Hibiscus coccineus: Rose Mallow

Latin name: Hibiscus coccineus 
 Hibiscus coccineus: Rose Mallow
Common name: Scarlet Rosemallow 
Flowers: Showy red 5-petal flowers12
Fruit: Insignificant12
Height & Width: 3-6’ x 2-3’12
Type: Herbaceous perennial12
Habit: Herb16
Wetland indicator category**: OBL 1317
Texture: Medium16
Growth rate: Vigorous12
Light: Full sun4
Moisture: Medium to wet4 
Soil: Wet soil, tolerates poor drainage13
Zones: 6-912
Origin: Eastern United States13

Features: 6-8” wide, brilliant red flowers, with petals more separated than those of other hibiscus, giving the blossom a star shaped look. Individual flowers last only a days but new blooms open throughout summer and fall4.

Siting: Prefers full sun and moist soil. Occurs naturally in swamps, marshes and ditches and will tolerate some flooding but will also grow well in ordinary soil4.

Care: Plant in suitable site with adequate soil organic matter so that the crown of the plant is at the soil surface18. Ensure the soil is adequately moist immediately after planting. Keep soil moist but not soggy until plant is established. Once plant is established water deeply but infrequently whenever the soil surface is dry or almost dry 2” below the soil surface18.

Pests: Southern Stem Blight and leaf spot from several fungi affect this plant and insect pests include; Aphids, Whiteflies and Japanese Beetles4

Author: Susie Lombardo, Editor: Alexander Smolka