Summer-Blooming Hibiscuses Have Enormous, Vibrant Blossoms

Their colorful flowers can be as big as dinner plates.

When it comes to big, striking blooms, no plant packs quite the punch that hibiscus does. When they bloom, they produce enormous, vibrant blossoms that catch your eye and make you want to look closer. They're some of the showiest flowers in the garden and look positively gorgeous when they begin to bloom, which is why they're such popular summer flowers.

Jozsef Sandor Benkovics/EyeEm/Getty Images

Hibiscus Flowers

Hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos) come in a rainbow of colors, from bright red to orange, pink, yellow, and white. Many have deep red centers. Their blooms appear in mid-to-late summer, beginning in June and continuing into fall. According to The New Southern Living Garden Book, hibiscus are "among the showiest flowering plants in Southern gardens. They typically bear funnel-shaped blossoms sometimes as big as dinner plates and often with prominent stamens. The many species offer an astonishing range of flower colors, and most bloom over a long season." They're native to the southern United States, and the biggest hibiscus flowers can reach to 1 foot across. In addition to the pops of color they add to the garden, the flowers also attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Hibiscus Species

When choosing which hibiscus selections to plant, take into account space and maintenance needs. Many species of hibiscus can thrive in wet soil. Some are smaller—the Southern Belle strain grows to 4 feet tall—and others are much taller, reaching 15 feet. Popular selections include 'Anne Arundel,' 'Lady Baltimore,' and 'Summer Storm,' all of which have pink and red blooms; 'Cranberry Crush,' which has scarlet or cranberry-hued flowers; 'Fireball,' which has bright red blossoms; and 'Raspberry Rose,' which grows to 7 feet tall and has raspberry red flowers.

Hibiscus Care

When caring for hibiscus, ensure that it gets plenty of water during its blooming season. It requires less water during the rest of the year, particularly in winter. They thrive in full sun and don't like the cold. Because of their water needs, they can withstand soil that in't well drained. Hibiscus can be grown outdoors, but they are also popularly grown as container plants.

When you want drama in the garden, look to hibiscus. If you're more interested in the foliage than the flowers, try out 'Panama Red' hibiscus from the Southern Living Plant Collection, which has deep red leaves and red flowers that appear infrequently. Red-leaf hibiscus (Hibiscus acetosella) is also grown for its foliage.

Have you ever planted hibiscus in your garden? What colors of hibiscus would you like to plant this year?

Was this page helpful?
Southern Living is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy.
  1. Almanac. Hibiscus. Accessed August 15, 2022.

  2. Missouri Botanical Garden. Hibiscus moscheutos (Southern Belle Group). Accessed August 15, 2022.

Related Articles