Virtues: We love tropical hibiscus for its large, enticingly vibrant flowers that bloom in a variety of reds, pinks, oranges and yellows. Glossy, rich green foliage offers a spectacular backdrop to the exotic blooms.
Common name: Tropical hibiscus; Hawaiian hibiscus; Chinese hibiscus
Botanical name: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Flowers: Varieties of tropical hibiscus can bloom from late spring through fall, with large single or double flowers in radiant shades of reds, yellows, pinks and oranges.
Foliage: Shiny, oftenovate deep green leaves create a striking display of opulent color behind the brilliant blooms.
Habit: Size and density will vary depending on selection; however, these tropical plants typically grow 4 to 10 feet in height with a 5 to 8 foot spread. Extensive pruning can help achieve desired form.
Season: The striking blooms of these colorful beauties offer heaps of late spring to summer interest. The rich, evergreen foliage will fill your homes and gardens with year-round charm.
Origin: Exact origin is unknown, however it is commonly believed that tropical hibiscus is originally native to tropical regions of Asia.
How to grow tropical hibiscus as a houseplant: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis needs fertile soil with very good drainage. Many gardeners suggest using a potting mix specifically for tropical plants and/or hibiscus. They thrive in sunny locations, so placing pots in south- or west-facing windows is ideal. You can also add fluorescent lights to help meet lighting needs. They do not tolerate temperatures below 50˚F. Keep them in a location with a constant temperature between 55 and 70˚F. Water sparingly during winter months—or when the top half-inch of soil feels dry. Make sure to discard any excess water that may have collected in the saucer. Feeding with a slow-release fertilizer may benefit the health of your plants. Pinch the growing tips in late winter and/or early spring to encourage more vigorous growth as well as spur more buds to appear and bloom.
Image: Pere Igor
The Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Shrubs is a helpful download filled with step-by-step instructions and illustrations for numerous shrub-related gardening projects.
The House Plant Digital Value Pack is the perfect bundle designed to help any gardener grow beautiful, healthy houseplants.
Why limit your garden to just the outdoors? Create a breathtaking indoor garden of your dreams with help from the Growing an Indoor Garden Value Pack.
Download the Garden How-To University: Proper Plant Selection & Maintenance for a great recorded workshop that outlines everything you need to know for choosing the right plants for the perfect spots in your garden.
The Unexpected Houseplant is a revolutionary approach for choosing the perfect, unique houseplants for your home.