Hibiscus Sizes: How Big Do Hibiscus Shrubs Get?

Curious to know how big your hibiscus shrub is going to get once it reaches maturity? In this article, gardening expert Melissa Strauss looks at the typical size of most hibiscus varieties, as well as how big you can expect them to get!

A red hibiscus flower, showcasing its vibrant petals and stamens up close, exuding natural beauty and allure. The surrounding lush palm leaves add a touch of freshness, enhancing the flower's charm.

To add a big pop of color to your garden, look no further than the lovely hibiscus shrub. These attractive plants produce some of the largest flowers among the flowering perennials and bring huge tropical energy to their surroundings. If you’re curious about how much space you will need to make for one of these beauties, the good news is hibiscus range in size from a mere 2’ tall to some very large varieties that can reach upwards to 12’ tall or more! The flowers also come in nearly every color of the rainbow!

Hibiscuses are fantastic flowering marvels commonly used as an ingredient in teas and fine cuisine. The flowers are not only gorgeous, but they are also edible and delicious! To add to their appeal, they commonly have a summer blooming period of up to 3 months, much longer than most of their perennial counterparts.

Let’s look at the different types of hibiscus and what size you can expect them to grow. Then, we can decide which variety of this stunning bloomer will fit best in every garden space.

There are two main types of hibiscus – deciduous and tropical evergreen – each with its own growth habits that make a distinctive difference in its final size.

Contents

Deciduous Hibiscus

A white deciduous hibiscus flower revealing a vibrant red center surrounded by delicate yellow stamen. The scene unfolds with more white hibiscus flowers adorning the backdrop. The blurred background gently hints at the lush green leaves of the hibiscus plant.
Deciduous hibiscus varieties die back to the ground in the winter.

Most species of hibiscus, including the popular H. syriacus, are deciduous plants that grow mainly in zones 4-9, although they can be kept as houseplants in any zone as long as they get enough sun. In most homes, they should be kept outdoors during the warmer months and brought indoors for their winter dormancy.

When planted in the ground, these plants usually die back to the ground in winter. This means that they only get as big as they can grow in one year. Some varieties, like ‘Perfect Storm,’ are hybridized to reach no more than 2’-3’ tall. These lovely, compact varieties are wonderful for gardeners with a small space that needs big color.

Other deciduous varieties, such as Aphrodite, are fast growers, reaching up to 10’ tall by the end of their summer growing season. That’s an amazing amount of growth in one year! Because of how quickly these plants grow and how prolifically they bloom, they are heavy feeders and must be fertilized regularly.

‘Berry Awesome’

A close-up of a translucent pink berry, showcasing its captivating colors. Behind it are flower buds, promising the promise of more natural wonders to come. The lush greenery in the blurred background adds a sense harmony to the overall scene.
‘Berry Awesome’ produces 7-8″ orchid-pink flowers throughout summer.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus moscheutos Summerific ‘Berry Awesome’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

The Summerific series is a stunning group of plants with a wonderful blooming habit. ‘Berry Awesome’ sports huge (7”-8”) orchid-pink blooms with a deep red eye and a sprinkle of bright yellow pollen in the center.

This plant produces flowers through most of the summer, and the flowers bloom from top to bottom of this variety rather than only at the top, like many cultivars.

‘Blue Chiffon’

A close-up of a blue chiffon flower with a periwinkle hue. The petals are exquisitely arranged in layers, forming ruffles that add a touch of gracefulness to the bloom. The blurred background features a delightful repetition of these enchanting flowers.
This remarkably large variety displays a striking periwinkle hue.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus syriacus ‘Blue Chiffon’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

I can’t say enough good things about this gorgeous cultivar. Hibiscuses come in many colors, as I mentioned. Blue is the rarest bloom color for most genera of plants.

Blue Chiffon not only shows up in a stunning shade of periwinkle, but it is also a very large-sized hibiscus shrub, growing up to 12’ tall in its growing season. This stunner is a wonderful focal point and needs a special space in the garden.

‘Honeymoon Red’

A close-up of a vibrant red honeymoon flower, showcasing its petal lines and bright yellow stamen. In the foreground, gracefully spiraling twigs create a captivating addition, and leaves fill the background, forming a lush canopy that embraces the exquisite flower.
The ‘Honeymoon Red’ is a small, sweet variety, reaching about 3 feet tall and spreading 2 feet wide.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus ‘Honeymoon Red F1”
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2’-3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

This stunner has brilliant red flowers from the stigma to the tips of the petals. The only hint of another color is a tiny bit of white in the very center of these large (6”-8”) bright red blooms.

If you need a smaller-sized hibiscus shrub, this sweet, compact variety tops out around 3’ tall with a petite 2’ spread, making this a perfect container plant and a wonderful addition to a small garden bed.

Tropical Hibiscus

Purple hibiscus adorned with a striking red center and delicate white stamen, creating a stunning contrast. The blossoms stand tall, accompanied by gracefully long stems, lush green leaves, and promising flower buds.
Over time, tropical hibiscus plants typically grow differently than their cold hardy cousins.

Tropical hibiscuses differ in their growth habits, as they do not drop their leaves or die back like deciduous types. They sometimes have a dormant period of little growth when they take a break from blooming, but in some very warm climates, they have a very brief period when they are not producing flowers.

As a result of these differences, tropical hibiscus plants tend to grow larger over time than some of their cold hardy cousins. Since they do not die back in the winter and retain their foliage year-round, they don’t have to regenerate every spring. However, the largest-sized hibiscuses are deciduous, so there is no hard and fast rule here.

Tropical hibiscuses are not cold-hardy. They are typically only hardy in zones 10-12. They cannot tolerate extended periods of freezing weather, although the occasional brief freeze is not likely to do much harm beyond knocking down some leaves.

The easiest way to determine whether a hibiscus is deciduous or tropical is by the color of the flowers and the shape of the leaves. Tropical varieties typically come in peach, yellow, and orange flowers.

Those colors are not common to deciduous hibiscuses, but both types can come in purple and red flowers. The leaves of tropical hibiscuses are dark green and glossy, whereas hardy hibiscuses have softer leaves in olive green or deep red.

‘Butterball’

A vibrant pair of yellow butterball flowers with ruffled and layered petals. Encircled by their lush green leaves, the butterball flowers create a captivating display, showcasing nature's artistry at its finest.
The ‘Butterball’ is a substantial shrub, growing to around 6 feet in height and almost as broad in width.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Butterball’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

‘Butterball’ is a gorgeous tropical cultivar with bright yellow, peony-type flowers. These triple petal blooms are mid-sized (3”-4”) and can show up nearly year-round in warm climates. The plant reaches about 6’ tall and almost as wide, making it a nice, large shrub.

‘Dainty Pink’

A pink flower, showcasing its lovely petals and long stamen. The backdrop embraces the flower with lush, vibrant leaves, forming a splendid tapestry of greenery that complements the delicate pink hues.
‘Dainty Pink’ produces abundant flowers most of the year, with only a pause during the coldest months.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Dainty Pink’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

This tropical hibiscus is the embodiment of loveliness. Its delicate pink blooms have a slight pinwheel shape and a peachy tint to the outer edge of each petal.

The flowers are small at only 3” in diameter, but they are bountiful and bloom nearly all year, pausing only in the coldest months of the year. The long flower-tipped branches have a weeping tendency, giving this variety some extra personality.

‘Erin Rachel’

A captivating close-up of an Erin Rachel flower reveals its petals that gracefully blend from a vibrant magenta hue to a soft, enchanting pale orange. The backdrop of lush green leaves adds a refreshing touch to the scene.
All summer, ‘Erin Rachel’ blooms abundantly with medium-sized flowers measuring 4″-5″.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Erin Rachel’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

The flowers of this variety are genuinely stunning. A deep red eye fades to magenta petals edged in electric orange ruffles.

These spectacular and abundant flowers are medium-sized (4”-5”) and bloom all summer. This plant is a showstopper and will certainly be a conversation piece in the garden or as a container plant.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from where hibiscuses are concerned. Whether you’re searching for a perfectly petite container plant or a summertime smoke show that the whole neighborhood will admire, there is a hibiscus to fit the bill. Give your shrub plenty of sun and water liberally for the best, biggest, and most colorful blooms.

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