Hardy Hibiscus, Rose Mallow, Swamp Mallow 'Lord Baltimore'

Hibiscus moscheutos

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hibiscus (hi-BIS-kus) (Info)
Species: moscheutos (mos-KEW-tos) (Info)
Cultivar: Lord Baltimore
» View all varieties of Hibiscus


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 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:

Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

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

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

, (3 reports)

Montgomery, Alabama

Peoria, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Yuma, Arizona

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Fallbrook, California

Fresno, California

Grass Valley, California

Loveland, Colorado

Altamonte Springs, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Homosassa, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Valrico, Florida

Milledgeville, Georgia

Champaign, Illinois

Charleston, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Peoria, Illinois

Plainfield, Illinois

Albion, Indiana

Atalissa, Iowa

Tompkinsville, Kentucky

Calhoun, Louisiana

Coushatta, Louisiana

Kentwood, Louisiana

Marrero, Louisiana

Youngsville, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

South Berwick, Maine

Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Attleboro, Massachusetts

Dracut, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Topsfield, Massachusetts

West Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Saint Louis, Missouri

Omaha, Nebraska

Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey

Bellmore, New York

Croton On Hudson, New York

Mount Vernon, New York

Raleigh, North Carolina

Wilmington, North Carolina

Cleveland, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Garrettsville, Ohio

Pickerington, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Talala, Oklahoma

Salem, Oregon

Stayton, Oregon

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Coopersburg, Pennsylvania

Lansdowne, Pennsylvania

Roscoe, Pennsylvania

Tionesta, Pennsylvania

Wakefield, Rhode Island

Bluffton, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Plum Branch, South Carolina

Fairview, Tennessee

Middleton, Tennessee

Rockvale, Tennessee

Summertown, Tennessee

Austin, Texas (2 reports)

Belton, Texas

Broaddus, Texas

Coppell, Texas

Copperas Cove, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Iredell, Texas

Lubbock, Texas (2 reports)

Nederland, Texas

Oakhurst, Texas

Royse City, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Temple, Texas

Portsmouth, Virginia

Vienna, Virginia

Grand Mound, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Puyallup, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Martinsburg, West Virginia

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mukwonago, Wisconsin

Sauk City, Wisconsin

Sussex, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 5, 2016, virginiarose from Portsmouth, VA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Lord Baltimore, is a big hibiscus getting about 6 feet tall and wide. It is a sterile hibiscus too so it puts all it's energy into blooming and it is profuse. It is helpful to fertilize in spring when you see shoots and again at beginning of summer when it starts blooming. It is a slow bloomer for me here in zone-8, starting in mid-summer. Also I consider these shrubs to be drought resistant because they do fine in low rain months but they do not bloom. I recent read that it is not good to let them go without water so just keep the hose handy and keep them happy. I love the big scarlet red blooms and when we do have a good rain it is not unusual to see 60 buds open at the same time for a stunning show, so you might want to keep the batteries charged on your camera. Be careful not to purcha... read more


On Mar 29, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is a fantastic perennial, with exotic, tropical-looking crimson flowers over a long season from late summer into early fall. Like all herbaceous hibiscus, it's late to emerge from dormancy in the spring, but it makes up for lost time with its rapid growth.

The height of this cultivar is valuable in the garden. More recent hybrids have been bred with 18" retail shelving in mind.

In Z6, I find spring planting helps it survive its first winter. Tolerates poor drainage, and appreciates extra moisture.

This is a hybrid between four herbaceous species native to the southeastern US, and not a cultivar of H. moscheutos.

It is not patented.


On Feb 4, 2013, pspiersy from Sarnia, prov. of Ontario,
Canada wrote:

we have three kinds of hibiscus here (Sarnia, Ontario, N7S 4C8)
1) rose of sharon-light green, spade shaped leaves, various types

2) rose mallow-light green, spade shaped leaves, various types
then we have mine

3) "dinnerplate" hibiscus - dark green, deeply split, three lobed leaves. about 3-4 feet high. impressive just for the foliage. mistaken by neighbours for K2 or tundra marijuna. flowers 9 to 14 inches across depending on how many were blooming at once.the flower is configured just like the "lord baltimore".

so what do i have?


On Sep 24, 2011, sandkisses from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL wrote:

Until this year all of my hibiscus have produced beautiful blooms 9 out of 12 months. Mine have made it through multiple freezes, including the time the sprinkler was accidentally turned on and encapsulated the plant in ice. This is a lovely addition to every landscape.


On Jul 19, 2011, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This hibiscus is a strong performer in my yard. Althought mine started flowering later than others in the area this summer it grew huge from a 2 gallon container last summer. This year it is 5' tall but perhaps spreading a healthy 6' wide. There will be plenty of flowers.


On Aug 8, 2010, pandybear from Fenelon Falls,
Canada wrote:

I have just bought one of these magnificent plants and am in zone 3! I believe it is hardy enough to winter over. I have it in a pot right now but will get it into the ground shortly, once I find the perfect place for it! I would love to have several, but will see how this one does this winter!


On Jul 20, 2010, AudiPete from Topsfield, MA wrote:

I just bought this from a grower in Kennebunkport Maine. It winters over outside with no special treatment!


On Oct 14, 2008, munchkin44 from Fairview, TN wrote:

This is the second year I have had this plant. It was 8 ft. tall and 9 ft. wide. Covered most of the summer with giant blooms. I did have a small green worm that got some of the leaves but since it was a place birds waited for their turn at the feeder, they got a lot of them. Humming birds and butterflies loved it!


On Aug 11, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

My favorite Hibiscus - no pale pink here! My information says hardy up to zone 10. Soaking seed aids germination. Slow to break dormancy in spring.


On Sep 22, 2005, figaro52 from Oak Lawn, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Incredible Hibiscus! I planted two of these side by side. Now, in their second summer they are over 6 feet tall, and the brilliant red blossoms measure about 10 inches in diameter! Both plants have started a second bloom cycle! I recommend using plant props early in the season to support the heavy branches that form later on. This plant is late to emerge in the spring, but makes up for lost time! Very fast grower. Quite a show of blooms!! Truly one of the highlights of my garden this year!


On Jul 22, 2004, katieflower from Shawnee Mission, KS wrote:

The Rose Mallow 'Lord Baltimore' is easy even for someone without a green thumb. Mine doubled in size in just one season. I would like it to be more bushy; mine is not in full sun, perhaps that is why it is tall but not bushy.

The earth is claylike in this area of Kansas and we have standing water problems, yet it seems to do well. One nursery told me to not pull off the cup that holds the spent bloom. Another said, not true.


On Jul 3, 2004, msbobolink from Tompkinsville, KY wrote:

I have had this plant for several years and it's a reliable bloomer, here in southern Kentucky, with very large blooms...except for the one year that the japanese beetles went unchecked and enjoyed the blooms instead. I didn't realize that this plant should be kept moist and I planted it in a rather dry spot in full sun and I planted it before I had much experience with growing flowers and didn't even enrich the poor soil it's in...but it seems to like it there and does very well. The only complaint I have about this plant is that its foliage isn't very attractive. A couple of years, I pruned it before it bloomed to see if a more compact plant would be less weedy looking...the plant did look a little better but I sacrificed size of blooms. Lots more blooms but smaller size. All in all... read more


On Sep 1, 2003, wannadanc from Olympia, WA wrote:

Incredible blossoms!!!!! Fast grower! No green bugs here, but brown cloven hooved animals - AKA DEER - like to feast on this one!


On Jul 31, 2003, keithann wrote:

Second year since I bought mine, second year the leaves have been decimated by some kind of small green worm. Small but FAST working, and in large numbers. I blamed the Japanese beetles the first year, and they may still play a part, but it's the little worms that really did the damage. Something keeps getting the new leaves as they try to return. The few blossoms we got were spectacular, but I plan to move the plant to a less prominent spot because it's so unsightly. I'm in a warm Zone 8 location.


On Jul 30, 2003, gardingranny from Spartanburg, SC wrote:

Big blooms as big as dinnerplates here in Spartanburg SC. Likes a lot of water and grows to 5-6 feet. Beautiful!!


On Feb 12, 2003, hankpage from Point Pleasant Beach, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Beautiful blooms all summer. Heavy blooms may need support.(I use fishing line to a fence so it can't be seen easily)