Real World Gardener Hibiscus Rose Mallow is Plant of the Week

February 19th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear


Hibiscus rosa-chinensis: Hibiscus moscheutus

Rose Mallow


This next flower is the official state flower of Hawaii, so it’s no surprise that when you see the shrub covered in those flowers that you can’t help but think of sandy beaches, aquamarine seas and grass skirts. 

Let’s find out more.

I;m talking with the plant panel:

Karen Smith editor of

and Jeremy Critchley owner of

PLAY: Hibiscus_17th February_2016

The common Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-chinensis) that you see in many gardens, grows to about 3 metres tall.

Vigorous growing and best pruning at the beginning of Spring because they flower on new wood.

Hibiscus moscheutos or Rose Mallow Rose Mallow are native to swamps, wetlands and along creek edges in the southeast United States.

These Hibiscus are herbaceous so are good for cold climates because the plant has died down.

Growth is to 80 cm and these Hibiscus prefer shade and part shade.

Hibiscus moscheutus "Pink Swirl.'


All Hibiscus thrive if you give them lots of organic matter with an addition of Potash.


Generally Rose Mallow comes in pink white and red coloured flowers, that's the Luna series which are the only ones available in Australia.


According to growers, they can get up to 80 - 100 flowers, however, the flowers only last a day.

Plant them in a sandy but moisture retaining, slightly acidic soil that has been  enriched with compost or other organic material.

Water regularly and thoroughly during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.



Rose Mallow plants should never be allowed to completely dry out, or they’ll immediately stop blooming. 

Plants resent any disturbance to their root system so be extremely careful, soak the soil thoroughly and dig wide before attempting to transplant your Hibiscus. 

Hibiscus moscheutus "red"

A Bit if Trivia

The official state flower is the yellow hibiscus (Hibiscus brackenridgei), also known as the pua aloalo.
Hawaiians originally adopted the hibiscus flower (of all colors) as their official Territorial flower in the early 1920s. 
It wasn’t until 1988, however, that Hawaii’s legislature legally adopted the yellow hibiscus as the official state flower.
The hibiscus originated in Asia and the Pacific islands. It’s believed that there were originally only five hibiscus species native to the Hawaiian islands.

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