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Hibiscus moscheutos (Hardy Hibiscus)

Hardy Hibiscus, Swamp Rose Mallow, Rose Mallow, Crimson-Eyed Rose-Mallow, Marshmallow Hibiscus, Marsh Mallow, Sea Hollyhock, Hibiscus moscheutos subsp. palustris, Hibiscus palustris

Hibiscus moscheutos, Hardy Hibiscus, Swamp Rose Mallow, Rose Mallow, Crimson-Eyed Rose-Mallow, Marshmallow Hibiscus, Marsh Mallow, Sea Hollyhock, Hibiscus palustris
Hibiscus moscheutos 'Fireball', Hardy Hibiscus 'Fireball', Swamp Rose Mallow 'Fireball', Hibiscus 'Fireball', Perennial Hibiscus 'Fireball', Rose Mallow 'Fireball', Flowering Shrub, Red flowers, Red Hibiscus

Vigorous and robust, Hibiscus moscheutos (Hardy Hibiscus) is a tall, shrubby, woody-based perennial boasting huge hollyhock-like flowers, up to 8 in. across (20 cm), with spreading petals in white, rose, or pink, sometimes with a sharply contrasting red or burgundy eye. Each flower has a conspicuous, protruding, creamy-white to pale yellow staminal column. Blooming from midsummer to early fall, the blossoms last about 1-2 days, but new flowers open each day in rapid succession until late in the season. A large plant can produce 20 or more blossoms per day at the peak of bloom. The flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. 28 butterfly and moth species use this plant as a caterpillar host plant. But even without these gorgeous blooms, this plant is worth growing for the handsome foliage of large, heart-shaped leaves, 4-10 in. in length (10-25 cm), with toothed margins and white-hairy undersides. Hibiscus moscheutos is a strikingly showy North American species that has been a favorite garden perennial for decades.

  • Typically grows with an upright habit, up to 3-7 ft. tall (90-210 cm) and 2-4 ft. wide (60-120 cm).
  • Thrives in full sun in average, medium to wet soils. Tolerates some light shade, but best flower production and disease resistance occur in full sun. Prefers moist, organically rich soils but can be grown in standing water, up to 6 in. (15 cm) deep.
  • Tolerant of heat and humidity. Site in locations protected from wind to minimize the risk of wind burn.
  • Fertilize regularly during the growing season.
  • Plant in shrub borders for dramatic summer blooms. Great flowering shrub along streams or ponds or in large containers.
  • Keep an eye out for leaf spots, blights, rusts, canker, and Japanese beetles.
  • Cut down to near ground level in late autumn.
  • Propagate by seed or by division in spring.
  • Native to marshes, swamps, moist meadows, and woods from Ontario and Massachusetts south to Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, and Florida.

Hardy Hibiscus: How to Plant, Grow and Care


Prized for their huge, flamboyant flowers, hardy perennial hibiscus add an exotic, tropical punch to the garden. Though they conjure up images of the tropics, they can withstand cold winter temperatures as low as -30°F (-34°C).

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Malvaceae
Genus Hibiscus
Common names Hardy Hibiscus, Hibiscus, Marsh Mallow, Rose Mallow
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 3' - 7'
(90cm - 210cm)
Spread 2' - 4'
(60cm - 120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Midwest, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Southeast, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Southwest, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Rocky Mountains
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Ponds And Streams, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Painted Lady’ (Tropical Hibiscus)
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Fifth Dimension’ (Tropical Hibiscus)
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Cooperi’ (Tropical Hibiscus)
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Hula Girl’ (Tropical Hibiscus)
Hibiscus ‘Kopper King’ (Rose Mallow)
Hibiscus ‘Lord Baltimore’ (Rose Mallow)

Recommended Companion Plants

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)
Eutrochium fistulosum (Joe-Pye Weed)
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

40 Tropical Plants for Your Outdoor Garden
30 Tropical Flowers for Your Garden or as House Plants
Small Trees and Shrubs That Bloom In Fall
Stunning Blue Flowers to Enhance Your Garden’s Beauty
Add a Splash of Color: Perfect Flowering Shrubs for Small Gardens
35 Flowering Shrubs That Thrive in Full Sun
Hardy Hibiscus: How to Plant, Grow and Care
Hardy US Native Hibiscus to Grow
Tropical Hibiscus
Rose of Sharon: How to Grow and Care with Success
Native Plant Alternatives to Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Malvaceae
Genus Hibiscus
Common names Hardy Hibiscus, Hibiscus, Marsh Mallow, Rose Mallow
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 3' - 7'
(90cm - 210cm)
Spread 2' - 4'
(60cm - 120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Midwest, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Southeast, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Southwest, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Rocky Mountains
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Ponds And Streams, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Hibiscus
Guides with
Hibiscus
Not sure which Hibiscus to pick?
Compare Now

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    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

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