HIBISCUS mutabilis 'Rubrus'
Plant Common Name
Confederate-rose, Red Hibiscus
The large maple-like leaves of this Confederate Rose cultivar make a handsome foil for the plant’s magenta-red flowers. Although an evergreen large shrub native to China, it has long been a staple of gardens in the American South, the reason it is called the Confederate Rose or Cotton Rose.
This cultivar is a tall, rounded shrub with sparse branches and large three to seven lobed leaves covered by tiny hairs that make them feel fuzzy and look dull dark green or grayish green. Flowering occurs on the new stems beginning as early as late spring, depending on climate. The five-petaled flowers open in small clusters or alone on new stems.
Grow ‘Rubrus’ in full sun in a moist, fertile soil that has good drainage. It is tolerant of partial sun exposures and poorer soils, but the plant and bloom will likely be reduced. Since flowering occurs only on new growth, and stems tend to look quite coarse or leggy, plan on pruning back the shrub annually in early spring to allow it to come back full and dense. In subtropical, frost-free areas it will easily become a small tree and remain evergreen. The plant is deciduous after a frost, dropping its leaves. With hard freezes, the stems die back to the ground and new stems appear when the weather warms. To promote continued flowering, remove the developing hairy seed capsules.
Use ‘Rubrus’ as an accent shrub in the mixed border or spacious foundation bed, or as an informal hedge or screen.
AHS Heat Zone
12 - 8
USDA Hardiness Zone
7 - 11
H1, H2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
8'-12' / 2.4m - 3.7m
6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m
Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall, Late Fall
Clay, Loam, Sand
Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border
Sharp or Has Thorns