How to Grow White Hibiscus: Ultimate Guide

White Hibiscus (also known as Hardy Hibiscus) is a Hibiscus hybrid, mainly designed for making the world (and your home) a nicer place to live in. It has always been a wonderful plant to have in your garden or home, and in recent years its popularity has been growing rapidly. And why wouldn’t it?

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White Hibiscus

First of all, it is fairly easy to cultivate. Sure, it’s not the easiest plant on Earth to cultivate, and you need the right near-tropical climate, but still, it takes almost little effort for the whole process once you start.

Secondly, and most importantly, its flowers are magnificent! Big and beautiful white petals linked together in a bright red center will surely enrich the aesthetic of your home.

They can thrive both indoors and outdoors, which means you can decorate either your garden or room with them. Or, even better – both! The more plants you have, the better they look.

They not only attract humans but different species as well. If you like butterflies then this is just the plant for you! Butterflies are incredibly fond of White Hibiscus and you will find many of them near such plants. Also, hummingbirds are big fans of this plant as well! And what’s more soothing than watching these beautiful creatures gather around such beautiful flowers all day long?

All in all – it is a must-have plant for any home. And, if you are interested in cultivating these wonderful plants, here are some information and tips on how to do just that.

Cultivation and History

Cultivation and interbreeding of Hibiscus boomed in the early twentieth century and starting from the fifties most gardens and plant companies (plant breeders, in short) had their share in this adventure. As a result of this massive and rapid process, there are about seven hundred different species of Hibiscus in the world right now and their cultivation and history vary from country to country. In further text, Hibiscus of color (yellow, pink, red, etc.) will be omitted, and attention will be paid only to some of the most popular White Hibiscus.

Like most Hibiscus plants, White Hibiscus types need a warm climate and could grow in Plant hardiness zones 5-9 and climate zones from 1-11, where they should be exposed to full sun. Hence, the cultivation process should start earliest from late spring (indoors) and throughout summer (mid-summer is the best option for the garden transplant).

The type of soil it prefers is mostly well-drained and not particularly heavy, with Alkaline and/or neutral pH values. The moisture level should be around medium, and luckily, not a lot of watering is needed when cultivating Hibiscus hybrids.

White Hibiscus

Interestingly, most of the White Hibiscus variants are found in the United States, and looking to the east, their color gets brighter and brighter, so pink Hibiscus is found in Europe and the Middle East, and amazing dark red and yellow flowers could be seen in India and China. Of course, there is no particular order where each type grows, as we can cultivate any Hibiscus almost anywhere suitable.

Propagation and Varieties.

Since it is possible to propagate White Hibiscus in three ways – by seed planting, crown division, or stem cuttings, this plant spread across the world in no time.

Using seeds is the most common way of propagation, for it is cheap and convenient to buy plants this way. It may take some effort afterward, but the result is worth it. More about seed propagation can be found in further text. Crown division should be done carefully, since this plant is quite gentle, even when mature (when crown division should be done).

  • Be sure not to hurt the stem or the root, because if you do, the plant is finished.
  • Gently remove one root mass piece away from the stem using a sharp knife. Do not rip it off with your fingers!
  • Remove any dead mass and plant the root mass in the same soil as the mother Hibiscus.
  • It is advisable to watch some videos on how to do this if you’ve never done this before.

Ultimate Guide

And, finally, stem cutting. Propagation in this way is best done in late summer or early autumn since the temperature is most suitable at that period (around 25 degrees Celsius).

  • Mix the sand with the rich soil together (60-40 or 70-30 ratio) in a pot with small holes on the bottom and water it.
  • Cut down all the leaves and buds from the cuttings (cuttings should be not matured branches of the Hibiscus plant – semi-hardwood cuttings). Leave the cutting at about 12 cm and with 45 degrees bottom cut.
  • Dip the bottom in the rooting hormone and place it in the sand/soil mix.
  • Water everything and cover it with a bag.

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How to Grow White Hibiscus.

To grow White Hibiscus plants, you should start around 3 months before the final frost if your climate area is in Zones 1-6, or half that time if you live in a hotter climate Zone. The first steps are made indoors.

  • In the beginning, you will need normal-sized pots or cups, preferably with a small hole at the bottom (for drainage), rich soil (something like coco peat, for example), and organic compost. Fill 90% of the cup with rich soil then add the remaining 10% of organic compost and mix them.
  • Make half-inch or quarter-inch holes in the soil and place the seeds in them. You can place 1-3 seeds in a single cup (one seed per hole), depending on its size, but make sure that seeds have enough space between them (two seeds per cup might be the best). Cover the seeds with soil and put some water over (not too much, for these seeds need little water).
  • You can place the cups in some sort of a top-covered container (plastic/see-through) and put it someplace where the sun can reach it. This will create a sort of greenhouse effect hence the seeds will then proceed to germinate at a much higher rate, so the process should last for about a week.
  • After 7-10 days you will see leaves (three per plant usually) which means the lid should be off from now, and the plants should be exposed directly to the sun. Check the soil for moisture – if it’s dry, add a little bit of water. Repeat this process until seedlings are about 20-25 cm long.

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Now’s the time to start bringing them outside to adapt – one hour a day will be sufficient. This will make them harder and the plants will start getting used to the climate (this is just after the frost, so the weather may still be a bit chilly). And when the climate is good – plant them in your garden.

Growing Tips

  • Make sure that the climate is adequate before you plant your seedlings in your garden.
  • As stated earlier, these plants like rich and slightly acidic soil and not so much water, so be sure to provide such conditions in your garden. If your soil is not that rich, you can add some fertilizer before planting the seedlings.
  • Another very important detail is the sun! They love the sun and should be exposed to full sunlight. But not too much, around 6 hours a day would be perfect.
  • Strong winds may hinder their growth, therefore some sort of defense against the wind must be installed.
  • Water them only when the soil is dry.

Ultimate Guide

Pruning and Maintenance.

Once your White Hibiscus is planted in your garden, little maintenance is needed afterward. The main concerns should be:

  • Keep away from strong winds,
  • Irrigate only when the soil is dry (maybe 3cm of water a week),
  • Put some slightly acidic fertilizer (6-7 pH) once or twice per month as the plants grow,
  • Old flowers and leaves should be pruned away when spotted, so the new ones could grow.

For maintenance purposes, one very important matter is the distance between the plants. The distance should be about 1m minimum, so you can easily apply compost when needed, and it is much easier to estimate the right level of irrigation this way.

Cultivars to Select.

Today, we have many White Hibiscus plants due to their easy propagation and hybridization, and here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Hibiscus Dasycalyx – also known as the Neches River Rosemallow, originates from Texas, United States, and can grow between 2 and 3 meters. Long 10cm petals are purely white and simply a joy to look at.
  • Hibiscus Denudatus – also known as Paleface Hibiscus could also be found growing in North America, quite near Neches River rosemallow (Mexico, California, Arizona, Nevada). These are much smaller than the previously mentioned type, growing up to 1.5 meters and having significantly smaller flowers.
  • Hibiscus Laevis – also known as Halberd-leaf rosemallow grows a bit to the north than those previous two types (Central and Eastern USA). This is one of the most popular White Hibiscus plants in the world since it can stand much poorly conditions than most – can grow in partial sun and clay or sand. Also, like all other variants, it is very beautiful.

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  • Hibiscus Trionum – also known as Venice Mallow originates from Southern Europe but was introduced to the US during Hibiscus cultivational boom. It is much smaller in comparison to the previous three and therefore very popular as a house plant.
  • Hibiscus Platanifolius – also known as the Maple-leaved mallow is native to Sri Lanka and India, but its seeds, of course, could be found anywhere today. This type is much similar to Hibiscus Laevis but needs a much warmer climate.
  • Hibiscus Syriacus – also known as Korean rose, is common in the Far East (Korea, China, Japan), and therefore is suitable for colder climate cultivation. Easy to grow, and beautiful to look at.
  • And finally – Hibiscus Moscheutos – also known as Crimsoneyed rosemallow. This is arguably the most popular White Hibiscus in the world, for it is closest to perfection.  Incredibly beautiful white flower, with big petals and dark red center, a long fuzzy stem that attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, grows in large colonies – simply a must-have plant

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Managing Pests and Diseases.

If your White Hibiscus is in your garden, there are not a lot of things that can attack it. Animals (like pets) tend to pay no attention to it, while most insects only decorate it. There are some mites and insects that can damage these plants, and if you see that coming, simply wash the plants with insecticidal soaps or spray them using horticultural oils. This won’t be necessary if “good insects” are around to scare them off.

To avoid diseases, take care not to spray water on leaves while irrigating. All other fungal diseases are treated with a fungicide.

Remove all the damaged leaves and petals in case you were too late, inflicted either from pests or from diseases.

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Best uses.

You can decorate your garden in a spectrum of Hibiscus colors – simply plant from white flowers to pink, and finally to red. It will look magnificent.

Larger White Hibiscus can be situated in front of windows – that way you can have your interior in shade with a beautiful view outside.

They attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, all of which are fantastic decorations for your garden.

Some Hibiscus varieties can be used as a beverage (like hot tea, or cold juice made out of petals). It is advisable to see if that is possible with your Hibiscus cultivar.


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Michael is an author and entrepreneur that specializes in content production and marketing. I love helping authors and entrepreneurs succeed. My life experiences have given me a unique worldview, which I've used to write compelling material for my audience. Thank You