Texas Star Hibiscus Provides Hardy Tropical Flair
For many in North Texas, tropical hibiscus are the go-to plant for a splash of summer color, and it’s easy to understand why. They come in a variety of bright colors – oranges, reds, and yellows of every shade. Pot a few in poolside planters and you can easily imagine yourself in Hawaii instead of your Frisco backyard. They can take the heat and will bloom all summer, but as soon as the first chills of fall arrive, tropical hibiscus is done. They’re only hardy to Zone 10, and Collin County is Zone 7/8. That means, those pretty tropicals are annuals in our area.
There’s no need to buy new tropical hibiscus every year (though we’ll happily sell them to you at Shades of Green! ;-). You can achieve the tropical look with a hibiscus that is hardy to North Texas. Really. There are several perennial (hardy) varieties that will survive our winters and return year after year. One of my personal favorites is Texas Star Hibiscus.
Despite its name, Texas Star Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) is not a Texas Native, though it is native to North America. A vigorous perennial, it produces large, star-shaped, white or bright red flowers that bloom from late spring into fall. It grows 4-6 feet tall x 3-4 feet wide on average, but can get larger.
Texas Star Hibiscus is deciduous and will therefore drop its leaves in the fall. Once all the leaves are off, you can cut it back to within 4-6 inches from the ground. The plant will leaf out and flower on new growth that emerges in mid to late spring. Plants are typically flowering by the end of May or early June.
It will do okay in part sun, but plant in full sun for best flowering. It tolerates wet, boggy, or marshy soil just fine and is therefore a good choice for such areas. It also attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, which is always a plus in my book.
Instead of planting tropicals every year, find a spot in your yard for a Texas Star and enjoy the tropical look of this hardy plant.
Common Name: Texas Star Hibiscus
Latin Name: Hibiscus coccineus
pronounced hi-BIS-kus kok-SIN-ee-us
About the Author: Tim Wardell is a Texas Certified Nursery Professional and the Marketing Coordinator for Shades of Green, Inc.