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Common Name:

Tropical Hibiscus

Scientific Name:

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Family Name:



Tropical Hibiscus are medium to large evergreen shrubs used as patio container plants or in the warmer portions of the state as landscape shrubs. The dark rubbery textured ovate-rhomibic leaves set off the large mallow-like blooms. Flower colors are available in nearly every color of the rainbow.

Plant Habit or Use:

Warm season annual, medium shrub, large shrub, topiary, tropical, interiorscape


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Highly variable, red, yellow, pink, orange, bronze, purple, bicolors, tricolors, singles or doubles

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer, fall

Fruit Characteristics:

Not ornamental, capsule


3 ft to 5 ft as summer accent, 8 ft to 10 ft as a tropical shrub


2 ft to 3 ft as a seasonal accent, 6 ft to 8 ft as tropical shrub

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: High Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Tends to require high rates of N fertilization. Tends to abort flower buds in response to environmental stresses resulting in less flowers than perhaps most people imagine. Susceptible to a number of disease and pest problems, particularly white fly, aphids, and spider mites. Cold damage is common in USDA zone 9.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.