Hibiscus Species, Chinese Lanterns, Japanese Lanterns, Fringed Rosemallow, Waltzing Ladies

Hibiscus schizopetalus

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hibiscus (hi-BIS-kus) (Info)
Species: schizopetalus (ski-zo-pe-TAY-lus) (Info)
» View all varieties of Hibiscus
View this plant in a garden


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage

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 softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Carlsbad, California

Fresno, California

Orange, California

Rancho Mirage, California

Santa Ana, California

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Bradenton, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Pierce, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Naples, Florida (2 reports)

New Port Richey, Florida

Ocoee, Florida

Odessa, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Seffner, Florida (2 reports)

Tampa, Florida (2 reports)

Venice, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Honomu, Hawaii

Kihei, Hawaii

Lafayette, Louisiana

Hempstead, New York

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Coos Bay, Oregon

Alice, Texas

Alvin, Texas

Houston, Texas

La Porte, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

Rosenberg, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 31, 2017, Taipan888 from Fresno, CA wrote:

It has been growing in Fresno, CA for about 15 years, in a 12" pot with drain hole with commercial potting soil. Responds well to full sun until mid-summer as Fresno heat reaches 108 commonly -- at which time the pot is dragged to edge of shaded patio.

Blooms usually starts from tips of new growth rather than middle of branch. Blooms last only about 2-3 days on plant then drops. If branch was cut (to manage wild growth or length) , said branch will not yield flowers that season.

Plant was started with 6" cutting from Hawaii about pencil thickness and rooted in water. Fed yearly with Miracle Gro. gave cutting also pencil size to family in San Diego where it was kept in 4" pot for at least 6 years near kitchen window without getting taller than 10-12" --- ... read more


On Mar 20, 2013, Louannmc wrote:

SouthWest Louisiana I've had this wonderful plant in a large container for 5 years. Has frozen back several times, but has always returned. I tend to neglect it, but it's been very forgiving. The flowers are like something out of a book by Dr Suess. Beautiful, unique, and they always garner comments. I've shared cuttings off hard wood and off new growth. Both have done well. I highly recommend trying this one.


On Aug 20, 2011, Jimspalms from North Andrews Gardens, FL wrote:

We have this lovely hibiscus growing in the ground in our garden in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. It is from a cutting taken when the parent began to die several years ago. Now it is about 6 feet tall and flowers nearly every day. I first saw this beautiful flower in a garden in Key West and had to have one! They are difficult to come by, so when the parent began to die I panicked. The cuttings were not easy to maintain and it required a lot of TLC to get it to where it is today. Everyone who sees this plant's flowers comment on them. It is a real crowd pleaser!


On Aug 15, 2011, tropicallaporte from La Porte, TX wrote:

I have been growing this plant here in La Porte for over 7 years both in pots and in the ground. The freezes of 2010 & 2011 hurt one in the ground and did kill one other. The potted ones go into a protected garage when it gets cold so at worse they loose some leaves. When they start blooming in the spring they are a sight to see. The surviving one in the ground is slowing rebuilding its self and may not bloom this year.

I gave my brother in law one he put in the yard in Los Fresnos, TX and it is over 6 feet tall, 5 feet wide and and blooms like crazy down there. This is a great plant to have.


On Sep 13, 2010, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

A friend gave me a few cuttings of this plant and this morning one of the stems had an open bloom... Beautiful!
I'm looking forward to enjoying this plant for many years!


On Sep 23, 2009, rmontouri from Santee, CA wrote:

I brought one home from Kauai and it did well on my backyard deck in a large pot for a few years. I moved it for more sun, then the drought caught up with it. I had planned to put it in the ground once it developed a more mature trunk and some bulk, since hibiscus generally do well here (occasional critter flare-ups aside). Lovely lantern flowers, good color contrast with the leaves. Will likely try again, though I'm going predominantly drought tolerant now.


On Oct 22, 2008, DonnaA2Z from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've just received this plant so I can't say a lot about it. The blooms face downward dangling from a thin stem. A very unique plant.


On Jul 19, 2008, AmandaTaylor7 from Alvin, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a gorgeous plant that blooms very well for me here just south of Houston, Tx. And I don't know why it says they only get 36 inches tall on here - that's false. I have one in my backyard that is a 3rd year plant and is currently 7 1/2 feet tall and still growing. I've also read online where people have said they've grown theirs like trees and had them reach 10-12 feet in overall height.

A gorgeous, small bloom is produced from this ancestral hibiscus whose feathered petals curl backward forming a ball-shaped flower by the middle of the day. It is very stunning and hangs downward from branches on curved extensions. It is a plant that requires patience. In my experience, tons of fertilizer doesn't help the blooming, but rather leaving the plant alone is better (... read more


On May 8, 2007, timrann from Other,
Mauritius wrote:

This species is very popular in the tropics as in Mauritius.It is used as borders or hedges mostly and also a very good support (base)for grafting others species of hibiscus.It is also fed to animals (for e.g when the hedges are pruned). Never seen it in nurseries other than in support for other hibiscus, considered as to banal maybe.


On Jun 2, 2006, SierraTigerLily from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I planted two behind our fountain this spring in hopes they would eventually grow tall enough to drape over the top and soften the rock lines. It's now June and they're already three feet high! Such fast growth!

One year later and they're over twelve feet tall. I'm now training them over an arbor.


On May 7, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

We have been growing this hibiscus in our yard for at least 20 years. It has been killed back on the rare occasions when we have a hard freeze, but it recovers quickly. The flowers are charming and dainty.


On Jun 25, 2003, fripperies from Hempstead, NY wrote:

My Hibiscus schizopetalus is my favorite houseplant. It grows in the southwest corner of a heated sunporch with skylights, on Long Island. It's about 8 ft tall, 4 ft wide, and gets pruned back to that size every fall, after spending the summer outside in full sun. It requires almost daily water in the summer.

It is a winter's delight! It blooms from November until it is pruned in September, most heavily during the dreariest months of winter. It has ordinary potting soil, is watered generously once a week, and is fed only a couple of times a year.

It's growth habit is a bit leggy, but those long arching branches are quite graceful. The leaves are smaller and lighter in color than the common Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, more like syriacus. And the flowers take... read more


On Jun 11, 2003, aurinko wrote:

I have been growing this plant as an indoor plant and I have to say that it will grow remarkably higher than the given 60-90 cm. It will reach at least 3 meters height if left unpruned.

Neutral soil, pH 5,5-7 is OK. Does fine in light shade, prefers a sunny spot on window sill. Is not very attractive, unless pruned regularly. (Looks somewhat like fishing rod...) Needs a lot of water.