Hibiscus Varieties – How Many Kinds Of Hibiscus Are There

Hibiscus Varieties – How Many Kinds Of Hibiscus Are There

Hibiscus varieties are immensely popular in gardening, and range from annuals to perennials, hardy to tropical, and large shrubs to smaller plants. When you understand what all the options are, you can pick the perfect types of hibiscus for your garden.

About Hibiscus Plant Types

There is a huge variety of hibiscus plants with a lot of differing qualities, but they all have certain characteristics in common. These plants produce pretty flowers and come in range of colors, either single or double in form. The flowers on hibiscus varieties only last about one day, but the entire plant blooms for a long season. Thanks to their flowers, all hibiscus plants draw in pollinators, including bees.

Varieties of Hibiscus

Among the various kinds of hibiscus plants are hardy and tropical specimens, native plants, annuals, and perennials. There are also related plants, like hollyhock, common mallow, and even okra. Some of the main categories of hibiscus include:

Native hibiscus. Also known as rose mallows, there are about 35 species of hibiscus native to parts of the southeastern U.S. A popular native variety is the scarlet rose mallow, common in Florida, which can grow to 4 to 8 feet tall (1 to 2.5 m.). Rose mallows are also called marsh hibiscus, and although they naturally grow in wetlands, they will tolerate drier areas.

Hardy hibiscus. These cold-tolerant, perennial shrubs can be just as beautiful as their tropical counterparts, with big showy blooms in a range of colors. A popular hardy hibiscus variety is Rose of Sharon, with pink, white, or purple flowers.

Tropical hibiscus. These types of hibiscus have some overlap with the native species that grow in Florida and southern Louisiana. The most common tropical hibiscus found in nurseries is Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Different cultivars will give you a choice of flower color and size. They can be very large and showy, with bright and rich colors.

Perennial hibiscus. These are shrubs, which can range from smaller, dwarf varieties to large, tree-like bushes. The perennial hibiscus may be hardy or tropical, and include Rose of Sharon, scarlet swamp hibiscus, rose mallow, and confederate roses.

Annual hibiscus. Contrary to the name, these are not true annuals, but they are tropical and can be grown as annuals in slightly cooler climates. They are often grown in containers and include Chinese and Red Leaf hibiscus. The former comes in a variety of colors, while Red Leaf is grown mainly for its deep red foliage.

With so many options for growing hibiscus, every gardener in every setting can find a type that will grow and thrive while adding beauty to the garden.

Visit your local garden center and you might be surprised at the variety of hibiscus available. These stunning, sun-loving plants come in just about every color, plus some wild multi-colored blooms. There’s also a wide variety of sizes, from dwarf selections to trees. You may see tropical types that can’t take frost and hardy types that will survive outdoors over the winter as far north as Canada. Check out our tips below to pick the best type and the best plants.

The Three Main Types of Hibiscus
There are three general categories of hibiscus you’ll commonly see.

Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) are sun-loving shrubs that usually have shiny, dark green leaves and flowers in shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, lavender, white, and bicolors. Being tropicals, they don’t like temperatures below 50F (10C) so if you live in a cold-winter climate, consider them annuals or bring them to a frost-free place for the winter and treat them like houseplants. Older varieties can grow 10 feet (3 meters) or more, but newer dwarf varieties stay much more compact. The Costa Farms hibiscus are all tropical hibiscus.

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is a hardy, sun-loving flowering shrub that survives temperatures as cold as -20F (-29C). These plants typically have smaller leaves and smaller flowers than their tropical cousins, but still grow large -- to 8 feet (2.5 meters) or more. The blooms appear mainly in shades of white, pink, purple, and red and can be single or double. Some varieties also have attractive foliage splashed with white.

Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos), as its name suggests, is a cold-hardy, sun-loving perennial that survives -20F (-29C) temperatures. Unlike the tropical and rose of Sharon types, hardy hibiscus dies back to the ground every winter and comes back from the roots in late spring. (It comes back later in spring than most perennials -- so don’t give up on it!) Hardy hibiscus also features some of the largest flowers -- to 10 inches (25 centimeters) wide or more, and primarily in shades of red, pink, and white.

Once you decide on the right type of hibiscus, read the plant tags to make sure you have the right variety for your needs. If you’re looking for a hibiscus for a container garden on your sunny balcony, for example, you’ll probably want a tropical variety. Check the plant tag to see how big it grows. Varieties in the HibisQs, Shades of Summer, and TradeWinds series stay dwarf, only growing a couple of feet tall and wide over the course of the summer.

Picking Hibiscus Plants
When shopping for hibiscus, look for plants that have dark green leaves. Too many yellow leaves may be a sign that the plant was stressed. Also look for lots of flower buds developing hibiscus will often drop flower buds when allowed to dry out too much.

With hibiscus shrubs, it’s also helpful to select one that has a good overall shape. While you can prune them, shrub forms can take a while to grow into a more attractive plant. Because hibiscus flower from their new growth, one general rule is the more stems they have, the more blooms they can produce.

Don’t be afraid to slip a hibiscus out of its pot to look at the root system. The healthiest plants will have firm, white roots that just start to fill the pot. If there are lots of thick roots circling the inside of the pot, the plant is rootbound and will need more frequent watering. Avoid plants that have a lot of brown, squishy roots -- they may have been kept too wet and could be rotting.

Keeping Hibiscus Plants Healthy
After you bring your plant home, keep it healthy by repotting it into a slightly larger pot and use potting mix (avoid garden soil, which doesn’t drain well in pots and can introduce pests and diseases). Or plant it in the garden by digging a hole as deep as the pot, but about twice as wide. Be sure to water your hibiscus regularly: These sun-loving plants wilt quickly when they’re too dry. Promote lots of gorgeous blooms by fertilizing regularly with a general-purpose fertilizer formulated for use on container plants and follow the directions on the product packaging.

Top 25 Most Beautiful Hibiscus Flowers

Hibiscus is a flowering plant which is typically grown in warm tropical climates. These flowers are large and are shaped like a trumpet. There are around 200 species of this plant and they belong to the mallow family. The pistils of this flower protrude dramatically from the horn of the flower making it into showy blossoms. The leaves are alternate and parted with veins which fan out from the leaf stem. They are available in several colors from deep purple to white and even multicolored. This flower lasts only one day, may be a bit longer if kept in the refrigerator.

Hibiscus is often used for decoration purposes and adds great beauty to the garden. In India, hibiscus is used as an offering to the goddess Kali, and Lord Ganesh. It is also used as an ingredient in hair care remedies. Hibiscus flowers are well known for providing several health benefits. The Pharaohs used hibiscus tea and it is still common in Egyptian weddings. It has a tangy, citrusy flavor and is often used in the preparation of salads and candies. There are three major types of hibiscus flowers:

Tropical Hibiscus:

Tropical hibiscus is native to Hawaii. It belongs to the Malvaceae family. They are identified by their shiny leaves, bright and vibrant blooms. It is available in a plethora of colors.

Perennial Hibiscus:

Perennial hibiscus is a name given to a large group of hibiscus which go dormant in winter and reappear during springs. Perennial hibiscus is cold and tolerant but some often die below 28 degrees, lasting for less than 5 hours and can be destroyed easily during infrequent cold snaps.

Hardy Hibiscus:

Hardy hibiscus is a member of the Mallow family. They are the largest hibiscus with showy flowers with 8 inches wide blooms. Hardy flowers are very hardy in colder climates. They get back to the ground in winter and return in the spring. It is mostly available in white, pink and red colors. These flowers do not survive in hot, wet summers but live much longer in cool and dry climates. A hardy hibiscus is a late bloomer with green spots and continues to flower until the frost kills the last of the buds.

So here is all the hibiscus flower information that you will need!

1. China rose:

China rose is known as a blackening plant as its flowers are used in the tropics to polish shoes. It is a popular Asiatic shrub which attains the height of 15 to 25 feet while withstanding frost. It has oval shaped flowers which are 3 to 4 inches long. The blooms are mainly in the red shade but some yellow, pink and orange varieties are also available. It comes in both single and double petaled blooms. These flowers are 4 to 6 inches long with long columns of stamens.

2. Rock Hibiscus:

Rock hibiscus is native to Mexico and the United States. The shrub which bears this flower clings to the rocky formations and can even survive elevation of up to 2000 feet. The shrub bears sparse foliage of triangular gray leaves. The color ranges from white to deep purple and pink. The flower has 5 petals of around 3 inches in diameter.

3. Flower of an Hour:

Flower of an Hour is also known as Hibiscus trionum. This hibiscus grows up to 4 feet in height and produces cream to yellow colored blossoms. This beautiful flower will look outstanding in the garden and for decoration purposes.

4. Roselle:

This flower is commonly known as Indian Roselle. The plant has solitary yellow flowers and is stalk-less. It is an annual or perennial shrub growing up to 7 to 8 feet. The leaves are three to five lobed and are 3 to 6 inches long. Roselle is 4 inches in diameter and is white to pale yellow in color.

5. Rose in Sharon:

Rose in Sharon is another name of Hibiscus syriacus. It is a hardy and an easy to grow shrub. It blooms from late summer to mid autumn. It is abundantly available in South Korea and blooms in a variety of shades like white, purple and violet. The shrub which bears this plant grows up to 5 to 15 feet high with sharply toothed oval leaves. The flower is short with just 3 to 5 inches long petals with dark green foliage. The size of the bloom will depend upon pruning as pruned flowers have proper and larger blooms while flowers which are left in the wild produce smaller flowers.

6. Abelmosk:

This hibiscus is also known as Musk mallow, Kasturi and Musk seed in India. This is an annual plant which grows from 2 to 6 feet in height. This hibiscus is native to India and is well known for its musky perfume. Its seeds are added to coffee and the leaves and shoots are eaten as vegetables. This flower is also used in Homeopathy to treat gonorrheal cystitis and urethritis.

7. Giant Rose Mallow:

Giant rose mallow strongly resembles Hibiscus Moscheutos , has broader leaves and is quite tall in height. The flowers are pink in color while some are in white with a dark red centre. It has smooth foliage in the rich shade of coppery purple. The flowers are produced in succession from midsummer all the way through the frost of autumn. Giant rose mallow prefers good, moist garden soil in full sun.

8. Hibiscus Moscheutos:

Hibiscus Moscheutos is a multicolored flower. It is a perennial shrub which grows up to 3 to 8 feet in length. Its color ranges from pure white to deep rose with a deep maroon centre. It belongs to the family of Malvaceae, which is commonly known as rose mallow. This showy flower has 12 inches wide petals with dark green leaves and yellow stamens. This flower blooms from summer to fall.

9. Rose Mallow:

Rose Mallow is hibiscus moscheutos, often referred to as sea mallow swamp and swamp rose mallow. It is a deciduous hibiscus shrub that grows in cold regions. It is a salt marsh plant and grows up to 7 meters in height. The flowers are around 4 to 7 inches wide long with green, oval leaves. The flowers are mainly pink in color that deepens as they age. Rose mallows need full sun, well-drained, slightly acidic soil and plenty of water to grow. It blooms in summers and attracts hummingbirds.

10. Checkered Hibiscus:

This crimson colored hibiscus belongs to the Malvaceae family. It has deep green leaves with shiny foliage and the flower blooms in pink, red, white and cream colors. The flower has a diameter of about 4 inches and looks strikingly beautiful. The flower needs a well drained soil with partial to full shade to bloom properly.

11. Hawaiian Hibiscus:

Hawaiian hibiscus is the seven known species of hibiscus reared as native to Hawaii. This hibiscus has large petals which are mainly bright in color. This hibiscus grows very fast and last for a long time as compared to other types of hibiscus. Hibiscus Brackenridge is Hawaii’s state flower.

12. Hibiscus Sabdariffa:

This hibiscus is mainly grown in gardens and is one of the most popular varieties of hibiscus. It is also known as Roselle hibiscus. The flower is white to pale yellow and has a red spot on each petal.

13. Hibiscus Mutabilis:

This hibiscus variety is known as Confederate rose or Dixie rose mallow. The flowers are in double bloom and have white or green foliage. Planting Hibiscus mutabilis will definitely add more beauty to your garden. This flower blooms from summer to fall and is approximately 4 to 6 inches in diameter. Hibiscus mutabilis are mainly pink and white in color that changes to red with time. This flower grows well in well-drained soil and prefers full to partial shade.

14. Hibiscus Coccineus:

Hibiscus Coccineus is also known as Texas Star hibiscus. The plant grows up to 7 feet tall and produces red flowers, 3 to 4 inches in diameter. This flower likes the full sun and is quite susceptible to frost and extreme cold weather conditions. So, mulching is necessary while growing this flower. This woody upright hibiscus attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

15. Hibiscus Cannabinus:

Hibiscus cannabinus is known as Kenaf and belongs to the Malvaceae family. This flower is well known for the fiber obtained from it. Its fiber is used in the manufacturing of jute. It has large, single, red flowers about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. It grows in well-drained soil in spring or early summer, in a sunny location.

16. Hibiscus Tiliaceus:

This belongs to the Mallow family and its common names are Sea hibiscus and coast hibiscus. The shrub grows to a height of 3 to 6 cm its young branches, buds and flowers are covered with short, shaft hair. The flowers are bright yellow in color with red centers and have long, flexible stems. It has dark green, heart-shaped leaves with a white to grey foliage. The flowers are large, showy and have 5 free petals.

17. Hibiscus Luna Red:

This hibiscus is a compact bushy plant with gigantic flowers. It has five petaled blooms with bright green foliage. The shorter variety of this flower is an excellent choice for garden and decorations. This flower grows well in well-drained, fertile soil with ample moisture. It is a beautiful, eye-catching flower of 6 to 8 inches. This flower dies back to ground level during the winter and reappears in the summers. It best planted in large containers. This flower attracts hummingbirds.

18. Mango Liqueur:

This hybrid hibiscus has wide blooms of 6 to 8 inches and has petals like old, ruffled flowers. This is an easy to grow plant and grows up to 7 meters in height. Mango Liqueur’s parents are ‘Muffin Man’ which gives it its ruffled texture. This flower looks amazing in weddings and party decorations.

19. Exuberance:

This flower has large, multicolored blooms which are approximately 7 to 9 inches wide. The flower blooms in colors like yellow, orange, red and pink. Its parents ‘Saffron’ and ‘Fireball, are two vividly colored flowers of medium size.

20. Beach Beauty:

Beach beauty is a large 8 inches flower in rings of golden yellow, white and candy pink. The flower has a bright red eye with tints of orange around the edges. It is a hybrid flower which combines the soft and vivid colors of its both its parents, ‘Stolen Kiss’ and ‘Acapulco Gold’. The bush is of medium size and grows up to 6 meters.

21. Secret Heart:

Secret heart is a lovely two-toned pink flower with a red centre. It is a large flower which grows well in alkaline soil. This flower develops in pink and red shades in cooler weather and blooms in blue color in warmer weather conditions. It has a blue-toned body with a warm pink edge. It gets it blue color and red centre from its father, ‘Rocket’s Red Glare’ and gets its amazing foliage from its mother, ‘Crème de Cacao’

22. Champagne:

Champagne hibiscus blooms with a large 8 inches single flower that has hints of yellow and a tiny red centre. It is a hybrid between ‘Muffin Man’ and ‘Rainbow Christie’ and has smooth, even colored flowers.

23. Aphrodite:

Aphrodite is valued for its large single, dark pink flowers with bright yellow centers. This flower blooms in mid to late summer in a sunny or partial shade. This deep fuchsia 6 to 8 inches wide flower sizzles against the dark green velvety foliage. The flower blooms every year in August in almost all types of soil. It is a hybrid flower between ‘Space Oddity’ and ‘Vin Extraordinaire.’ The plant grows 2 to 3 feet tall.

24. Luna Pink Swirl:

Luna pink is a hardy perennial plant which produces large white and pink flowers with red centers. The flower is 8 inches in diameter and the plant grows 8 feet tall. The plant grows well in moist, fertile and well-drained soil. It produces flowers late in the summer. The flower requires optimum care as it is quite susceptible to fungal diseases. The flower petals are pink on one side and fade to light creamy pink on the other side. The flower attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

25. Hibiscus – Blue River II:

This plant can be easily grown in average to medium soil but grows best in organically rich soils and under the full sun. The plant grows to a height of 4 to 5 meters which bears 5 petaled hollyhock blooms. The flower has a short life and does not live for more than one day. The flower blooms every year in succession from midsummer to early fall. The light green foliage makes an amazing contrast to its white petals.

Hope you enjoyed the compilation. Leave us your comments below.

Hibiscus flower varieties

1.Abolina hibiscus, 2.Allen Sue Taiwan Hibiscus,3. Antique coin hibiscus,4.Answered prayers hibiscus, 5.Antique rose hibiscus, 6.antique treasure hibiscus, 7.temple bell hibiscus, 8.blueberry thrill hibiscus,9.bob c cityslickers hibiscus, 10.burning fire[red & yellow], 11.chris montez hibiscus, 12.classical dancer, 13.creole lady, 14.dark cosmos, 15.death by chocolate, are forever, 17.divine grace, 18.double diamond, 13.dragon's fire, 14.early bird, me to the moon, 16.galaxy star, 17.gator magic, 18.grand slam, 19.great grape x simple pleasure, 20.gypsy dance, 21.gypsy's soul, 22.heartbeat, 23.heart's desirex my way,24. UNK, 25.india ink x Unk, 26.Indian bride, 27.indian dragon, 28.india's pride, eyes, 30.kiss of death, 31.lady brown, 32.luck by chance, chutney, 34.Me Oh My Oh, 35.Moon song, 36.moorea imperial blossom, 37.moorea my blue pearl,38.Night on the town, 39.nightmare, 40.night symphony, 41.purple jimmy choo, 42.purple pashmina, hot chilli pepper,44.resurrection, 45.saffron robe, 46.shiva, 47.showman,48.silsila, 49.silver chalice, 50.silver lining, 51.soft colros, 52.soul connections, 53.soul mate, oddity, 55.sparking queen, 56.spashes of colors, 57.swamp music, 58.sweet candy, 59.tahitian pretty boy, 60.tahitian queen, 61.tahitian sophistication, 62.teachers pet, 63.third eye, 64.ver's gift, 65.vocal coach, 66.wallflower, 67.wings of fire, 68.wings of freedom, 69.yoda, 70.festival of lights, 71.Moon walk,


VioletteRose (author) from Atlanta on March 02, 2015:

Hi Jodah, it will be so pretty to have red coloured hibiscus and salmon coloured ones in the same plant. Thanks so much for reading :)

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on February 21, 2015:

Very interesting hub Violetterose. We have a hibiscus shrub that grows two different flowers on the one plant. One flower is red and traditional hibiscus shape and the other is a salmon colour shaped like the schizopetalus above. I was unaware that the petals were edible and could be used for hair shampoo and conditioner. Voted up.

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