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Confederate Rose, Cotton Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis)

Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Common name: Confederate Rose, Cotton Rose
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Species mutabilis

Plant Link:

Thumbnail by eloopj


Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

The bloom only last one day so it might go from dark to light. I'll have to check it out.

Braselton, GA(Zone 8a)

This is what I've been looking for!!! eloopj, do you know where I can buy this? Thanks for the gorgeous pix!!!

Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I was given this plant. Check with Pike Nursery. I don't know where you live. I'm in Atlanta GA. If you don't have one of those where you are check with your larger Nursery's in your area.

Foley, AL(Zone 9a)

These particular beautiful typically southern plant/trees flourish in the southern regions as they can not tolerate freezing temperatures over winter. I have had them for years and love them. To my limited knowledge of this flower, it is known as "The Last Rose of Summer" if anyone is familiar with hearing that term....because in the south it is the last flower to be left profusely blooming (and also the cluster of flowers resemble roses) until the first light frost, at which time we promptly cut them down, cover it with heavy mulch and then cut the stems and pass them to friends to place in water to root over winter inside in a window. My experience with doing this produces about 5 healthy rootings complete with leaves from 20 stem cuttings. I have recently moved and brought one cutting with me and it is flourishing and already has a bud ready to bloom on it. If anyone is interested in having a cutting this fall when we have our first prediction of frost here in Foley, AL (yes it does happen) I will be happy to send a bunch of cuttings for anyone who requests them. I am new to this site and have not joined the share group, but the offer is there for those who can not find this rather rare plant. I will submit a photo as soon as I take one of my plant and also post it here.... SandPiper....

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

I went to a plant swap last weekend in Bruce MS. On the way back north, we stopped at one of the sponsor nurseries that furnished the door prizes for our swap. I was fortunate enough to pick up, for $5, a gallon bucket with two beautifully leaving plants in it. They ar about 3' tall, and I'm so excited!

This plant seems to be difficult to propagate, but it is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen...

Foley, AL(Zone 9a)

Congrats, FlowrLady, on your rare find of two healthy Confederate Rose plants. Keep us posted with your luck on them. Just remeber to not let the first frost hit it as will most likely kill it as far "North" as you are! (LOL) Just cut it down to the ground as I explained above and cover well and you should see new growth appear the next spring. Am attaching picture of mine that was a mere 2 inch stick with only 2 leaves on it and some small roots beginning at the section when I planted it from my cutting just this past February. It is still just a "baby", but growing nicely....

Thumbnail by SandPiper
-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

SandPiper, thanks for your good instructions... I haven't seen it growing in my N MS area. I will do as you say, because I really believe it's one of the most beautiful flowers God has made. My cousin lives in north/middle MS and has one in her yard. That was my first exposure to it, last fall. I have tried and tried to root from it, but to no avail. I'd love to have some cuttings from yours, if possible. PLMK.


Foley, AL(Zone 9a)

Hi again FlowrLady..Be happy to share cuttings with you this fall. Will look into the best way of doing that. I plan on "spreading them around Foley AL" ! I lived in Guntown for many years before recently moving here. The only thing I knew for certain that I was bringing with me was my Confederate Rose! Still can't believe your good fortune at finding TWO for $5.00. Keep me posted as hope it will grow well for you. Mine are a beautiful deep pink with "clustered" blooms that are huge. Will post my first bloom!

Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

SandPiper, Have you had any luck with the seeds from your plant or are rooting cuttings better? If so how long are the cuttings you root?

Foley, AL(Zone 9a)

Eloopj..I have not tried seeds as the cuttings are so plentiful in the fall when the tree/shrub is cut back to the ground for the winter. The limbs grow in "sections" and I cut at least 8 inches, or 3 to 4 "sections", depending on how large the limb is in diameter. Of course you cut the leaves off the stem! I have been told by friends that they have just cut very long limbs, taken a hammer and driven it directly into the ground and covered heavily with mulch to protect during the southern winters and have them come up in the spring. I personally have not tried that. I cut at least 25 to 30 stalks and place clean rocks in the bottom of three or four jars for stability, fill the jars half full of water and place the fresh cuttings in the water, not stacking them too tightly together. I put them in a sunny window and keep fresh water to the same level and in the spring I usually have at least three or four very healthy rootings from each jar, complete with formed leaves . I plant as soon as the threat of very cold nights is over. Have done this for years, keeping a good supply of Confederate Roses for friends and an extra two or three for me. Hope this answers your question without being too "wordy".... Will post you a pix of what I am referring to as a "section".. Regards... Kat

Charleston, SC

Hmmm, I have never seen anyone cut back their Confederate Roses! I'm in North Charleston SC ...they are plentiful here. I planted one last yr that my mother had tried to keep up in Ohio. She kept int in a pot all winter but as it grew it never would bloom for her. After 2 years she gave it must have miss the south because you could SEE it growing ! Now it's about 10ft tall and making more like a tree. It's blooming early this year as of the 5th of Sept. usually they don't bloom here until October. I do have a question though, mine has never bloomed snow white then turn the hot pink, every other C. Rose around here blooms white then as the day goes on it turns to w brillant hot pink, What could cause mine not to bloom white?

(Carole) Cleveland, TX(Zone 9a)

I'm glad I found this thread! A friend of mine gave me a itty bitty baby Conf. Rose last spring. This year it's a TREE!! Like Shadow's, mine is at least 10' tall! I wasn't too concerned that it didn't bloom for me last year, as it was its first year. When should I be expecting it to bloom for me this year?

Kat, I would love to know more about rooting cuttings from it. Tell me if I got it right here... Take 8" sections, strip them of leaves, put them in jars with rocks in the bottom, then put them in a window, and keep fresh water on them. Did I get it?

Thanks to you all for your help and advice!
~ Carole

Thumbnail by Cajun2
Foley, AL(Zone 9a)

Carole....That is what I do. I usually don't get them all to root, but out of about 20 (I put some in seperate jars) you will have good luck with a few beginning to put tiny roots on and then begin to leaf before spring. Don't plant them until they look pretty healthy and all fear of any frost is gone. Another important thing is to make certain that the stalks have the sectioned portion under water, as this is where they root. I am attaching a picture of the section of mine showing a leaf beging to grow. This is the part that should be underwater to root. I just add fresh water when the water has evaporated down a lot. By spring the water will look awful, but results will be well worth it! I know this works because I have been doing it every fall through the winter..... Hope this helps. It does have the most beautiful flower on it.

Thumbnail by SandPiper
-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

Well, guys, it's been a while since I've been on this thread. My Conf Rose is alive, and it's about 4' tall. It hasn't made any buds or flowers. I've just asked it to stay alive and get a good root system growing. As soon as I'm sure frost is about 10 minutes away, I'm going to run out there and cut it down and mulch it. Then I'll try to make rootings of what I have. These are SO beautiful. I know I've already said it twice in this thread, but I just can't get over it...

Thanks for your comments here. They are helpful to me.

Foley, AL(Zone 9a)

Hi FlowrLady...Congrats on your CR growing! The only reason it is best to cut them down is because you live in the colder region of MS as I did before moving to the Coastal Al region. We do not have to cut them down here as the winters are very mild! :O) My neighbor behind me has a giant one that must be 20 to 30 ft. tall. It may be taller, as it is much taller than the roof of her home...Some people think that cutting them back will kill them...and unless you cover it well with mulch, it may very well die from a very hard freeze, which you have in your region. That is why it is important to root them over the winter in case it does not survive the cold. You are a bit far "North" with harder winters, so just be sure and cover it nicely and cut you plenty of stalks for rooting. Be sure you place several "sections" under water as this is where the roots begin. Good luck!

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

SandPiper, I'm wondering... If I cut it close to the ground, mulch it heavily, and put plastic over the mulch... do you think it will get too warm? Or do you think it will start growing and then freeze?

My little one has not gotten any taller. It has a lot of very small leaves, not the usual large ones... I'm worried about what to do. Since it's not really growing bigger, I might dig the whole thing up and take it in the house, to a cool place, and let it stay there, partially dormant. What do you think, since you used to live "up north" like I do now. thanks.

Foley, AL(Zone 9a)

Hi FlowrLady..I lived in Tupelo which is not too very far from where you live, but a LOT of difference in cold winter temperatures as you get much more snow than we did. I don't know why your CF has not grown as they are very fast growers and usually bloom the first year of planting. I planted a tiny cutting that I rooted when I moved here in February and it was just a stick with several leaves on it and is already as tall as my house and has many, many buds on it. So I am confused as to why yours has not grown since your last post in Sept. when you said it was about 4 ft. tall. It IS a spring and summer grower, blooming in the late fall, so perhaps that is the answer.......I've never potted one, but to ensure that it does not die at it's tender growth, your idea sounds reasonable to me. I would keep it near a good light source and I would also try and root some new ones from a small limb cutting. Good luck and keep me posted. These are such beautiful and truly "Southern" plants.... SandPiper

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

Thanks. You're right. Tupelo is a LOT further south when it comes to plants... I will dig it up. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Matthews, MO

why can't they make dresses this beautiful.... this has to be an ultimate in "feminine"

Maben, MS(Zone 7b)

I will have cuttings of Confederate Rose in a few weeks if anyone is intereted. I love this plant it looks so pretty when most everything else is gone.

Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Y'all don't forget there are single and double blooms! I have one of each they go together well too!

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

Yardbird,I'll be down your way next weekend, I think. If so, I'd love to get some cuttings...


Foley, AL(Zone 9a)

Hi All..was thrilled to have my first bloom on my CR this year. It bloomed Oct. 15, 2004. This is the cutting I brought from MS from the mother plant I had to leave when we moved to Foley in Feb. of this year. When I planted it, it was only about 6 inches tall. Now I had to shoot upward to get this pix of the first beautiful bloom that is 6 inches across!!!!!

Thumbnail by SandPiper
-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

OOoooohhhhh!!! Sandpiper, it's TOTALLY gorgeous.

Jacksonville, NC(Zone 8a)

I live in zone 8, coastal North Carolina. I have a 1 year planting which is now over 12 feet tall. It is all full of buds. I bought it in Wilmington, N.C. I cannot wait to see its blooms. I also grew another one from a cane which I placed in the ground covered with a glass jar. It did very well. It is however in a flower pot as I do not know where to plant it at this point in time.

When I first saw this beauty was in one of the Antebellum Mansions gardens in Wilmington, N.C. At first I thought it was a radiant pink Camelia. Not, it was the hot pink CR.

Lots of luck to all.

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