Abelmoschus Species, Aibika, Edible Hibiscus, Sunset Hibiscus, Sunset Muskmallow, Sweet Hibiscus

Abelmoschus manihot

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Abelmoschus (a-bel-MOS-kus) (Info)
Species: manihot (MAN-ee-hot) (Info)



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama

Arley, Alabama

Tuskegee, Alabama

Union Grove, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Martinez, California

Merced, California

Richmond, California

San Jose, California

Wilmington, Delaware

Bokeelia, Florida

Bonifay, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Melbourne, Florida

Miami Beach, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Bowersville, Georgia

Brunswick, Georgia

Cordele, Georgia

Lagrange, Georgia

Loganville, Georgia

Waycross, Georgia

Hagatna, Guam

Honolulu, Hawaii

Greenville, Indiana

Barbourville, Kentucky

Ewing, Kentucky

New Orleans, Louisiana

Cumberland, Maryland

Randolph, Massachusetts

Mason, Michigan

Maben, Mississippi

Blair, Nebraska

New Milford, New Jersey

Albany, New York

Bellerose, New York

Greensboro, North Carolina

Crooksville, Ohio

Thornville, Ohio

Wren, Ohio

Stilwell, Oklahoma


Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Pawleys Island, South Carolina

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Crossville, Tennessee

Pocahontas, Tennessee

Alice, Texas

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Fort Worth, Texas

Kendalia, Texas

Pasadena, Texas

Kaysville, Utah

Kennewick, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 30, 2017, siege2055 from Stilwell, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Cold hardy in my zone 7a to 0F at least. Reseeded and also came back from roots. Just a tip, the roots get very fat and can expand from the ground a bit getting exposed. To keep them from freezing, make sure to rebury them back to the stem and mulch well. The ones that had roots exposed died, but the ones that had the roots underground came back with no issues.


On Jul 28, 2015, Cenepk101 from Loganville, GA wrote:

I found this plant growing against the wall next to my garage - tightly nestled between asiatic lilies. ( natural staking ) The lilies were spent when I noticed the plant in early July. It seemed to resemble okra ( which I adore ) - then it bloomed ! So primal & simple and clear soft yellow with the deep Merlot colored center. I hadn't planted it on purpose. But had put out seeds of cleome, California giant zinnias & foxgloves. In that mix - ferns & other things came up. Not blaming the seed company at all- I collect seeds and always sow outdoors. Maybe it was the store bought manures I used in the bed- who knows how this happy accident happened ! I'm just delighted it did ! You can bet I'll be collecting the seeds when they're ready ! I'm in zone 7b & this is a lovely, interesting... read more


On Sep 3, 2013, vihosta from Nanaimo BC, BC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I received a bright yellow musk mellow seed in a bag of topsoil from a local garden shop - a volunteer - I didn't know what it was until it started blooming! Now it is 5 feet tall and produces one big bloom at a time gradually up the stem! Wonderful free gift! Brian, Nanaimo B.C., Canada.


On Jul 3, 2013, TropicBob from Cooper City, FL wrote:

I live in South Florida and this grows very well. I trimmed it a few months ago and use the sticks as stakes for vegetables. Almost every one rooted without any care. I use small leaves in salads and large leaves for wraps and burritos. The flowers are beautiful and hibiscus-like.


On Jun 13, 2013, AmandaEsq from Greensboro, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I was surprised and pleased to find last year's plant grown from seed pushing up new growth this week. I did not expect it to return so I have added a couple of seedlings in the same area. Striking lemon chiffon flowers with maroon throat were perfect in a part sun location. This plant is very closely related to southern favorite okra. Not an okra fan, but I intend to investigate the edible nature of this plant this year.


On Sep 16, 2011, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Winter sowing this in with some of my wild hibiscus in a boggy area. Thinking some texas star is goin in as well.
Should bloom ass thru our hot southern summers


On Aug 11, 2010, poisondartfrog from Barbourville, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Lovely and easy to grow self-sower: I have not started new plants once since I first planted one out 5-6 years ago. I pull the old plants up each fall as well as scores of seedlings in spring, but they are easy to control if you get them early. If you procrastinate they can be more difficult.


On Aug 6, 2010, hottropics from Bokeelia, FL wrote:

This is the Easiest plant ever to start from seed ,cutting or roots. Seeds should be started outside in summer in regular soil with sand mixed in. When seedlings are about 12'' tall plant several (i like 3 together) about 10'' apart.Mulch, water in every morning for a week. These should grow like crazy, when they are as tall as you, they can droop after rain. You can now trim these down to about 8''-12'' from the base. I prune the outter branches shorter than inner to give new growth ample room to spread. Remember everywhere you cut, that branch will probably send out three new shoots. this plant should go at the back of your bed-garden and can be planted in full or part-shade. It's a very fast grower.I haven't tried eating any of it yet, I got this for its beautiful red and purple foliage... read more


On Feb 5, 2010, DMgardener from (Daniel) Mount Orab, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

An excellent plant for any garden, and not too tropical;)

The seeds can take a month to germinate, so be patient! I threw out my first batch thinking that they were dud seeds. But I sowed more, outdoors. Those only took 2 weeks to germinate. The plant grew rather quickly, and then buds came! The first flower amazed me... A yellow Hibiscus! Lots of blooms right up to frost.
This is it's first winter. Later on this year I will post again to tell how it did in it's second year...


On Jul 21, 2009, KatCush from Kaysville, UT wrote:

I have the hardy version growing in my flower bed. I love this plant. It is a beautiful pink. Lagoon Amusement Park also grows a ton of them.

I lived as a small child in Hawaii. It reminds me of there.

I have not had any die because of Utah Winters. I am in zone 5. I do have a cage around it because it tends to get blwon over. My plant is over 5 feet tall.

Blooms only last one day, but it is never without blooms once it starts blooking. I got my first blossom last week, around July 15.

It did take about 3 years for it to bloom from the small nursery plant I bought.

I am going to try and germinate the seeds this year. My neighbor got a piece of root from me last year and hers is blooming this year too.


On Jul 8, 2008, bermudakiller from Union Grove, AL wrote:

I have some 20 plants that survived last winter. I am in 7b, only lost 2 with medium mulch, already anywhere from 6 " to 4' and 2 in bloom. by end of June, i like this plant a lot, not only as an ornamental but as food. leaves are quite nice as a green, but the blossoms beat okra as a wrap, or in salads.


On Jul 6, 2007, lovetogrow from London,
United Kingdom wrote:

I am growing this for the first time in Morden, Surrey in UK, they germinated very quickly in two days. I grew them in cells, one to a cell. I have just planted them in the garden will let you know how this goes. The weather is awful here raining and cold.


On Jan 4, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

To facilitate germination, soaking overnight before sowing has been recommended, and possible successive nicking.


On Oct 1, 2004, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

In Arlington Texas it is a tender perennial, it dies to the ground and comes back the following year. We love this plant.


On Sep 30, 2004, Somb1240 from Pocahontas, TN wrote:

This plant is outstanding here in our gardens. It would be interesting if the pods are edible as with other okra types.


On Oct 4, 2003, sbarr from Albany (again), NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I grew this as an annual in zone 5. I started them late winter and transplanted them after frost.

Germination - seemed pretty slow, several weeks. Don't lose hope!

Transplanting - seedlings may need to be staked for the first month or two, they can topple very easily.

Height - Put them in the BACK of the garden. They can easily reach 6 feet tall. My mistake - I put these tiny seedlings "front and center" and they dwarfed many things behind them.

Collecting seeds - After the flower dies, you will get a prickly pod that eventually turns brown. When the seeds are ready, you can easily split the pod seams with your nail and scoop out the seeds.


On Jan 4, 2003, Shirley1md from Ellicott City, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Tropical Hibiscus Abelmoschus Manihot can be grown as an annual in zones colder than 8b. Most likely, it is a perennial Hibiscus in warmer zones. The flowers are a lovely pale yellow with a dark purple/maroon center. Whichever zone you live in, it is a lovely plant to add to your garden.


On Jun 27, 2002, geckeroo wrote:

I grow this plant in Hawaii, and use it's leaves in salad, and as wrappers for food, "tortilla style". I find it easy to propagate by rooting "woody stems" (I'm no botanist, but I think that's correct) in water, or putting them directly into the ground (and watering them a lot.) I've been told they grow "bushy" for some people, but mine grow tall and stalky.


On Sep 6, 2001, talinum from Kearney, NE (Zone 5a) wrote:

TP used as annual
This species is another tropical perennial that is grown as an annual. It grows 5-6' tall and bears 6" flowers in late summer. It has palmately divided leaves.
Useful as an accent plant or a plant for the back of the border.
Plants should be spaced 2' to 3' apart in full sun or partial shade.
The flowers turn to mush at the first frost.

Native to tropical Asia