Hibiscus, Perennial


1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to part sun.

2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 5 to 9.

3. Planting Distance - 3 to 4 feet apart in ground.

4. Mature Height/Spread - 3-6 feet or taller with a 3-4 foot spread within two years.  Some select varieties can grow anywhere from 6 -10 feet tall with a 6 foot spread. Dwarf varieties will grow 2-4 feet tall with a similar spread, the Dazzling Designs Trio is covered under the dwarf variety,

5. Bloom Time - Summer to frost. Intermittently.

6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the pot in which your plant was grown.  Please note that many of our pots are biodegradable.  If your plant is not in a traditional plastic pot then you may place the entire biodegradable pot in the ground; otherwise, gently remove the root ball from the pot.  Partially backfill the hole with soil and place the plant into the hole. The top of the root ball should be level with the ground surrounding the hole. Refill the hole with soil, firming the soil around the plant with your fingers.  Check to be sure that the plant is not planted too deeply.  If it is, raise the plant carefully and refirm the soil.  Water thoroughly.


Hardy Perennial Hibiscus has long been one of the most popular of all perennials. They make excellent additions to your sunny perennial garden as a background for shorter perennials or planted singly as specimens throughout the yard. Their dramatic color and tropical flair adds charm wherever you plant them. Each winter your Perennial Hibiscus will die back to the ground but when spring arrives they will burst forth with 3 - 6 feet of growth by the time they bloom in mid-summer.


Hardy Perennial Hibiscus is one of the last perennials to sprout or break dormancy. There are also differences between varieties with some growing faster than others. It is not unusual to have one or two break dormancy two weeks after their counterparts. Once Hibiscus sprout, they grow rapidly.  Warm weather will accelerate their growth.


Due to their natural habit of breaking dormancy late in the season, your hibiscus may be shipped with little or no top-growth.  If this is the case, your plant is simply “sleeping” and should be planted according to the instructions in this guide. With the onset of warmer temperatures, they will grow quickly and amaze you with their performance and resiliency. 


Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office.  These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance.  See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:

1.  Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.

2.  To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.

3.  After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.


Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground.  Do not allow plants in containers to dry out.  In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat.  You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e. in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).

Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.

Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.

Grooming - Remove flower heads as soon as soon as the flowers have faded in the summer to encourage continuous bloom.  At the same time, remove unwanted or undesirable branches and cut out weak shoots, particularly those inside or toward the center of your shrub.  

Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.

Winterizing - After frost causes the foliage to wither and die, cut back the stalks to ground level. Your Hibiscus are perennial and will send up new stalks late the following spring or early summer. After you cut the stalks down to the ground, you can still add a layer of mulch for additional protection.

For container planting - Follow the above for cutting back the stalks and move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure to give them a good watering once every 2 to 3 weeks as needed.

In spring, remove mulch from in-ground plantings and prune off any dead wood. Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.


CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.