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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis /

Tropical Hibiscus / Chinese Hibiscus

 Plants for Northeast Florida Landscapes

( Hibiscus rosa - sinensis)


Tropical Hibiscus rosa senensis S & J Tree Farm and Nursery Hibiscus rosa - sinensis Plants , What are they?


There are many types of Hibiscus plants and each has its own unique characteristics. There are Hibiscus syriacus ( Rose of Sharon), Hibiscus matabilis (Confederate Rose), Hibiscus acetosella( Redleaf Hibiscus), Hibiscus coccineus ( Star Hibiscus or texas Star), militaris ( rose mallow), Hibiscus Moscheutos ( Hardy Hibiscus / Perennial Hibiscus) and Hibiscus schizopetalus ( Coral Hibiscus). Did I miss any? And if that werent confusing enough, there are plants that are not Hibiscus at all but are called Hibiscus, like Alyogyne ( Blue Hibiscus). Who can keep track? With so many types of Hibiscus they really can be quite confusing. But for most of us here in Northeast Florida, when we think of Hibiscus, we are thinking of the Tropical Hibiscus / Chinese Hibiscus or what botanists prefer to refer as Hibiscus rosa- sinensis.


Chinese Hibiscus flowers instantly bring to mind tropical vacations on sandy beaches with cool breezes! And without a doubt, that is where they grow best, the hotter the better. Native to tropical Aisa, hibiscus rosa - sinensis is often referred to as Tropical Hibiscus or Chinese Hibiscus, and they truly are a tropical plant selection.  Hibiscus are winter hardy in zones 10-11, so for us here in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area landscapes, Hibiscus plants will need some winter protection to ensure they survive to regrow again the following season. But with just a little care, these big beautiful flowers can grow succesfully in your garen for years on end.




Protecting Your Tropical Hibiscus Plants From Winter TemperaturesHibiscus rosa senensis S & J Tree Farm and Nursery


When temperatures begin to drop below 30 degrees, hibiscus plants can start to loose leaves, stems will be damaged when temperatures drop below 32 for extended periods of time.


Although hibiscus can regrow from winter damaged plants the following year, here's a few tips to help you keep these tropical beauties happy and get a head start on next springs growth!


 - Never trim your hibiscus plants after August. Never feed your Hibiscus plants after September. That will cause them to put out a new flush of growth and make them more sensative to freezing temperatures. The earlier you trim during the summer, the better off your hibiscus plants will be.


 - Keep your plants healthy and happy with a slow release plant food like Osmocote during the summer. And give them a dose of Epsom salt in fall before winter temperatures begin to drop. Healthy plants will take the cold better than a stressed or weak plant and regrow quicker the following spring when cold damaged


 - NEVER trim off cold damaged foliage until all danger of frost has passed. This is essential when dealing with tropical and subtropical plants here in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area landscape. Removing that damaged foliage just opens up the trunks close to the base of the plant to damage from the next frost that comes by. I know its not pretty, but those burnt leavs and stems offer protection to the trunk and can be the difference between your plant regrowing in April from the branches instead of July from the root system or even wors, not at all!


Hibiscus rosa senensis S & J Tree Farm and Nursery yellow - When planted on the South side of the house, under large trees or into microclimate areas where frost will stay off the leaves, your hibiscus may well make it through winter here in the St. Augustine area landscapes with just a bit of protection from a cloth on nights with freezing temperatures.


- Try Planting your hibscus in the container and lifting them out of the landscape, bring them indoors and enjoy them as houseplants till the weather warms again in spring.


- When leaving your hibiscus in ground you can protect the base of the stem by loosely piling up straw or hay around the bottom foot of the plant, remove the straw in spring or spread it out as mulch into the surrounding areas. Trim off all damaged stems and foliage, fertilize and your hibiscus plant is ready to get growing.


 - If you are not willing to take a risk on loosing your hibiscus plant, or you live in a more Northern climate, you may want to take more drastic measures to ensure next years plantings! Hibiscus root easily, try taking cuttings from the tips of your plants at the end of summer to plant out next spring! Here's how...

  1. (around July or August) trim 4- 6 inch long pieces from the tips of your hibiscus rosa - senensis plant you want to overwinter
  2. remove the bottom set of leaves
  3. place your stem cuttings into a small terra cotta pot filled with moist soil
  4. place a few chopsticks in the pot making sure the chopsticks stand up above the foliage of the plant by a few inches
  5. cover your pot with plastic wrap then cover over the chopsticks forming a miniature greenhouse.
  6. Cuttings should root in 3-4 weeks if they are kept moist, you may need to check the soil if you no longer see condensation forming inside your saran wrap greenhouse. Add water as needed and recover.
  7. When the cuttings have formed roots, remove the cover and allow to grow on a sunny windowsill till spring!


S & J Nursery's Hibiscus rosa - sinensis Plant


Selections for Northeast Florida Gardeners




Hibiscus Butterball Double Yellow


Hibiscus Celia Double Red


Hibiscus Fort Meyers Yellow


Hibiscus Jane Cowl Double Peach


Hibiscus Painted Lady


HIbiscus President Red


HIbiscus Red Hot 


Hibiscus Seminole Pink


Hibiscus Snow Queen Variegated


HIbiscus White Wings




  Click here for more information on Hibiscus rosa - Senensis / Tropical Hibiscus from UFIFAS 


Click here for more information on Tropical Hibiscus Rosa - Senensis from Flroidata.




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Tropical / Exotic/ Unusual Plants for Northeast Florida