Types of hibiscus: the 50 most beautiful & hardy hibiscus varieties

Lea
Lea
Lea
Lea

Having studied organic farming, I enjoy trying out new cultivation methods and other gardening experiments with friends in our community garden. I care deeply about exploring sustainable and mindful approaches to working with nature. This is my biggest passion, but I am also a real ornamental plant enthusiast!

Favourite fruit: strawberry, mango, guava
Favourite vegetables: artichoke, tomato, rocket

Hibiscus flowers are more commonly associated with summer but some varieties are also hardy. We present the most beautiful types of hibiscus.

Hibiscus flowers of many colours
The number of hibiscus varieties is incredibly large [Photo: sakhorn/ Shutterstock.com]

Whether in the home, on the windowsill, balcony, terrace or outside in the open, the hibiscus (Hibiscus) is so incredibly diverse that there is a suitable species and variety for every location. Originally native to Southeast Asia, China and Polynesia, the hibiscus has long been an integral part of our garden landscape. We explore the great diversity of hibiscus and introduce you to the most beautiful hibiscus species and varieties.

The most beautiful types of hibiscus

Hibiscus species: an overview

Before we turn to the most beautiful varieties, the following is an overview of the different species: about 220 species of hibiscus are said to exist worldwide. In addition, there are countless varieties for each species. So, the hibiscus is incredibly diverse. Here you will find an overview of the most important hibiscus species:

  • Rose hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis): this species is also called Chinese hibiscus or indoor hibiscus. It is not hardy and can therefore only be cultivated in pots in our country.
  • Tarden hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus): this species is hardy and grows very well in the open ground.
  • Almond hibiscus (Hibiscus mutabilis): another hardy hibiscus species characterised by its changing flower colours.
  • Swamp hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutus): this species of hibiscus is particularly herbaceous and can grow very tall. It is also hardy.
  • Other more uncommon species include Hibiscus arnottianus, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Hibiscus caesius, Hibiscus calyphyllus, and Hibiscus trionum.
A pink hibiscus sabdariffa flower
Hibiscus sabdariffa is one of the rather unknown hibiscus species

Below, we present a selection of the four main species of hibiscus, which we find particularly beautiful.

Rose hibiscus varieties

The so-called rose hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) belongs to the heat-loving plants and is therefore not suitable for year-around cultivation outdoors and must be wintered indoors. This species is very popular as a potted plant or houseplant and has a very large species diversity.

  • ‘Gator Magic’: this very rare hibiscus variety is characterised by pink double flowers with yellow edges. It blooms from April to November.
  • ‘Donna Lynn’: this hibiscus variety blooms deep red inside, then purple and yellow around the outside.
  • ‘Gwen Mary’: throughout the summer, this variety blooms with bright pink flowers. The flowers can have a diameter of up to 18 centimetres.
  • ‘Chasing Rainbows’: this variety of hibiscus has particularly large flowers. It blooms in bright red and the flowers in the centre have a dark red wreath.
  • ‘Dark Continent’: the particular flowers of this variety are brown outside and ruby inside and have a diameter of 18 centimetres. It loves sunlight and blooms from April to November.
  • ‘Jolanda Gommer’: in a sunny location, this variety of hibiscus grows up to 30 centimetres tall. The flowers are large and captivate with a colour mixture of purple, orange and red.
Red hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower
Chinese hibiscus is well suited for growing in pots [Photo: Vahan Abrahamyan/ Shutterstock.com]
  • ‘Expect Miracles’: the name speaks for itself. The large, rich orange flowers are always beautiful.
  • ‘Tsunami’: another rare variety. The flowers have a diameter of 16 centimetres and are brown and orange. A bright and sunny location is especially important for this variety.
  • ‘Colouring Book’: as colourful as a colouring book, this variety lives up to its name. The flowers shine in yellow, orange, white or pink and have a diameter of 20 centimetres. Flowering time is from April to November.
  • ‘Standing Ovation’: the flowers of this hibiscus variety vary between red-orange and yellow and can be 15 centimetres in diameter. It blooms throughout the spring and summer.
  • ‘Hula Girl’: this hibiscus variety has large flowers that are a bright yellow. Towards the centre, the flowers turn red.
  • ‘Voodoo Magic’: this very rare hibiscus variety owes its mystical name to its special looking flowers. These are brown and have an orange bud in the centre. These special flowers can be admired from April to November.
  • ‘Tahitian Flaming Dragon’: in a sunny location, this variety blooms pink with white stripes. The flowers can have a diameter of up to 18 centimetres. You can enjoy the beautiful flowers from April to November.
  • ‘Tahitian Lavender Mirage’: this rare variety captivates with lavender flowers measuring 25 centimetres in diameter. Flowering time is from April to November. The hibiscus prefers a south-facing window with plenty of sunlight.
  • ‘Cosmic Dancer’: the flowers of this variety shine in a light to dark red and become lighter and lighter towards the outside until they are almost orange.
Yellow hibiscus rosa-sinensis flower
The rose hibiscus comes in many different colours [Photo: pisitpong2017/ Shutterstock.com]
  • ‘Eye of the Storm’: this variety captivates with special wavy flowers. Their colour varies from pale pink to lilac and intense pink.
  • ‘Silver Charm’: the flowers of this variety of hibiscus are not silver, but white. They can have a diameter of 19 centimetres and bloom in a sunny location from April to November.
  • ‘Fruitango’: between April and November, this rare variety fascinates with its pink double flowers with yellow edges.
  • ‘Enchanted Lady’: although the flowers of this variety are yellow at the edges, they turn red towards the centre and at the very centre they are dark, almost black.
  • ‘Early Morning’: this variety impresses with large pink flowers. It grows up to 50 centimetres tall and prefers a location in partial shade.
  • ‘Heartbreak Hotel’: measuring 16 centimetres in diameter, the red mottled flowers of this variety are captivating. It prefers a sunny location and blooms from April to November.

Find out here how to grow rose hibiscus and other species of hibiscus in a pot.

Hardy types of hibiscus

The following types of hibiscus are all hardy and can therefore be planted outside in the garden. We present the most popular varieties of garden, almond and swamp hibiscus here.

Garden hibiscus varieties

The garden hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus) is a very hardy species, which can also be overwintered outdoors. Thanks to its woody shoot formation, it is also suitable for cultivating from a stem. The diversity of the species is rather small.

  • ‘White Chiffon’: this variety impresses with its pure white flowers. These are semi-double and have a diameter of 12 centimetres. Hibiscus can grow up to one and a half metres tall and blooms from summer to autumn.
  • ‘Pinky Spot’: can grow up to one and a half metres tall. The flowers are red outside, white inside and bloom from June to August.
  • ‘Purpureus Variegatus’: this rather rare cultivar captivates with its double, red to purple flowers and whitish green foliage. It blooms from July to September and grows two metres tall.
  • ‘Russian Violet’: this variety charms with pink and dark purple flowers between July and September. In a location in the sun or partial shade, the plant can grow up to two metres tall.
Round Luna Red hibiscus flower
The flowers of the Luna Red variety bloom in deep red [Photo: ntdanai/ Shutterstock.com]
  • ‘Luna Red’: the flowers are red according to the name and grow up to 20 centimetres large. This variety of hibiscus loves a sunny, sheltered place and requires light winter protection.
  • ‘Duc de Brabant’: this hibiscus variety with a French name is a broad-bush shrub that can grow up to three metres tall and one and a half metres wide. From July to October, this variety bears funnel-shaped flowers that are blue-red to dark red in colour.
  • ‘Marina’: this variety of hibiscus grows up to two metres tall. The flowers are dark blue with a dark red centre.
  • ‘Pink Giant’: as the name suggests, the flowers of this variety are very large and pink in colour. It is not very strong-growing and is very sensitive to frost, especially as a young plant.
  • ‘Luna Pink Swirl’: the large flowers captivate in white-pink tones and grow up to 20 centimetres large. In the process, the plants constantly form new flowers throughout the summer. This variety loves a sunny, sheltered place and needs light winter protection.
  • ‘Monstrosus’: this variety of hibiscus is not a monster, but beautiful. It blooms white and turns red towards the centre. The flowering period is from July to October.
  • ‘Blue Bird’: the blue bird captivates with its large, blue flowers that do not mind rain and bloom very early in the year.
  • ‘Speciosus’: the flowers of this variety are white double with a dark red centre. The plant can grow up to two metres tall.
  • ‘Joan of Arc’: this variety can grow up to two metres tall. It blooms for a very long time, until November, and bears white, semi-double flowers. It prefers a partially shaded location and sheds its leaves in winter.
  • ‘Coelestis’: this hibiscus variety can grow one to two metres tall. From July to September it blooms pale purple. A place in partial shade is ideal for this variety.
Blue rose of Sharon hibiscus
The ‘Blue Chiffon’ variety of garden hibiscus is hardy [Photo: Nadezhda Kharitonova/ Shutterstock.com]
  • ‘Blue Chiffon’: this relatively new variety blooms in summer and autumn with semi-double blue flowers. It is very hardy and can grow up to two metres tall.
  • ‘Leopoldii’: the double flowers of this variety are soft pink and turn red towards the centre. The plant can grow up to two and a half metres tall and requires a sunny to semi-shady location.
  • ‘Cheeky Point’: a rather rare hibiscus variety in which the white flowers are semi-double.
  • ‘Red Heart’: this variety really has a red heart because the white flowers have a red dot in the centre. In a sunny to partially shaded location, it grows up to one and a half metres tall and blooms from July to October. In autumn it sheds all its foliage.
  • ‘Lady Stanley’: captivates with pale pink double flowers that turn dark purple toward the centre.
  • ‘Ardens’: this variety has a beautiful flower shape with particularly large flowers. These bloom in a delicate lilac and turn red towards the centre.
  • ‘Hamabo’: growing up to one and a half metres tall, this hibiscus variety prefers a sunny to partial shade location. The large flowers are pink and bloom from July to September. ‘Hamabo’ sheds its leaves in winter.
  • ‘Woodbridge’: between July and October, this variety will reward you with ruby red to purple flowers.
Deep pink rose mallow flower
The rose mallow variety ‘Woodbridge’ captivates with its deep pink flowers [Photo: Peter Turner Photography/ Shutterstock.com]

Garden hibiscus is very suitable for a privacy hedge. Detailed instructions on how to create a hibiscus hedge can be found here.

Almond hibiscus varieties

Almond hibiscus (Hibiscus mutabilis) is another hardy and robust species of hibiscus. The name “mutabilis” means “to transform” in Latin. This is very suitable for this species of hibiscus because the flowers change colour during flowering. Almond hibiscus grows shrubby, bushy and can reach 150 centimetres in height. In general, this species prefers a sunny location. We list the most popular varieties here:

  • ‘Shanghai Pink’: this hibiscus variety rewards you with very rich flowering gifts. The flowers turn from pink to dark pink and bloom from September.
  • ‘Misty Pink’: this variety of almond hibiscus is extremely rare. The flowers are delicate pink and turn red towards the centre.
  • ‘Double’: this multi-stemmed shrub bears double flowers 15 centimetres in diameter and can also be grown as a standard tree. The flower colour changes from white to pink to red.
Double-petaled pink mallow flower
A double-petaled rose of sharon is a feast for the eyes [Photo: pisitpong2017/ Shutterstock.com]

If you have chosen a hardy variety of hibiscus, your plant can quietly spend the cold season outside. Tips and tricks for overwintering your hibiscus can be found here.

Swamp hibiscus varieties

The swamp rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutus) is another hardy hibiscus species. It requires a lot of sun to grow and can be grown directly in the garden thanks to their frost resistance. New varieties are bred again and again from this species of hibiscus. We can recommend the following varieties:

  • ‘Lady Baltimore’: this very compact growing shrub will reward you with many pink flowers with red spots from summer to autumn.
  • ‘Blue River II’: this variety also loves a sunny location and blooms with large, white flowers from May to October. The plant grows up to one and a half metres tall.
  • ‘Summer Storm’: with a diameter of up to 25 centimetres, this variety comes up trumps. The flowers are pink and bloom throughout the summer. The plant can grow up to one metre in height.
  • ‘Anne Arundel’: this variety feels most at home in full sun and will reward you with plate-shaped pink flowers.
A pink hibiscus moscheutos flower
The swamp hibiscus is also hardy and suitable for outdoor use [Photo: Lana B/ Shutterstock.com]
  • ‘Planet Griotte Tangri’: in a sunny location, this variety will give you red flowers from July to September.
  • ‘Old Yella’: throughout the summer, this variety bears yellow flowers with a red spot in the centre. The plant can grow up to one metre tall.
  • ‘Galaxy’: this variety grows up to one metre tall and has white flowers with a red eye.
  • ‘Chatelaine’: this variety of hibiscus blooms purple between June and September.
  • ‘Southern Bell’: this variety is extremely hardy and grows up to one metre tall. The flowers are pink.
  • ‘Cranberry Crush’: the deep red flowers of this variety are up to 25 centimetres in diameter and bloom from July to September.

Once the right variety for your hibiscus is selected, nothing stands in the way of planting. Detailed instructions for planting hibiscus can be found here. Find out here how to properly care for your hibiscus.

Tip: A hibiscus needs enough nutrients for magnificent flowers. Our Plantura Flower Food with three-month long-term effect is perfectly adapted to flowering plants such as the hibiscus.

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