9 Difference Between Hardy And Tropical Hibiscus

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Hardy Hibiscus

Hardy, perennial or winter hardy hibiscus belongs to the family of Rose Mallow or Hibiscus moscheutos, Hibiscus mutabilis or Hibiscus coccineus. All varieties of hardy hibiscus are native to areas with cold and harsh winters.  This hibiscus variety requires a well-drain soils and full sun. They grow up to 8 feet tall and have spear-shaped or ovate hairy foliage with large trumpet-shaped white or pink flowers during the summer months. Most varieties of hardy hibiscus die back to the ground in winter. New growth emerges in spring from the root tops. Hardy hibiscus has a shorter blooming season.

Facts  About Hardy Hibiscus

  • A hardy hibiscus is deciduous; its leaves die and drop off the plant in winter.
  • A hardy hibiscus may grow up to 15 feet tall and from 4 to 8 feet wide.
  • Hardy hibiscus flowers are usually larger and are often found in colors of white, pink or red.
  • The leaves of this type of hibiscus are medium green and heart-shaped.
  • Hardy hibiscus requires full sun or partial shade whereas many species do well in wet soils. `
  • Hardy hibiscus grows in cold zones.
  • Hardy hibiscus tolerates freezing temperatures and can survive winters in cold northern climates. 
  • Hardy hibiscus has a short blooming season.
  • There are many cultivars of hardy hibiscus, from dwarf to tall-growing and from single to double flowers.

Tropical Hibiscus

Tropical hibiscus is native to tropical climates. They require well-drained soils and full sun but can tolerate shade. They produce large, trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of pink, yellow, crimson or scarlet in spring and summer. This variety forms shrubs that grow up to 15 feet high with evergreen leaves that may be variegated with cream or rose. Tropical hibiscus has a long blooming season; beginning in spring and continuing through late fall. Tropical hibiscus grows best in warm areas that fall in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 10 and are frost-tender. Tropical

Facts About Tropical Hibiscus

  • Tropical hibiscus is evergreen, meaning its leaves remain green and functional through more than one growing season.
  • A tropical hibiscus is shorter and typically grows 4 to 15 feet in height and 5 to 8 feet in width.
  • Tropical hibiscus flowers are relatively smaller and are often found in shades of salmon, peach, orange or yellow, which dazzle in single or double layers of 3 to 4 inch wide petals.
  • The leaves of this type of hibiscus are dark green and glossy.
  • Tropical hibiscus requires sunny locations and well-amended, moist soil.
  • Tropical hibiscus grows in the warmest zones.
  • Tropical hibiscus does not tolerate freezing temperatures and cannot survive more than brief periods of cold.
  • Tropical hibiscus has a long blooming season; beginning in spring and continuing through late fall.
  • There are many cultivars of tropical hibiscus, from dwarf to tall-growing and from single to double flowers.

Difference Between Hardy And Tropical Hibiscus In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON HARDY HIBISCUS TROPICAL HIBISCUS
Description A hardy hibiscus is deciduous; its leaves die and drop off the plant in winter.   Tropical hibiscus is evergreen, meaning its leaves remain green and functional through more than one growing season.  
Height A hardy hibiscus may grow up to 15 feet tall and from 4 to 8 feet wide.   A tropical hibiscus is shorter and typically grows 4 to 15 feet in height and 5 to 8 feet in width.  
Size Hardy hibiscus flowers are usually larger and are often found in colors of white, pink or red.   Tropical hibiscus flowers are relatively smaller and are often found in shades of salmon, peach, orange or yellow, which dazzle in single or double layers of 3 to 4 inch wide petals.  
Leaves The leaves of this type of hibiscus are medium green and heart-shaped.   The leaves of this type of hibiscus are dark green and glossy.  
Sunlight Hardy hibiscus requires full sun or partial shade whereas many species do well in wet soils. `   Tropical hibiscus requires sunny locations and well-amended, moist soil.  
Climate Hardy hibiscus grows in cold zones.   Tropical hibiscus grows in the warmest zones.  
Tolerance Hardy hibiscus tolerates freezing temperatures and can survive winters in cold northern climates.    Tropical hibiscus does not tolerate freezing temperatures and cannot survive more than brief periods of cold.  
Blooming Season Hardy hibiscus has a short blooming season.   Tropical hibiscus has a long blooming season; beginning in spring and continuing through late fall.  
Cultivars There are many cultivars of hardy hibiscus, from dwarf to tall-growing and from single to double flowers.   There are many cultivars of tropical hibiscus, from dwarf to tall-growing and from single to double flowers.