How to Plant a Hibiscus Bush


Hibiscus is a group of plants that belong to the mallow family. A popular hibiscus is the rose of Sharon, which is grown as a small tree or shrub. It grows best in climate zones 5 through 9, where the lowest winter average is minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The hibiscus prefers full sun yet will tolerate light shade. It should be planted with some protection from severe weather or frost. Large hibiscus plants are difficult to successfully establish at a new location, and it is best to plant bushes that are under 5 feet tall.

Step 1

Plan to plant the hibiscus in the early spring, choosing a sunny, protected location.

Step 2

Lay out your planting area. Space multiple plants 4 to 6 feet apart.

Step 3

Dig a hole with a perennial spade. It should be wider than the container holding the plant and deep enough that when the plant is set in the hole it will maintain the same soil line.

Step 4

Amend the soil you've removed from the hole with peat moss, leaf mold or compost (to create a well-draining soil). The amount will vary depending on your soil type. Consult with your gardening center.

Step 5

Remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole. Fill the hole around the plant with the amended soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Hibiscus plant or plants
  • Perennial spade
  • Peat moss, leaf mold or compost


  • "Flowering Shrubs"; James Crocket; 1972
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: Rose of Sharon, Shrub Althea
  • U.S. Forest Service: Hibiscus syriacus
Keywords: hibiscus, planting hibiscus, rose of Sharon

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.