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How to Plant a Hibiscus Bush

By Ann Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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


Things You Will Need

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

About the Author


Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.