Hardy Hibiscus, Rose Mallow, Swamp Mallow 'Kopper King'

Hibiscus moscheutos

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
Registered or introduced: 1997
» View all varieties of Hibiscus


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Youngsville, Louisiana

North Yarmouth, Maine

Baltimore, Maryland

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

West Orange, 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 17, 2018, trudybb from Youngsville, LA wrote:

I'm in zone 9, south Louisiana. I received a dormant root stock piece the size of large potato in November 5 years ago from a trade from a northern state. I cut it in 2 with an axe because I wanted 2 plants. I planted the 2 root stock pieces the same day I cut it in November in a part sun location & when the warm Spring temps of April came both sent out sprouts. They got about 2' that 1st year but didn't bloom. That Fall the 1st frost nipped them to the ground. The 2nd Spring they sprouted later about May 15th & grew to 3' & bloomed in July & Aug.. This year 2018 they sprouted in April & so far bloomed all of June & into July. I took a picture to show they get the size of white paper plates, 8 ". The tallest they've gotten is 5'. I've never seen seeds pods mature probably since they are hy... read more


On Nov 29, 2017, juliefrdmn from Golden Beach, FL wrote:

They are beautiful but unfortunately the Iguanas love to eat Hibiscus. By Gregg L. Friedman MD


On Jul 21, 2017, VioletV from Baltimore, MD wrote:

Positive but...

(I haven't posted for a long while and there seem to be changes in format. Pls let me know if I should be doing this differently.)

Last year Kopper King and Lady Baltimore provided large blooms. When I left 2 weeks ago for vacation, Japanese beetles were on top of the centers of branches. All I did was knock them off a few times. Upon my return, I see no buds forming in these centers; otherwise there are a few eaten places in the foliage, but not many. Questions:

-Shouldn't buds be visible by now, July 21, in the Baltimore area?
-When should I expect to see buds?
-If the buds have been eaten, what do I do now?


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.


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).


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!
Unfortunat... read more


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.


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!!


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 ... read more


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.


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 ne... read more


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.


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


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.


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!


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:)


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 :)


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.


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) an... read more


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.