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Scarlet Rose Mallow

Hibiscus coccineus

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Scarlet Rose Mallow (Hibiscus coccineus) at Thies Farm & Greenhouses

Scarlet Rose Mallow flowers

Scarlet Rose Mallow flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Scarlet Rose Mallow (Hibiscus coccineus) at Thies Farm & Greenhouses

Scarlet Rose Mallow foliage

Scarlet Rose Mallow foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5b

Other Names:  Swamp Hibiscus


This bold garden perennial features very showy red flowers with hemp-like leaves; tolerates wet soil so it is ideal for pond side planting; do not allow to dry to wilting point

Ornamental Features

Scarlet Rose Mallow features bold red star-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems from early summer to early fall. Its small serrated lobed compound leaves emerge red in spring, turning green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Scarlet Rose Mallow is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Insects
  • Self-Seeding

Scarlet Rose Mallow is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Water Gardens
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting
  • Bog Gardens

Planting & Growing

Scarlet Rose Mallow will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings.

Scarlet Rose Mallow is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Garden  Naturalizing  Container  Bog  Water 
Flowers  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features