How to Water, Plant & Grow Hibiscus


Hibiscus includes around 200 to 220 species of blossoming plants native to tropical and subtropical areas around the globe. Available as perennial or annual plants, as well as small trees or shrubs, the hibiscus produces showy flowers in a variety of colors and multiple colors, all season. Tropical hibiscus grows best in USDA cold-hardiness zones 9 through 10 and hardy hibiscus flourish in zones 5 to 8. Select hibiscus suited for your climate for best results.

Step 1

Select an area for planting your hibiscus that has full sun to partial shade. Find a planting site with well-draining soil, and space you hibiscus plants far enough apart to allow plenty of room for the full size of the specific hibiscus species you're growing.

Step 2

Dig a hole the same depth, but at least two times the width of the container. Place the hibiscus plant in the hole.

Step 3

Verify the hibiscus sits at the same height in the ground as previously planted. Add or remove soil, if necessary to adjust the height. Backfill the hole around the hibiscus with the removed soil.

Step 4

Saturate the soil with water to remove air pockets and to settle the soil around the roots. Continue to water the growing hibiscus deeply each week of the growing season, when rainfall fails to. The University of Florida suggests watering the soil to a depth ranging from 12 to 18 inches.

Step 5

Cover the area around the hibiscus with several inches of mulch to retain moisture and discourage weeds. Keep the mulch away from the main stem of the hibiscus.

Step 6

Apply a fertilizer, as directed, to the hibiscus monthly, or at least three to four times a year. Spread it around the hibiscus in the canopy area and beyond. Keep the fertilizer away from the trunk or stem, and flush with water to prevent burning the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer


  • Plant Encyclopedia: Hibiscus
  • University of Florida: Hibiscus in Florida
  • FAQs

Who Can Help

  • Floridata: Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis
  • University of Florida: Hibiscus Syriacus--Rose-of-Sharon
  • Gardening Central: Perennial Hibiscus
  • Gardening Central: Hibiscus Tree
Keywords: tropical hibiscus, hardy hibiscus, planting hibiscus, growing hibiscus

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.