What Colors Are Hibiscus Flowers When They Bloom?

Trying to figure out what color of hibiscus you should plant this season? The different colors of hibiscus will vary based on the variety. In this article, gardening expert Melissa Strauss examines the most common colors for hibiscus blooms, and what colors you can expect from your shrubs!

Beautiful yellow colored hibiscus flower blooming against dark green foliage

Hibiscuses are a highly popular, ornamental shrub in a wide range of geographical locations. It is no wonder, with the easygoing nature of this plant, that it has gained so much appreciation from gardeners.

The hibiscus genus encompasses both perennial and evergreen plants, the evergreen varieties being tropical plants, which can be grown indoors above zone 9. These easy-care plants are not difficult to coax into blooming throughout the summer, and their flowers are just wonderful.

You may have seen some of the more interesting and colorful cultivars at a local nursery and wondered just how many colors and color combinations these exotic blooms come in. Let’s take a look and explore the rainbow of colors.


The Short Answer

These magnificent flowers bloom in white, red, pink, orange, yellow, purple, and many combinations of these colors. There are even varieties that take on hues of blue. The eye or throat of the flower is commonly a deeper or contrasting color compared to the rest of the flower. The flowers can be single, semi-double, and double petal formations.

The Long Answer and Examples

The color variations of hibiscus flowers are wonderfully diverse because hibiscus plants are elementary to hybridize. Cross-pollinating a hibiscus is as simple as taking pollen from one plant and transferring it to the stamen of another. The resulting seeds will produce a new variety with its own special color signature.

These beautiful blooms range in size from 3”-12” in diameter, with some flowers as large as dinner plates. Further diversifying the flowers of the genus are three different petal formations that the plant blooms with.

Single-petal form flowers have five large petals that are alike in shape and size. Semi-Double petal flowers have a small cluster of smaller and less uniform petals in the center. Fully double-petal form hibiscuses resemble peonies with their large cluster of irregular petals in the center.

In terms of color and color variations, hibiscuses are most commonly seen in red, orange, yellow, pink, and multicolor. Less common colors include purple, burgundy, white, and even blue.

Red: ‘Summer in Paradise’

Close-up of a blooming Hibiscus 'Summer in Paradise' in a garden, with green foliage in the background. Hibiscus has a large, cherry red, trumpet-shaped flower with a slightly corrugated petal structure. The leaves are dark green with a slightly purple tint, ovate, with serrated edges.
‘Summer in Paradise’ is a compact, late-emerging variety with large cherry red flowers and maple-like dark green leaves.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus ‘Summer in Paradise’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Summer in Paradise is a compact variety that produces very large cherry red hibiscus flowers. This variety is late to emerge in spring, but it grows very quickly and takes on a nice, full shape as the foliage emerges. The leaves are maple-like and dark green with an olive border.

This variety is cold tolerant to zone 4. It will lose its leaves in the fall, but it will return every year in the spring, like all hardy varieties.

The flowers start to open in midsummer and bloom from top to bottom rather than only on top, as some varieties do. They are large (7”-8”) and have a deeper red eye. A red stigma is adorned with bright yellow stamens, which pop against the deeper color of the eye.

Pink: ‘Lipstick Pink’

Close-up of a blooming Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Lipstick Pink' against a tropical garden blurred background. The flower is large, bright pink with a dark red eye. The petals are delicately rounded and have subtle pink highlights.
‘Lipstick Pink’, a tropical hibiscus, is only suitable for zones 9-11, requiring container planting and indoor winter care.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Lipstick Pink’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 8”-10”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Lipstick is a tropical hibiscus, which means that it is only grown in the ground in zones 9-11. Tropical hibiscuses are not cold-tolerant, so when grown outside of their native zones, they will have to be kept as container plants and brought indoors for the winter. In tropical zones, this is an evergreen plant that can grow up to 10’+ tall.

This pink flowering hibiscus cultivar has single-petal form blooms in a bright, fuchsia shade. The eye of the flower is deep red and thin, white veins radiate from the center. A sprinkle of yellow pollen tops a pink stigma. The foliage of this variety is dark green and serrated.

Orange: ‘Apricot Brandy’

Close-up of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Apricot Brandy' in bloom among green foliage. The flower of this variety is completely two-petal, pale orange in color with a mass of petals in the center. The eye of the flower is dark red, which creates a beautiful contrast with the petals. Thin white streaks radiate from the center. The stigma is decorated with a pinkish color and stands out among the apricot ripples of the petals. The leaves of 'Apricot Brandy' are dark green with slightly serrated edges.
‘Apricot Brandy’ features soft orange double-petaled flowers with a warm red glow and visible golden pollen.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Apricot Brandy’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Apricot Brandy is another tropical variety. In cooler climates, it will thrive best as a container plant brought indoors in the winter. The foliage is evergreen and smooth with slightly serrated edges. It can grow up to 10’ tall in the ground, but in a container, it will stay smaller, making it a more manageable plant.

This is our first double-petal form flower on the list, and indeed it is a fully double-petaled variety. The soft orange hibiscus blooms have a mass of petals in the center, with a warm red glow from an obscured eye. Pink highlights are threaded throughout the petals.

It is typical for a fully double-petaled bloom to have a partially obscured stigma, but not this one, the golden pollen is fully visible amongst the confection of apricot ripples.

Yellow: ‘Tequila’

Close-up of a blooming Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Tequila' against a blurred background. The flower is large, trumpet-shaped, yellow, with softly rounded petals and a rich red eye in the center. The leaves are ovate, green, with a smooth texture and slightly serrated edges.
‘Tequila’ is a tropical hibiscus with evergreen foliage, attracting bees and hummingbirds with its large yellow flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Tequila’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Many of the yellow and orange hibiscus varieties are tropical. Tequila fits into this group and is native to hardiness zone 10. It will perform as an evergreen in zones 9 and 11.

The mid-height plant has pretty green foliage with a very lightly textured edge. Tequila likes full sun early in the day, with a bit of shade from the hot afternoon sun.

Bees and hummingbirds will both be attracted to this variety. The large yellow flowers have softly rounded petals that open to a fully convex shape. A bright red eye in the center adds a lot of depth to these blooms. The stigma is yellow with a red tip and lots of yellow stamens.

White: ‘Diana’

Close-up of a blooming Hibiscus syriacus 'Diana' in a sunny garden. The plant has an exquisite flower of pure white color, with delicately overlapping petals, which have a slight corrugation along the edge. The flowers are saucer shaped with a tiny star in the center where there is a small space between the petals. The stigma and stamens have a subtle oily glow that adds to the elegance of the flower. The leaves of 'Diana' are dark green and serrated, ovate.
‘Diana’ is an exceptional white hibiscus variety with beautiful pure white saucer-shaped flowers and golden fall foliage.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus syriacus ‘Diana’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

White is not a common color for hibiscuses, but there are a few varieties, and this one is simply stunning. Diana is a winner of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit and a Gold Medal from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. It is known for its long blooming season and has wonderful golden fall foliage.

Diana’s flowers are unparalleled in beauty and simplicity. The blooms are pure white. The 5’ flowers have delicately overlapping petals with a slight ruffle at the edge.

They are lightly saucer-shaped with a tiny star at the center, where a small amount of space exists between the petals. The stigma and stamens have an ever so slight buttery glow.

Burgundy: ‘Black Dragon’

Black Dragon Hibiscus Plant growing in garden. The plant has deep red petals, with a yellow stamen in the center. The image is a close up picture of the flower.
This variety is not only beautiful but is also an AHS award winner.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Black Dragon’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Black Dragon is a standout tropical variety with strikingly dark red flowers. It is evergreen and has the fortunate characteristic of being able to bloom year-round.

Named by the American Hibiscus Society as Hibiscus of the Year in 2005, this plant has a short and shrubby growth habit. It prefers full sun but will not suffer terribly with some afternoon shade.

While this cultivar could technically fall into the red category, I felt it needed a classification of its own. There are other varieties in a similar shade, which just feel different from a true red. Black Dragon’s petals are deep oxblood, ruffled, and convex. The center of the flower is nearly black, and the stigma is burgundy with bright yellow stamens.

Blue: ‘Blue Bird’

Close-up of a blooming Hibiscus syriacus 'Blue Bird' in a sunny garden. The plant has unique blue-violet, saucer-shaped, single-petaled flowers with dark red centers in a star-shaped flash that is illuminated by a white flash. Blue Bird leaves are rich green in color and smooth in texture.
This is a rare hibiscus variety with blue-purple flowers, bright green leaves, and a distinctive deep red center.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus syriacus ‘Blue Bird’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 12’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

Blue is the rarest color for flowers, so this blue flowering shrub is a special one. This rapidly growing, deciduous variety is known for its long blooming season, which lasts from midsummer until the first frost. The leaves are ovate and serrated and bright green in color. The plant takes on a rounded vase shape as it gets larger.

Blue Bird has gorgeous flowers in a shade that can arguably be called both blue and purple, but for our purposes, we will look at how it differs from other purple varieties.

Most purple hibiscuses have a rosy tint, whereas this flower has a distinctive cool tone to the outermost ends of the petals. In the center is a deep red starburst that appears to be backlit by a flash of white.

Purple: ‘Bayou Rose’

Close-up of a blooming Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Bayou Rose' with water drops, against a blurred background. The flower is large, double, blue-violet with a pinkish tint.
‘Bayou Rose’ is a compact tropical hibiscus showcasing color-shifting double-petaled lavender blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Bayou Rose’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

Bayou Rose is a tropical variety with fully double-petaled flowers that can bloom year-round under the right conditions. It is a compact variety that does nicely as a container plant and is early to mature and bloom.

This variety is known for its color-shifting characteristic. When the flowers first bloom, these double-petal blooms are lavender with bright pink edges.

On the second day, the flowers will have deepened in color, shedding the rosy hue for a solid lavender. The pollen is initially obscured, but as the flower ages, the petals will relax and expose the stigma.

Multi-colored Varieties

Many multi-colored varieties of hibiscus do not bloom in a single color. They are combinations of many different colors, making them some of the most breathtaking hibiscus flowers you can grow. Let’s take a deeper look.

‘Acapulco Gold’

Close-up of a blooming Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Acapulco Gold' in a garden. The flower is large, single-petaled, trumpet-shaped with a dark red eye and a bright white flash around. The petals have a slightly ruffled edge and electric yellow edges, creating a striking contrast with the orange gradient fading into the bright center. The stigma, the female reproductive part, is large and carries a lot of yellow pollen.
‘Acapulco Gold’ is a fast-growing, prolific bloomer with large red-orange flowers and electric yellow edges.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Acapulco Gold’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-10

This variety is fast-growing and an incredibly prolific bloomer. It’s easy to grow and works well as a houseplant as long as it gets 6+ hours of sun per day. Acapulco Gold is a hybrid variety that will bloom in its second year and has a nice, long blooming season.

The flowers are predominantly red-orange. White veins radiate from the center in a whirling pattern, and the edges of the petals are electric yellow.

The blooms are very large (7”-9”) and in single-petal form. This is a very big bloomer for a hybrid and puts on quite a show through the summer.

‘Gator Pride’

Close-up of a blooming Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Gator Pride' against a blurred background. The flower is large, saucer-shaped, blue-violet and orange. The petals are shaped like a single petal and can vary in color, with some leaning towards more pink hues and others towards more yellow hues.
‘Gator Pride’ is a unique and beautiful hybrid that produces abundant blue-purple and orange flowers in varying shades.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Gator Pride’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 8’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

As a Florida State girl, it pains me to admit that this hybrid, named for our rival Florida Gators, is a truly unique and beautiful variety. The tropical Gator Pride is a huge producer of flashy blue-purple and orange flowers. The single-petal form flowers can vary in color from one plant to another, in shades favoring a pinker or more yellow color family.

The flowers are large and bountiful on this shrub, which can get rather large (8’ tall). This variety is sterile, so it doesn’t set seeds. The stigma is large and carries a lot of yellow pollen.

‘Perfect Storm’

Close-up of a blooming Hibiscus 'Perfect Storm' in a sunny garden. The flower is large: saucer-shaped, open, with beautiful rounded petals of soft pink color arranged in a funnel. The flower has a bright pink eye and a pale yellow stigma covered in pollen. The leaves are dark green, with a purple tint.
‘Summer Storm’ hybrid produces stunning, mottled white and pink flowers with deep scarlet eyes.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus ‘Perfect Storm’ PP27880
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

This compact hybrid of the larger variety ‘Summer Storm,’ has all the right characteristics to stand out in your garden landscape. It has a highly tropical look but thrives in cold climates, and the foliage is something to write home about. The deep plum-colored leaves are a striking contrast to the large and bountiful blooms.

The flowers are slightly mottled white and pink with a brilliant scarlet eye. The deep red of the eye radiates into the petals, making the flower look deeply dimensional. This is a spectacular little plant that deserves a special location where it can be admired all summer long.

Final Thoughts

Hibiscuses are easy-to-grow, hardy, and tolerant plants, and with so many colorful options, there is one for every occasion. Whether you are in the market for a new flowering houseplant or an ornamental for your outdoor garden, there is a hibiscus variety that is sure to meet your needs and deliver on the promise of a brilliant summer blooming season.

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