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University of Minnesota Extension


Quick facts

  • Hibiscus flowers are beautiful but short-lived, usually in bloom for only one day.
  • A rich, well-drained soil mixture is ideal.
  • Hibiscus needs warm temperatures to bloom.
  • Prune in late winter to encourage a bushier plant.
  • Common problems include yellow leaves, flower buds dropping and insect pests.
Red hibiscus flower growing on plant

The hibiscus is a member of the mallow family which has nearly 300 species including trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. They are native to warmer, tropical regions.

In our northern climate, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the species most commonly available through nurseries, garden centers and florists. Hibiscus are bred specifically for flower size and color.

The beautiful, exotic-looking flowers are short-lived, typically blooming for only one day. Once finished blooming, the flower will close up and drop off. There is also a shell-like structure supporting the flower. This too withers and drops a few days after the flower fades.

Hibiscus make great house plants and are also wonderful additions to a summer garden. They are not winter hardy, and therefore must be brought in before the first fall frost.

Hibiscus are easy plants to grow and should pose few problems if their needs are met.

Growing hibiscus


Reviewed in 2018

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