Guide to Hibiscus and Rose of Sharon

In this video, our gardening expert Debbie Zary discusses the hibiscus and rose of Sharon. If you're one of those who get confused between the two flowers, you'll find out how they're related and discover some amazing types of hibiscus that would be a wonderful addition to your garden.


You know, the first time I saw Rose of Sharon in a catalog, I thought, wait a second, this doesn't look like a rose, this looks a lot like hibiscus! And then when I started seeing these beautiful hibiscus looking flowers in my neighborhood, and mind you, I live in zone 5, I got very confused. So, I decided to do a little bit of research so I could find out what's the difference between a hibiscus and a rose of Sharon. And the answer that I came up with is - absolutely nothing. A hibiscus is actually a genus of which there are over 150 different species. Now when we think of hibiscus, we think of the tropical flower that you see in Hawaii or in Tahiti or Fiji. Now that is a species called the Chinese Hibiscus. Now next to me, you have the rose of Sharon, which actually is a little bit smaller of a flower, but it has a very similar look to it. Now the great thing about rose of Sharon, it's very cold hardy, so in the winter, it just dies back, the next year, it comes right back up, all the way down to zone 4. Now another type of hibiscus which many people know as rose mallow, is the hardy herbaceous hibiscus. And as you can see behind me, it's huge and provides big burst of color in your garden. Now with other type of hibiscus, you can get them in an array of colors and what's wonderful about them is that they are blooming beautifully at this time of year, which I'll tell you today, it's about ninety-five degrees where I'm standing and everything else in the garden is looking a little bit tired. But not my hibiscus, they look fantastic. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my hula lessons now.