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3 Hibiscus you need in your garden


The flamboyantly tropical members of the family are best known, but these chorus girls of summer are not the family’s only gems.

Here are the must-have hibiscus we just can’t live without.



Chinese hibiscus

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Photo - Robin Powell


Large, single or double flowers in warm and hot tones with a prominent yellow staminal column area stars of summer.

These evergreen shrubs like warm, sunny positions with protection from strong winds. Fertilise in spring and water regularly. Prune hard at the end of winter. The major threats are hibiscus beetles, which eat holes in the flowers and leaves.


Sea hibiscus

Hibiscus tiliaceus


Yellow flowers appear from late spring through summer. Leaves are heart-shaped.

This evergreen small tree tolerates wet feet and salt but not frost. Feed lightly with native plant fertiliser. Prune straight after flowering if a shrub-like form is desired. Look for ‘Rubra’ with deep burgundy foliage and pale yellow flowers.


Native hibiscus

Alyogyne huegelii

Photo - Dan Wheatley


The warm-season flowers are usually mauve, though white and yellow forms are also known.

This native shrub likes warm, sunny situations in freely draining soils though it will tolerate part shade. Prune after spring blooming to encourage a rounded dense shape. Feed with a native fertiliser. Untroubled by pests.