Hardy Hibiscus Plant Types

Hardy hibiscus (genus, Hibiscus) are cousins to the tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) but are tolerant to colder conditions, growing throughout USDA planting zones 4 through 10 and have larger flowers up to 1-foot across. Many cultivars are North American natives. Plants die to the ground in winter in cooler areas of their planting zones and are deciduous in their warmest locations. They reemerge in springtime, with most cultivars quickly growing up to 15 feet in height.

Flora Pena Confederate Rose

Flora Pena confederate rose (Hibiscus mutabilis ‘Flora Pena’) is a popular flowering hardy hibiscus perennial grown throughout gardens in the South. It has an upright, almost tree-like habit, growing up to 15 feet tall in frost-free areas. Plants have an average height of approximately 8 feet in cooler areas experiencing annual frosts and freezes. Its large leaves are coarsely textured and flowers start their blooming period in summer. Double white flowers turn from light to dark pink as they age. This is one of the plant’s most attractive features: displaying multicolored blooms at one time. It prefers growing in sunny, moist conditions.

Rubra Dixie Rose Mallow

Rubra Dixie rosemallow (Hibiscus mutabilis ‘Rubra’) is a hardy hibiscus that is a cultivar of confederate rose also called Rubra confederate rose. It has an upright habit but is not as tree-like as other cultivars of confederate rose. Plants grow up to 4 to 6 feet in height and spread, and they die to the ground in winter in areas experiencing frosts and freezes. The plant's leaves are large and coarsely textured with flowers beginning their blooming season in summer. Large, single flowers bloom in colors ranging from a deep pink to carmine. Plants perform best located in full sun planted in moist soil mediums.


Roselle (Hibiscus cannabinus) is a hardy hibiscus also called Florida cranberry or Jamaican sorrel. Other than in its warmest locations, roselle grows like an annual, dying back in winter only to reseed and reemerge in springtime. It has a mounding habit with sharply divided green foliage that is coarsely textured. Yellow flowers with deep red centers start blooming throughout summer. The fiber of its stems is used for textile and paper manufacturing. The calyx, located in the flower’s center, is red and holds the seeds. The calyx is used in making teas, juices and jellies. Plants grow up to 4 to 6 feet in height. There is a nonedible cultivar of roselle having attractive burgundy foliage and flowers. Plants grow best in sunny, moist conditions.

Keywords: hardy hibiscus varieties, hardy hibiscus cultivars, hardy hibiscus plants, hardy hibiscus types

About this Author

Joyce Starr is a freelance writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawncare, gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.