How to Plant Hibiscus in Indiana


With nearly 300 species, hibiscus is a well-known plant grown from the South to the North in a variety of climates, including that of Indiana. Since the lowest winter temperatures in Indiana average minus 20 degrees to 0 degrees F, tropical hibiscus will not survive its cold winter months. Fortunately, it can grow as an annual. Hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos) on the other hand, will grow and thrive as a perennial in Indiana.

Step 1

Choose a planting location in full sun, which most hibiscuses prefer. Rake or till to loosen the soil and mix in 3 to 4 inches of organic matter, such as compost or peat moss, into the top 8 to 12 inches of soil. Avoid planting hibiscus in low lying and wet soil conditions, such as near a marsh as hibiscuses need well-draining soil

Step 2

Plant the hibiscus in the spring after the last frost, which occurs in mid- to late spring in Indiana. Plant a hardy hibiscus in the summer and fall months as well. Plant it at the exact depth as it was planted in the nursery container. Space them according to their variety. Start the plants indoors about 12 weeks earlier before the last frost and transplant them outdoors if starting the plants from seed.

Step 3

Water the hibiscus well after planting, usually about a 1/2 to 1 inch will suffice, depending on the size of the plant. Apply about 2 inches of mulch to help the soil retain water, if desired.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe, garden rake or tiller
  • Organic matter


  • Nature Hills Nursery: Hibiscus
  • Clemson University: Hibiscus
  • National Gardening Association: Hibiscus

Who Can Help

  • Indiana USDA Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: plant hibiscus Indiana, hardy hibiscus, Hibiscus moscheutos

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.