While there are a variety of species of hibiscus plants, the flowering plant can be categorized into three main flower types: rose of Sharon, tropical and hardy. Each hibiscus plant has unique growing conditions and attributes, but all species thrive without excessive care and bloom for an extended period throughout the growing season. Read below for more information on three types of hibiscus.
An easy-growing shrub, the rose of Sharon blooms from late summer to the middle of fall. In the right conditions, the plant can thrive without any care. Full sun and moist, well-drained soil are recommended, but not necessarily required. The plant's blooms are primarily red, pink or white, with their size dependent on the amount of pruning that goes into them. Frequent pruning produces larger (but fewer) blooms, while inconsistent or infrequent pruning will result in a higher quantity of smaller flowers. The rose of Sharon needs protection in winter, particularly when it is young. Mulching and late-season pruning aid the rose of Sharon's winter survival attempts, although the plant can generally survive on its own after three years.
Of all the hibiscus plants, the hardy hibiscus produces the largest blooms. These flowers can reach eight inches wide, yet they live for just a single day. Nonetheless, hundreds are produced within one growing season. Hardy hibiscus loves full sun and can tolerate much wetter conditions than other species of hibiscus. The plant really is "hardy" in that it can survive in cold regions without much care. It may require some attention its first winter, but it will grow fine on its own after that.
Tropical hibiscus is a perennial in its native environment, but it is frequently grown as an annual in the colder regions in which it is planted. The tropical hibiscus is the pickiest of the hibiscus species, requiring fertilizing and soil that is rich in nutrients. Some growers of tropical hibiscus prune one-third of the plant up to every four weeks to encourage optimal growth.
Whichever type of hibiscus you choose, this plant will enliven your garden with its lovely blooms.