Are hibiscus plants only found in exotic climates?

By: Contributors

The hibiscus flower is well-known even to people who aren't expert gardeners. Many of us tend to associate the hibiscus with such as exotic places as Hawaii, where the flower is worn by women as a way to signify their marital status. A female who has a hibiscus behind her right ear is single; a woman seen wearing the flower behind her left ear, however, is married.

The hibiscus moscheutos has a long blooming period, lasting throughout the summer, although you will be limited as to the variety of colors to pick from. In general, hibiscus flowers come in just white, pink or red. It's important to mention that the type of hibiscus that's suitable for the Midwest is not identical to the exotic flower that you may be more familiar with, although there are definite physical similarities between these two strains of the flower. The perennial hibiscus is recognizable by its dull green heart-shaped leaves. The buds tend to be large, ranging in length from 2 to 4 inches (approximately 5 to 10 centimeters). The roots of the Midwestern version of this perennial are durable enough to survive and grow in this region's ever-shifting climatic conditions and temperatures. Each winter, you can expect your hibiscus to die down, only to revive once spring arrives.


The foliage and stem of a hibiscus are unusually strong, even being referred to as the plant's bark. Some cultures have used this bark to produce such items as wigs and skirts [source: Flower Expert]. The process consists of first soaking the plant in either salt or sea water to soften the consistency. Once the fibers have softened, they are ripped into thin strips and used to make a variety of wearable objects.