Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, Shrub Althea 'Blue Bird'

Hibiscus syriacus

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hibiscus (hi-BIS-kus) (Info)
Species: syriacus (seer-ee-AK-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Blue Bird
» View all varieties of Hibiscus


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood heel cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

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

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

San Jose, California

San Leandro, California

Chicago, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Gonzales, Louisiana

Merryville, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Shreveport, Louisiana

Kennebunk, Maine

Brookeville, Maryland

Potomac, Maryland

Halifax, Massachusetts

Wayland, Massachusetts

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Iselin, New Jersey

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Alden, New York

Elmont, New York

Southold, New York

Raleigh, North Carolina

Trinity, North Carolina

Cleveland, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Salem, Oregon

West Linn, Oregon

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Middleton, Tennessee

Summertown, Tennessee

Lindale, Texas

Longview, Texas

Navasota, Texas

Temple, Texas

Weatherford, Texas

Grand Mound, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Rochester, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 18, 2022, Amy123Lou from Raleigh, NC wrote:

Yes, this plant blooms beautifully, and I have seen no problems with any type of disease or pests.
However, here in Raleigh, NC we soon have groves of them, unless we are diligent about pulling up seedlings.
I would never plant it myself, but my husband loves the plant.


On May 23, 2013, rcklinge from Maple Bluff, WI wrote:

Wondering if it's possible to prune this to remain small/shrub sized? I would love to put one in my garden, but simply don't have room for an 8ft tall, 6ft wide bush.


On Aug 19, 2012, Laura_the_Sower from Scottsville, NY wrote:


My sister's plant in Elmont, New York is just beautiful, however, it started out blue but then two years later had turned to light pink. Does anyone know what this is from and how to get it back to the beautiful blue that it used to be? Thank you. [email protected]


On Aug 24, 2009, Anonany from Bray, Co Wicklow,
Ireland wrote:

The "regional" list only allows US zip codes, so this is just to let other Irish gardeners know that my 30+ year old plant grows very happily in Bray, Co Wicklow.

My garden is approximately 12 miles south of Dublin and 3 miles inland from the coast. The Hibiscus is planted on a south-facing hillside and gets plenty of shelter from surrounding trees and shrubs.

Last winter we got much heavier frosts than usual but -- perhaps because it's so well-established ? -- the plant continued to thrive and is now giving her usual display of fascinating flowers.

For those with small gardens, it would be well worth considering growing Blue Bird. She's slow-growing, has an upright habit and is easily pruned. Whilst slow to leaf in the Spring, the branches a... read more


On Dec 1, 2007, maccionoadha from Halifax, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

~ It takes 3 to 4 years to mature. It takes 10 to 20 days to germinate in 75 degree Fahrenheit, well-drained soil.
~ It is late-blooming, single blue blossoms with maroon throats. They are attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
Diseases and pests that effect the plant are: Flower Bud Drop, Bacterial & Fungal Leaf Spot, Leaf Rust, Hollyhock Rust, Stem Canker, Cotton Root Rot, and Blight.
~ You can propagate them, by sowing the ripened seeds immediately or stored in a cool, dry place for 1 year. Lower branches can be soil layered. Take soft shoot cuttings in Spring or firm shoot cuttings in late Summer. They also respond to hardwood cuttings taken in Autumn. Prune established plants in early Spring by removing 1/3 of old wood. Young plants need protection ... read more


On Jun 23, 2005, Kelly333 from Longview, TX wrote:

Slow growing, but healthy. Beautiful blooms. Can take the heat and humidity. Requires ample water the first year or two to get it started off right. Otherwise I'm afraid the heat would kill it.


On Jun 20, 2005, mariej from montreal,
Canada wrote:

I live in Montreal, Canada and have two (although small, about 2 feet tall) version of this plant. And it grows and blooms!!! And believe me it's coooold out here!!! I never cover them in winter but I do cover their base with mulch as high as I can. I get a lot of flowers for their size. I would like to know how to propagate them cause in Montreal, Blue Birds are a rare find and if you do find them, their price is pretty high.


On Aug 12, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Contrary to its name, the color is not true blue, but veers more toward pale lilac with some blue mixed in. Very beautiful, but not free-flowering unless full sun.