How to Plant a Hibiscus


Hibiscus are deciduous flowering shrubs indigenous to temperate and tropical regions throughout the world. They are coveted for their striking flowers, which are trumpet-shaped and come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. According to Sunset Plant Finder, hibiscus are some of the showiest of all flowering plants. Whatever variety of hibiscus you are planning on growing, make sure it is planted in full sun and in well-draining soil.

Step 1

Dig up the soil in the planting site to a depth of between 10 and 12 inches, if you are planting a hibiscus growing in a 1-gallon container. Dig up the planting site down to a depth of between 14 and 20 inches if you are planting a hibiscus growing in a 5-gallon container.

Step 2

Spread out across the planting area a 2- to 3-inch layer of pine bark, peat moss, leaf mold or any other similar organic soil amendment.

Step 3

Mix the organic matter into the soil thoroughly, using a garden fork or a shovel.

Step 4

Dig a planting hole for the hibiscus that is three times the width of its growing container and approximately the same depth. Space each of the planting holes between 3 and 6 feet apart, if you are planting more than one hibiscus within the same planting site.

Step 5

Lay the container sideways on the ground, or on a potting bench. Strike along the base of the growing container, using a trowel or small hammer, until you see the container start to slide off the root system. Remove the hibiscus from its growing container.

Step 6

Place the hibiscus into the planting hole. Plant the hibiscus so it is sitting at the same height as the surrounding garden soil.

Step 7

Scoop soil into the planting hole until the planting hole is half-full of soil. Pour water into the planting hole to fill the planting hole full of water. Firm the soil down in the planting hole once the water has dissipated to eliminate any air pockets. Scoop in more soil until the planting hole is filled with soil.

Step 8

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of grass clippings, oak leaves, pine bark or any other natural material for mulch around the hibiscus, keeping the mulch approximately 2 inches from the stem.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or garden fork
  • Soil amendment
  • Trowel or small hammer
  • Mulch


  • National Gardening Association: Hibiscus
  • Louisiana State University: Tropical Hibiscus
  • Sunset Plant Finder: Chinese Hibiscus
  • Clemson University Extension: Hibiscus
  • The University of Florida: Hibiscus in Florida
Keywords: planting a hibiscus, growing a hibiscus, care for hibiscus

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.