The Texas Star Hibiscus, formally identified as Hibiscus coccineus, is a white or red flowering plant that is sometimes called Scarlet Rose Mallow. The plants are native to marshy, swampy areas in the south and southeastern regions of the country, particularly in Texas, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. They commonly are found along rivers, creeks and streams in these areas. The Texas Star Hibiscus plants add vibrant color to gardens and landscaping when planted next to water gardens, ponds or around the edges of a swimming pool. However, its leaves look extremely similar to marijuana plants, causing some people to look twice.
Texas Star Hibiscus plants grow well in moderate to wet moisture-retaining soil. The plants thrive when placed in full sunlight, but they can do well in partially shaded areas. The plants can survive heat and humidity, but they must be watered frequently during the summer months or during unusual droughts. Potted Texas Star Hibiscus plants must be placed in a protective area during late fall and winter. The plants normally grow to three and six feet in height with a spread of about two to three feet. The large colorful flowers bloom between June and September.
The Texas Star Hibiscus does not require a whole lot of care. Making sure it’s adequately watered is the most difficult part of caring for the Texas Star Hibiscus. As they grow taller, you may have to stake them to keep them from falling over. If the plants get too much shade, they become too thin and leggy and won’t bloom. Common pest infestations include Japanese beetles, aphids and whiteflies. A general-purpose insecticide is effective in ridding these pests without harming the Texas Star Hibiscus.
You can start new Texas Star Hibiscus plant by either root division or seeds. If you plant seeds, you can promote better germination by poking a hole with a needle or pin or scraping the seeds with a rough file prior to planting.