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Family: Malvaceae


Well known for its flamboyant flowers, the Hibiscus group to plants include small shrub-like plants up to large trees.

Maximum sun exposure will enhance flowers.

Ornamental Hibiscus cultivars grow best in a well fertilised soil that is kept irrigated.

For best flowers, fertilise with each spring and late summer with a complete fertiliser.

Pruning will maintain a manageable size and promote continual flowers.



H. insularis (Norfolk Island Hibiscus) – dense small tree with large cream petals in red centre.

H. mutabilis (Cotton Rose, Rose of Sharon) – large free flowering shrub with two coloured flowers on the one plant….pink, or pink and white.

H. rosa-sinensis (Hawaiian Hibiscus) -  the most commonly grown and bred plant of the Hibiscus. Full range of colour and size is available. Crinkled petals.

H. sabdariffa (Rosella) – small perennial open shrub with creamy flowers followed by red seed pods that are used to make jam.

H. schizopetalus (Japanese Hibiscus) – large shrub with highly decorative hanging flowers that have graceful lace-like petals that turn upwards and a long style that hangs down.

H. syriacus – single or double flowers more suited to cooler climates.

H. tiliaceus (Cotton Tree) – large spreading tree with bright yellow flowers with a deep brown centre. Good for coastal planting.


Landscape uses:

Tropical garden

Plant collector

Hedge, screen, colour



Hibiscus seem to be riddled to pests and diseases.

If you prefer a chemical free garden, consider looking into natural products or Integrated Pest Management… that is, allow nature to create a balance in your garden.

Avoid poorly drained soils.

Will not tolerate frosts.


H. rosa-sinensis cultivar
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H. rosa-sinensis cultivar
click here to view larger image

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