or frozen under ice. They do much better in the flooded area. I am in Zone 5...they have no wind protection. They are 6-7 ft. in the wet area as opposed to only 3 ft. or so in the normal garden. And, even better, the plants in the wet area have seeded themselves and I have a row of them about 20 ft. long coming up in this low drainage ditch type of area. It is great! Effortless! And the flowers are wonderful. Now, I am trying to figure out how to propagate the red hibiscus as I have not had much luck with growing it from seed. I am concerned that I will kill it if I try to divide it because it is so woody, and I only have one that blooms red.
A co-worker gave me two trunks last year and I was in love!! This appears to grow well in Detroit, MI. I put some manuer around it, like I do my roses and I think it did well. I'm awaiting some sign of life now, I don't see anything yet and I tend to be impatient. Luckily, I got to read the comments on this site about this plant coming out of dormancy so late, else I'd think I killed it. I also think this produces multiple trunks, looks like I have four trunks now. Won't know anything else until late spring, I think we are a month behind in seasons here due to weather conditions.
On Nov 11, 2003, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:
One of my favorite plants of all-time. Big, billowy, blousy flowers, native to the east-coast. Blooms in a variety of colors ranging from white to pink to red in a varieties of patterns, combinations. Can be grown in full sun to part shade. Likes an acid soil but is tolerant of different Phs. Won't tolerate very dry soil. Water copiously in drought. Can be grown in wet/boggy soil and clay.
On Aug 5, 2003, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
These plants (several varieties) grow very well for me. I have 'Kopper King' as well as the pink, white and red varieties. They will not need staking, even when mature, if you have planted them in a constantly moist (but of course, well-drained) soil. Actually, where I have my original (pink) plant, it floods every spring, with standing water for anywhere from 4 to 14 days! They are very late breaking dormancy, but worth the wait! My oldest bears flowers (depending on the year) from mid-July (this year it is still in bud - everything is about 4 weeks late!) through late September. If you dead-head, you can still be getting blooms in October!
On Aug 4, 2003, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:
Japanese beetles love this plant, but it soon outgrows the damage. The large, bright flowers are very visible from a distance, making this a good front-yard flower. Mine does require sturdy support. Cut back to the ground after it goes dormant in fall.
On Aug 12, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
This plant is always late emerging in spring, allowing me to fill in the space with spring ephemerals that go dormant as this one break through the soil. Produces fantastically huge bright red flowers in abundance in late summer. Only negative is that the stems cannot support the weight of all the buds and must be supported.
On May 24, 2002, moscheuto from Westland, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:
My very favorite plant. Started flowering on July 21, 2001, didn't stop until October 19 frost. As many as 3 flowers at any time were open. Counted at least 60 flowers in various stages of development. Very nice and easy.
On Aug 26, 2001, KatBaxter from Feeding Hills, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Needs regular deep watering and protection from windburn. Good background plant in beds...can be used as hedge. Mark well where planted as this plant breaks dormancy very late. Blossoms are approximately 9 inches across.
On Aug 26, 2001, KatBaxter from Feeding Hills, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Interesting maple like leaves on sturdy stems. Pink blossoms are 9" in diameter. Breaks dormancy very late in the spring so mark them well when cleaning out your flower beds or you could pull this up by mistake. Dies back to the ground in the winter. Blooms Aug to Oct. in zone 5.
Best used in back of the border...as single specimen....or as a hedge. May prune as desired to keep best height.
Needs regular deep watering and protection from windburn.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (3 reports) Anniston, Alabama Arley, Alabama Auburn, Alabama Houston, Alabama Jones, Alabama Tempe, Arizona Clayton, California Roseville, California Upland, California Wildomar, California Denver, Colorado Highland Acres, Delaware Bradenton, Florida Gainesville, Florida Heathrow, Florida Holmes Beach, Florida Inverness, Florida Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports) Keystone Heights, Florida Lake Lorraine, Florida Lakeside, Florida Nokomis, Florida Rockledge, Florida Brunswick, Georgia Clarkston, Georgia Cordele, Georgia Marietta, Georgia Richmond Hill, Georgia Rutledge, Georgia Thomson, Georgia Vernonburg, Georgia Villa Rica, Georgia (2 reports) Carterville, Illinois Chicago, Illinois Evergreen Park, Illinois Hampton, Illinois Mount Prospect, Illinois Washington, Illinois Columbus, Indiana Oak Park, Indiana Warren, Indiana Belle Plaine, Kansas Osage City, Kansas Wichita, Kansas Calvert City, Kentucky Ewing, Kentucky Louisville, Kentucky Taylorsville, Kentucky New Orleans, Louisiana Norco, Louisiana Old Jefferson, Louisiana Zachary, Louisiana Arnold, Maryland Boyds, Maryland West Friendship, Maryland Chatham, Massachusetts Halifax, Massachusetts Springfield, Massachusetts Sterling, Massachusetts Birch Run, Michigan Dearborn Heights, Michigan Fennville, Michigan Mason, Michigan Pinconning, Michigan Sanford, Michigan Temperance, Michigan Thompsonville, Michigan Little Falls, Minnesota Richfield, Minnesota Florence, Mississippi Maccomb, Mississippi Mathiston, Mississippi Claycomo, Missouri Crestwood, Missouri Macbaine, Missouri Marshfield, Missouri Piedmont, Missouri Saint Robert, Missouri Blair, Nebraska Exeter, Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska (2 reports) Bridgewater, New Jersey Clearbrook Park, New Jersey Edison, New Jersey Frenchtown, New Jersey Garwood, New Jersey Haddonfield, New Jersey Nutley, New Jersey Society Hill, New Jersey Albuquerque, New Mexico El Paso, New Mexico Dix Hills, New York Tonawanda, New York Gorman, North Carolina High Point, North Carolina Sanford, North Carolina Statesville, North Carolina Whispering Pines, North Carolina Bucyrus, Ohio Cincinnati, Ohio Cortland, Ohio Hilliard, Ohio Oak Hill, Ohio Saint Martin, Ohio Toledo, Ohio Brush Creek, Oklahoma Mustang, Oklahoma Norge, Oklahoma Tulsa, Oklahoma Irrigon, Oregon Fullerton, Pennsylvania Irwin, Pennsylvania Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania Palmerton, Pennsylvania Tionesta, Pennsylvania San Juan, Puerto Rico Bluffton, South Carolina Columbia, South Carolina Myrtle Beach, South Carolina North Augusta, South Carolina North Charleston, South Carolina Bon Aqua, Tennessee Covington, Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Lenoir City, Tennessee Middleton, Tennessee (2 reports) Murfreesboro, Tennessee Austin, Texas (2 reports) Brazoria, Texas Briarcliff, Texas Broaddus, Texas Callisburg, Texas Dallas, Texas Kerrville, Texas Lubbock, Texas Plano, Texas Roman Forest, Texas San Antonio, Texas (3 reports) Delta, Utah Falls Church, Virginia Leesburg, Virginia Manakin Sabot, Virginia Mechanicsville, Virginia Concrete, Washington Seattle, Washington (2 reports) Philippi, West Virginia Brookfield, Wisconsin Eau Claire, Wisconsin Edgar, Wisconsin Sauk City, Wisconsin