How To Grow And Care For Texas Star Hibiscus

Texas Star Hibiscus produces exotic tropical blooms day after day through summer.

Texas Red Star Hibiscus

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With large scarlet blooms, Texas Star hibiscus brings a lush, exotic feel to the garden without the drawbacks of short-lived, non-native tropical varieties. Texas Star hibiscus blooms mid-summer into fall. Its striking red flower petals grow to 6-inches wide and are cut deeply and finer than other hibiscus. In the center, dramatic yellow stamens entice pollinators. Texas Star features 5-petaled, palmate leaves with deep red stems ideal for adding interesting landscape structure in addition to the blooms. Its tropical-like flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.  

Unlike tropical hibiscus varieties native to Hawaii and similar climates, Texas Star is an herbaceous perennial, returning year after year in USDA Zones 5-9.  It can tolerate all but the harshest freezes to return from the root in late spring. 

Plant Attributes

Common Name Texas Star Hibiscus, Scarlet Rosemallow, Wild Red Rosemallow, Swamp Mallow
Botanical Name Hibiscus coccineus
Family Malvaceae (Mallow)
Plant Type Herbacious Perennial
Mature Size 4 to 8 ft. tall, 2 to 3 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full sun, Partial shade
Soil Type Moist to Wet
Soil pH  Neutral
Bloom Time Summer to Fall
Flower Color Scarlet
Hardiness Zones USDA Zones 5-9
Native Area Southeast and Gulf Coast States. Despite its name, it is not native to Texas, though it is well adapted in most parts of the state.


In the right conditions with full sun and moist soil, showy Texas Star hibiscus can thrive year after year, adding drama to the landscape with showy scarlet blooms. Plant in a well-drained bed with several inches of mulch to help retain moisture. Supplemental watering may be necessary in hot and dry periods. To support prolific blooming through the growing season, fertilize once a month summer to fall. Texas Star can also be grown in containers with adequate water and fertilizer.


Texas Star is a vigorous grower, thriving in full sun. It will grow in part shade but may bloom less or become leggy, requiring more pruning to encourage fullness.  


Texas Star hibiscus grows in most kinds of moist and well-drained soil from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. It grows well in a combination of sand, clay, and loam or near swampy areas. To help keep soil evenly moist, use several inches of mulch.


Found naturally in roadside ditches, marshes, and other wet areas, Texas Star hibiscus loves wet feet. Keep soil moist throughout the root zone. You cannot overwater this plant in the garden. It will adapt to drier conditions, though may need supplemental water in hot, dry summers. It is an excellent plant for bog or rain gardens.

Temperature And Humidity 

The summer heat and high humidity in Southern coastal states doesn’t faze this hibiscus.


To encourage continual blooming, apply a balanced fertilizer blend once a month through the growing season, spring through summer.


Pruning isn’t required, though you can shape as you would like. The showy blooms last one day and are replaced with a profusion of new blooms each day. If you like, you can pinch off spent blooms as new ones appear, but deadheading isn’t necessary. 


Propagate from tip and stem cuttings in spring. Dip 5- to 6-inch cuttings into rooting hormone. Press cuttings 3 inches into a container filled with damp peat moss. Avoid direct sunlight.  Transplant it into the garden when leaves begin to develop.

How To Grow From Seed 

Texas Star is easily grown from seed. After pods have dried and turned brown, pop open pods and collect seeds. Store in envelopes until spring. Sow indoors in starter trays using seed starter mix and keep soil warm and evenly moist. After the danger of frost has passed, you can plant seeds directly outside or transplant seedlings into the garden. Texas Star may also self-sow in the garden.


No need to overwinter Texas Star. Plant will go dormant and die back until spring. Cut back to within 4-6 inches of the ground in spring as new growth appears.

Common Pests And Diseases 

Texas Star is susceptible to grasshoppers, aphids, Hibiscus whiteflies, mealybugs, thrips, and scale.  You can spray water on the plant to dislodge pests or spray with insecticidal soap. Another option is to treat both top and undersides of leaves with horticultural oil.

Common Problems 

No specific known problems.

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