Winter Care for the Confederate Rose


The Confederate rose is a species of hardy hibiscus, known botanically as Hibiscus mutabilis. It grows as a large shrub or small tree in the warmth and humidity of USDA Zones 9 and 10 and as a smaller perennial border plant in cooler climes. The flowers resemble hibiscus in their crepe paper texture but have a double layer of ruffled petals reminiscent of an old fashioned rose. Depending on the cultivar, the flowers can be pink, white or red and deepen in color over the course of a day. It flowers from early summer through the first frost of fall and is generally low maintenance.

Step 1

Prune back your Confederate rose in the fall or early winter, removing all dead top foliage and branching to just a few inches above the crown of the plant.

Step 2

Clear away and discard all spent flowers, petals, leaves, cuttings and other plant litter from the crown of the plant and the surface of the soil to prevent the harboring of disease and insects over the winter.

Step 3

Top dress your Confederate rose with several inches of compost and/or aged livestock manure to act as a mulch and gentle fertilizer over the winter dormant period. Spread the material around the base of the plant an inch or two out from the main trunk/s and extending past the edge of the main root mass.

Step 4

Keep the soil lightly moist during the winter, supplementing natural rainfall as needed so that the soil does not dry out completely.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Aged manure
  • Secateurs
  • Long handled loppers
  • Water


  • Texas A&M University: Confederate Rose
  • North Carolina State University: Problems with Centipede Grass
Keywords: hardy hibiscus plants, confederate rose care, growing condiitons for confederate rose

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.