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Zones 9, 12-16, 19-27, H1, H2
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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Empire'

Chinese Hibiscus, Tropical Hibiscus
Evergreen, Shrubs


Among the showiest flowering plants. Plants typically bear funnel-shaped blossoms, often with prominent stamens. The many species offer a wide range of flower colors.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Probably from tropical Asia; tropical hibiscus has been in cultivation for centuries, and is among the most flamboyant flowering shrubs. It reaches 30 ft. tall and 15 to 20 ft. wide in Hawaii, but more typical size on mainland is 8 to 15 ft. tall, 5 to 8 ft. wide. Glossy leaves vary somewhat in size and texture depending on variety. Growth habit may be dense and dwarfish or loose and open. Summer flowers are single or double, 4 to 8 in. wide. Colors range from white through pink to red, from yellow and apricot to orange. Individual flowers last only a day, but the plant blooms continuously.

Provide overhead protection where winter lows frequently drop below 30°F/-1°C. Where temperatures go much lower, grow in containers and shelter indoors over winter; or treat as annual, setting out fresh plants each spring. Hibiscus also makes a good houseplant.

This shrub requires excellent drainage; if necessary, improve soil for best drainage or set plants in raised beds or containers. Can be used as screen, espalier, or specimen. To develop good branch structure, prune poorly shaped young plants when you set them out in spring. To keep a mature plant growing vigorously, prune out about a third of old wood in early spring. Pinching out tips of stems in spring and summer increases flower production.All varieties susceptible to aphids. There are thousands of selections.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Empire'
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Empire'

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Single, warm orange flowers in profusion; grows 6–8 ft. high, 5–6 ft. wide.

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