Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (Chinese Hibiscus)

Scientific Name

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.

Common Names

Chinese Hibiscus, Rose Mallow, Hawaiian Hibiscus, Tropical Hibiscus, China Rose, Rose of China, Shoe Flower


Hibiscus rosa-sinensis var. rosa-sinensis, Abelmoschus genevii, Hibiscus androphoro-petaloides, Hibiscus arnottii, Hibiscus cooperi, Hibiscus festalis, Hibiscus festivalis, Hibiscus fulgens, Hibiscus javanicus, Hibiscus liliiflorus, Hibiscus liliiflorus, Hibiscus rosiflorus, Hibiscus storckii, Malvaviscus fragilis, Malvaviscus puniceus

Scientific Classification

Family: Malvaceae
Tribe: Hibisceae
Genus: Hibiscus


Color: Red to dark red
Bloom Time: In summer and autumn


Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is an evergreen shrub or small tree that grows up to 16 feet (5 m) tall and up to 10 feet (3 m) wide. The dark green, toothed leaves are ovate, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, arranged alternately on the branches. The brilliant red, 5-petaled flowers are up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. The fruit is a dry, 5-parted capsule that contains up to 3 seeds.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (Chinese Hibiscus)


USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Hibiscus should be moved outside in the summer, then back inside during the winter. Tips for a successful transition include: Trim the plant hard before moving it inside for the winter. It will go into near dormancy until late winter; After you trim it, but before you bring it in, treat it thoroughly for insects. Neem oil and liquid detergent work well, or use a hose to blast off insects; Once inside, don't overwater, but provide as much humidity as possible, including daily mistings. Don't expose to blowing air from vents; When the weather warms above 50ºF (10ºC) at night, move it back outside and acclimate slowly.

Repot as necessary, yearly or biannually. Hibiscus will grow into trees in their native habitats, but this may be unwieldy in a home setting. There's also some benefit to keeping the Hibiscus in a relatively smaller pot, as it will make for easier pruning and moving. Failure to repot these plants often can leave them in soil without adequate nutrients for their survival, and repotting will often spur on growth if you're finding that your Hibiscus plants seem to have stalled out. Watch out for falling leaves or other signs of stress. See more at: How to Grow and Care for Hibiscus.


Native to East Asia.


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