Fabulous Friday: Hibiscus in Bloom

Hibiscus moscheutos opens its first blooms of the season today.


We always celebrate when the Hibiscus moscheutos bloom.  These easy native perennials largely care for themselves.  Although they die back to the ground each autumn, they grow quickly once their stems finally appear again in late spring.



Native Hibiscus prove very accommodating and will grow in a variety of conditions.   Seen most commonly in the wild near water, they appreciate a little irrigation when the weather turns hot and dry.  They grow in a variety of soils from partial shade to full sun.  Happy, well irrigated plants grow to between four and five feet tall.

We let them seed themselves around and grow where they will, always delighted when their colorful blooms quite suddenly appear in mid-summer.  Each stem may produce a half dozen or more buds.  Once the flowers fade, interesting seed capsules ripen and persist into winter.  Many of our songbirds enjoy pecking ripe seeds from the open capsules until we finally cut their dried stems down.


Hybrid Hibiscus ‘Kopper King’ is much showier than our native Hibiscus with somewhat larger flowers. Its foliage is also more attractive… until the Japanese beetles have their way with the leaves.  This cultivar was introduced by the Fleming Brothers of Lincoln, Nebraska, who have produced several Hibiscus hybrids based on crosses of H. moscheutos and H. coccineus.


While many cultivars of H. moscheutos are available on the market, I believe that most of ours are the species.  We planted H. ‘Kopper King’ about four years ago and it has grown into a large and vigorous plant. Various Hibiscus volunteers in our garden bloom deep pink, light pink or white.  We see them, too, in the marshes along the James River and creeks that feed it.


Hardy Hibiscus coccineus will start blooming by early August.


Native Hibiscus prove a reliable, hardy and very beautiful perennial in our garden.  We have more native Hibiscus species yet to bloom; and the Asian Hibiscus syriacus, or woody Rose of Sharon, is in the midst of its much longer season of bloom.


Hibiscus syriacus, Rose of Sharon


The woody shrub form of Asian Hibiscus also seeds itself around the garden, growing quickly from seedling to blooming tree in just a few years.  Although new cultivars are introduced each year, we have four or five different flower colors and forms which keep us quite happy.  A non-native, it also feeds many creatures with its nectar, pollen, leaves and seeds.


Rose of Sharon, or tree Hibiscus


It is fabulous to enjoy a plethora of gorgeous showy flowers with very little effort on our part during this muggiest part of summer.  It is also fabulous to watch the beautiful and varied bees, butterflies and hummingbirds that visit to enjoy their abundant pollen and sweet nectar each day.


Rose of Sharon in our shrub border bloom prolifically from mid-June until early September.


Woodland Gnome 2018

Fabulous Friday:  Happiness is contagious;

let’s infect one another!



“Seize the moments of happiness,

love and be loved!

That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.

It is the one thing we are interested in here.”


Leo Tolstoy


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

12 responses to “Fabulous Friday: Hibiscus in Bloom

  1. That is a hibiscus that I have not seen in a long time. The rose of Sharon is somewhat common here, and the tropical hibiscus are more popular in Southern California. Yet, the North American hibiscus are never seen.

    • Ours still grow wild here, but largely in protected lands like National Parks. Mostly cultivars are available commercially. People plant what they can easily find, unless they truly care about native plants and seed out the species intentionally. Hope you are well and well away from the wildfires. Best, WG

      • You know, while the rest of the continent is getting unseasonable warmth, our weather had been unseasonably mild. For a while, it was actually warmer in Portland than in San Jose! Once it finally started to get warm here a few days ago, it never got warmer than 100 degrees. It should stay less than 90 degrees this week. The fires are also keeping their distance so far. We sort of expect them, but it has not happened locally yet.

  2. ahhh – I actually was wondering about some of the varieties and this was informative – and images and words paired so well (beautiful)

    Happiness is contagious….


  3. Such beautiful flowers! I’m sipping hibiscus tea as I type this! 🙂

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