Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis


Mallow, Mallow Rose

Variable in size and colour, these plants tend to grow to 3m with upward or weeping foliage, leaves palmately lobed.

Flowers mainly solitary, usually bell shaped, 5 petals, can be double or singledistinctive style with anthers attached. Flowers vary in colour, shape and habit. Main flowering period in throughout warmer months however spot flowers at other times do occur.


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Prefers fertile and moist, but well drained soil required that is slightly acid to neutral. Heavy clays subject to water logging are particularly bad for these plants. Sandy soil is preferred. When preparing the soil for planting, ensure plenty of organic matter is added. If soil is clayey, make raised garden beds, plus use gypsum on the natural soil.

Grows well in tropical and sub-tropical climates, but is also widely grown in temperate areas, so long as protected from extreme cold; does not like frosts or severe wind.

Gross feeders - fertilise every two months for maximum flowering.
Mulch well and prune to shape. Pruning is usually carried out in early spring as new growth commences; this encourages multiple branching and increases the number of potential flowers.

Hibiscus grows best when not in competition with other plants for water, fertiliser and sunlight. Set aside a garden bed just for them.
Severe salt spray damage may occur if planted along the coastal beaches. Hose the plants down will reduce some of the salt burn damage.


Cuttings, grafting or layering


Some cultivars of H. rosa-sinensis:

    Red: ‘Big Tango’, ‘Catavki’, ‘Mollie Cummings’, ‘Mrs. Heywood’, ‘Nagao 20’.

    Gold: ‘Bruceii’, ‘Crimson Ray’, ‘Firefly’, ‘Golden Belle’, ‘Happiness’, ‘Meteor’.

    Lemon: ‘Delight’, ‘Full Moon’, ‘Kwai Matsai’, ‘Miss Kitty’, ‘Vasco’.

    Orange: ‘Fiesta’, ‘Flame’, ‘Frank Green’, ‘Miss Hawaiian’, ‘Surfrider’, ‘Tangerine’

    Apricot: ‘Celia’, ‘Cyclops’, ‘El Capitolio Sport’, ‘Gold Dust’, ‘Honey Do’.

    Cream/White: ‘Bride’, ‘Dainty Lady’, ‘Erma K’, ‘Madonna’, ‘Snowflake’, ‘White Picardy’.

    Pink: ‘Boondah’, ‘Charles September’, ‘Flower Girl’, ‘Hawaiian Sunset’, ‘Katy D’.

    Lavender/Mauve: ‘Dusky Beau’, ‘Isobel Beard’, ‘Lady Adele’, ‘Lavender Lady’.

    Browns: ‘Devil's Gold’, ‘Eclipse’, ‘Dr. Gillette’, ‘John F. Kennedy’.

    Multicolours: ‘Aloha’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Halea Kala’, ‘Midnight Frolic’, ‘Norman Lee’.

    Miniatures: ‘Ali Uli’, ‘Fiji Island’, ‘Psyche’, ‘Sylvia Goodman’.

    Doubles: ‘Crown of Bohemia’, ‘Flamingo Star’, ‘Happy New Year’, ‘Jerry Smith’. 

Plant Health

Susceptible to -Hibiscus beetle, mites, scale, mealy bugs, aphids, whitefly, thrips, grasshoppers, caterpillars, slugs, leaf-miners, cut-worms. Diseases include; Leaf spots, mildew, sooty mould root rots and collar rots. Viral disease does occur in hibiscus.

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