Pavilion, Walkways & Garden Areas

Chinese Hibiscus

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Chinese Hibiscus

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

  • ​Common name: Chinese Hibiscus, China rose, Hawaiian hibiscus, rose mallow
  • Scientific name: Hibiscus rosa-sinesis
  • Family name: Malvaceae
  • Origin: Tropical Asia
  • Height: 8-10 ft
  • Width: 4-6 ft
  • Growth: Fast
  • Zone: 9-11
  • Light needs: Full sun to Part Shade
  • Salt tolerance: Moderate
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Best grown in organically rich, moist, well drained soils, acidic to slightly alkaline (pH 6.5-7.5)
  • Moisture: Average water needs, water regularly until established. Once established, it should only be watered when the soil is dry.
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate
  • Pests/Diseases: Aphids, leaf spots
  • Growing conditions: Best grown in a somewhat sunny area with moist, fertile, well-drained soil. When first planted, fertilize and water regularly. Once established, Chinese Hibiscus needs very little maintenance. It can grow very large, especially in warm areas, so it should be given plenty of room to grow.
  • Characteristics: Leaves are alternately arranged, simple, and serrated. Stems are woody and grow in a clumping pattern. Flowers are showy and come in shades of orange, red, yellow, pink, salmon, and white. Most have five petals, but some cultivars may have extra petals. The stamens and style are very prominent and stick out from the center of the flower, and they tend to be brightly colored.
  • Propagation: By cuttings
  • Wildlife: Pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers. Once bee species, the Rose-mallow Bee (Ptilothrix bombiformis) is reliant on the Hibiscus for food and mates.
  • Facts: The Chinese Hibiscus exhibits polyploidy, having more than two complete sets of chromosomes. This means offspring of one plant may have entirely different traits and flower colors, making this species popular with hobbyists who cross different varieties. The flowers are edible and often used to make tea. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia.
  • Designer considerations: A good choice for hedges or for an accent plant; it can also be planted in a large container and make a good patio plant. Its flower makes it suitable for butterfly gardens and hummingbird gardens.