15 Different Red Hibiscus Varieties for Your Garden

Are you thinking of growing some red hibiscus but aren't sure where to start? These beautiful shrubs can add a bit of tropical flair to just about any garden. In this article, gardening expert Melissa Strauss shares her favorite varieties of red hibiscus that will steal the show in your garden this season.

Bright blooming red hibiscus flower in the garden


 What do you get when you combine the color of passion with the quintessential flower of the tropics? Well, that’s easy, you get stunning red hibiscus plants! Hibiscuses are wonderfully hardy and easy-care plants that produce tons of brightly colored flowers during the summer months.

Whenever I see any type of hibiscus, I instantly think of two things, tucking it behind my ear, and not getting any pollen on my clothes in the process. All joking aside, like anyone who grew up in South Florida, Hibiscus plants have always reminded me of home, and at the same time, felt distinctively like a vacation.

These beautifully blooming shrubs come in many colors and color combinations. With over 200 varieties of Hibiscuses, there is certainly quite a selection to choose from when adding one to your garden or potted plant collection. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite red hibiscus varieties.

Blackberry Merlot

Close-up of Blackberry Merlot plant with large and showy flowers. The petals are deep burgundy in color, with a velvety texture. The stamens are bright yellow, and the center of the flower has a red eye.
Giant, velvety-looking, deep scarlet flowers are produced by this gorgeous, compact plant.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus ‘Blackberry Merlot’ PP33498
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

This dark beauty has all the qualities I love most in a hibiscus. Blackberry Merlot is a lovely, compact plant with an upright growth habit. It is perfect for a large container and makes a very attractive small tree.

The foliage is deep green with a tinge of red in the branches and veins, lending just a little bit of that pretty purple foliage look.

The blooms on this variety are simply stunning. They start out as small deep wine-red buds perfectly befitting their moniker.  These smallish buds open to reveal the most incredible, deep scarlet blooms that are 8” in diameter. These giant flowers have a velvety appearance, with a matching stigma that is lightly peppered with yellow stamens.

Cherry Brandy

Close-up of large, red Cherry Brandy flowers with five slightly overlapping petals, a long pistil, and a cluster of yellow stamens in the center. Green leaves are shown in the blurred background.
Cherry Brandy is a fast-growing hibiscus that requires continuous hydration to sustain its amount of flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus ‘Cherry Brandy’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Part of the showy Cordial collection, Cherry Brandy is a total knockout. This fast-growing variety has maple-form leaves in a deep green with just a touch of red in the tips and stems. This hibiscus likes to stay evenly moist and allowing it to dehydrate will drastically reduce the volume of blooms.

Cherry Brandy’s huge, dinnerplate-sized blooms are long-lasting and brilliant cherry red. The Pistil is red, sprinkled with yellow pollen, and smaller for the size of the flowers.

The shape of the leaves makes this variety an interesting textural element in the garden. The flowers really pop against the dark green foliage.

Cranberry Crush

Close-up of a Cranberry Crush flower that is large and bright, with a deep cranberry-red color and a ruffled texture. It has a yellow center. Green leaves can be seen in the blurred background.
This hibiscus has dark green foliage that can survive in a variety of lighting conditions.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus Summerific ‘Cranberry Crush’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Cranberry Crush comes from the Summerific collection and has great cold tolerance. It is also remarkably tolerant to different light conditions, although, like all hibiscus, less sunlight means leggier growth and fewer flowers.

The plant is compact and dark green, with maple form foliage that makes a beautiful small hedge.

The blooms are large (7”-8”) and deep scarlet with a velvety sheen. A tiny cluster of stamens stands out in a pale yellow. This variety blooms prolifically, forming clusters of buds at the end of every branch which open in succession. The Summerific series is a Proven Winners collection that is known for its large flower size and fast growth rate.

Disco Belle Rosy Red

Close-up of Disco Belle Rosy Red plant with flowers that are bright rosy red in color, and a central stamen with a bright yellow anther. The leaves are lobed-shaped and dark green in color.
With full sun and ample watering, this beautiful cultivar can flourish.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Disco Belle Rosy Red’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 2.5′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Disco Belle is the same shade as my favorite lipstick, that universally flattering, cool rose-red. If you’re looking for a flower to wear as a hair accessory, this is the one. All joking aside, Disco Belle is a beautiful cultivar with large blooms on a very compact plant. This variety loves water and blooms best in full sun.

This pretty red flowering shrub has a delicate yellow stigma and stamens and are attractive to more than just humans. Hummingbirds love this hibiscus as well and are attracted to its brilliant color. Disco Belle is a fast-growing variety that has a spreading habit.

French Cabaret

Close-up of a French Cabaret flower that has pink petals overlapping each other, forming a bowl-like shape. The green leaves are glossy, and they are arranged alternately on the upright stems.
French Cabaret has clusters of buds on long stems and blooms continually from summer through fall.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus syriacus ‘Mindour 1’ PP30,101
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 8’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-8

Our first double-petal form flower on the list is French Cabaret. This sterile hybrid variety has an upright growth habit and reaches about 8’ tall making it great for a privacy hedge or small tree.

The stems are long and hold clusters of buds that bloom continuously from summer into the cooler, fall months.

The flowers are medium-sized and have a fully double-petaled form, giving them the look of a peony. These blooms are light red, bordering on falling into the pink hibiscus category in some instances. French Cabaret doesn’t need as much water as some types of Hibiscuses but is slightly less tolerant to temperature extremes.


The honeymoon plant has large, showy flowers that are deep red in color. The petals are thick and slightly ruffled. The leaves are heart-shaped, slightly rough texture, and are green in color.
This compact, heat-tolerant hibiscus belongs to the Floranova variety.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Ambizu’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-10

Honeymoon is very heat tolerant and enjoys a lot of direct sunlight to perform at its peak. This Floranova variety is compact, and perfect for a large container.

The Honeymoon hybrid comes in 3 colors, and we are looking at the darkest of the three, which is one of the darkest red hibiscus varieties out there.

The large blooms are a bold burgundy color with a soft sheen and have a matching stigma with just the smallest hint of white in the base. The leaves are smooth and bright green and are a perfect complement to the flowers. The size of the blooms is surprisingly large in relationship to the rest of the plant.

Lion’s Tail Red

Close-up of a Lion’s Tail Red plant with two large, showy, and bright red flowers. Its green leaves are glossy, with a pointed shape, and have serrated edges. Green plants are shown in the blurred background.
Lion’s Tail, also known as Pom-Pom hibiscus, is a rare and collectible variety named after its stigma’s formation.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus ‘Lion’s Tail Red’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

The Lion’s Tail hibiscus series is a unique and fun tropical group of plants. This plant is not a hybrid, but rather an heirloom cultivar bred with a natural genetic mutation because of its interesting petal formation.

The fire engine red flowers have petals that are narrower than usual and are streaked with white along one edge giving them a slight swirling appearance. The leaves are bright green with serrated edges.

The name Lion’s Tail comes from the formation of the stigma. The long structure has an unusual characteristic. At the end of the stigma are a second set of petals, that have a ruffled appearance. These petals mostly obscure the stamens. Sometimes called Pom-Pom hibiscus, this is a rare variety and highly collectible.

Mars Madness

Close-up of Mars Madness flowers that are large, slightly ruffled, and red in color, with a deep maroon center. The leaves are large, serrated on the margins, and green in color.
Although this hibiscus is small, it produces large, red flowers with a hint of magenta and yellow stamens.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus ‘Mars Madness’ PP27838
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Mars Madness flatters the rusty, red planet next door. This lovely small hibiscus plant grows to about 4’ tall, with pretty foliage that comes in a deep purple-green and matures to bright green with mahogany veining and stems.

This plant produces many flowers, each lasting only one day. The plant should stay in bloom for most of the summer.

The blooms are large (8”) and red with just the slightest hint of magenta. A deeper red eye sets off a red stigma with yellow stamens in the center. The flowers are quite large compared to the size of the plant. This plant produces flowers from top to bottom, rather than just the top as many varieties do.

Midnight Marvel

The Midnight Marvel plant has a flower that is large and showy, with deep red petals. Its leaves are oval in shape and green in color. It is cultivated in black soil against a cement wall.
This moister-loving hibiscus can tolerate a variety of conditions but excels in swampy areas.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’ PP24079
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

This moisture-loving hibiscus feels most at home in swampy environments, so if you have a spot with poor drainage that needs some decoration, this is a gorgeous plant to add.

If not, that’s ok because Midnight Marvel will adapt to a range of conditions. Full sun will bring out the magnificent wine color of the foliage.

With foliage this dark, the flowers practically glow like luminous celestial bodies against the night sky. The blooms are large and true red, with deep veining impressed into the petals. They bloom all along the stems rather than only at the ends like most varieties.

Red Heart

Close-up of two Red Heart flowers that are large, showy, and white in color with a red center. The leaves that are glossy, serrated on their edges, and green in color, are arranged alternately along the sturdy, brown stem.
Red Heart is a stunning, low-maintenance plant with white flowers, maple-shaped leaves, and deep green foliage.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus syriacus ‘Red Heart’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-8

This is technically a white flowering variety, but hear me out, because I think you will agree that it belongs on more than one list of the prettiest varieties.

Red Heart is easy to care for and grows to a significant height, making a great privacy hedge or small tree. The foliage is deep green, and the leaves are in maple form.

The blooms on this variety are predominantly white, but as their name implies, at the heart of the flower is a deep, blood-red throat that bleeds in a subtle starburst shape with well-defined veining. The stigma is nearly white, making the red heart of the bloom stand out even more.

Summer in Paradise

Close-up of a Summer in Paradise flower that is large,  showy, trumpet-shaped, and red in color. Its dark green leaves are glossy, and oval-shaped, with a pointed tip and serrated edges.
It grows swiftly and prefers full light and well-drained soil.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus x ‘Summer in Paradise’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 3’-4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Summer will perform best in full sun and well-drained soil. This cherry red hibiscus is a late, but fast grower, so don’t fret if it is slow to leaf out in the spring, it will catch up by early summer and can grow as fast as an inch a day once it takes off.

The leaves are olive green and grow quite large, creating a substantial backdrop for the blooms.

The blooms are large and open out flat, showing off every one of their 7”-8” of stunning red, lightly ruffled flowers. The petals overlap to give a pronounced whorled appearance. Because they get such a late start, Summer in Paradise hibiscuses tend to bloom into the fall months, creating a lingering pizzazz to the late summer garden.

Texas Star

Close-up of a Texas Star flower that has five bright red petals with a dark center, and a red pistil and stamen. The green leaves have several lobes that radiate out from a central point, and have a slightly rough texture.
This hibiscus features unique narrow star-shaped petals with a red stigma and dark yellow pollen.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus coccineas ‘Texas Star’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full Sun
height height 6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-11

Texas Star is a semi-tropical variety native to the Southeastern United States. It can survive in colder climates but will behave as a perennial, dying back to the ground during the winter. In warmer climates, the plants will retain their leaves, although they will not continue to bloom year-round.

Also called, Swamp Hibiscus, this variety likes swampy soil, and it has standout flowers that are unlike most varieties. The blooms are fire red, but their petals are much narrower than the standard.

They are star-shaped with a red stigma and dark yellow pollen that almost blends with the rest of the flower. The plant has an upright habit, and the leaves are thin, similar to the petals of the blooms.

Valentine’s Crush

Close-up of a Valentine's Crush flower that is large, slightly ruffled, and deep red in color. Its green leaves have pointed tips, and slightly serrated edges, which are arranged alternately along the sturdy, brown stem.
Valentines Crush is a Summerific hybrid that grows to about 5 feet tall.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus x Summerific ‘Valentine’s Crush’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Another Summerific hybrid, Valentines Crush has an attractive, bushy growth habit, reaching about 5’ tall and just slightly narrower. It has a lovely natural shape and pleasing, bright green foliage with a bronze cast when in direct sunlight. This is a sturdy variety that is cold-tolerant to zone 4.

This cousin to Cranberry Crush is similar but with brighter red flowers that open flat, like saucers. The flowers are large and have a deep red eye in the center and a red stigma with sprinkles of yellow pollen on all sides.

Much like Summer in Paradise, these hibiscuses grow very fast, up to an inch per day, and bloom later in the season for end-of-summer color.

Vermillion Queen

Close-up of Vermillion Queen plant with flowers that have five red-orange petals and a yellow center. Its leaves are glossy, pointed with serrated edges, and dark green in color.
In most areas, this hibiscus grows best in containers and needs full light and lots of water.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Vermillion Queen’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

This ornate tropical hibiscus has wonderfully fancy flowers, with a flashy color combination and lots of texture. The flowers are large with ruffled petals.

They’re bright, light red with a burst of white radiating from the center, fading to pale pink before being absorbed into the red. The stigma is similarly colored, and a cluster of yellow stamens sits at the end.

Vermillion Queen performs best as a container plant in most climates. It is a truly tropical hibiscus, so North of zone 9 it must be brought in from the cold. Its compact size works well in a container though, so making it mobile really does pay off. Full sun and plenty of water will keep this low-maintenance plant quite happy.

Vintage Wine

Close-up of a Vintage Wine flower that is funnel-shaped, with five red overlapping petals that flare out from the center. The staminal column in the center holds the yellow pollen.
This plant has large, ruffled blooms with a deep burgundy eye and a sheen.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus ‘Vintage Wine’ PP27839
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to Part Sun
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Last on the list is one of the deepest red of red hibiscuses. This upright grower has dense, heart-shaped, deep green foliage. The stems and branches are a deep mahogany color which complements the flowers beautifully.

The blooms are large and about the color of light shining through a nice pinot noir. The petals are ruffled and have a corrugated appearance, overlapping flatly. The eye is a deep burgundy and has a sheen, framing a red stigma with pale yellow stamens. This lovely plant works well as a focal point, small hedge, or container plant.

Final Thoughts

If you have been on the fence about hibiscuses, I hope you will give these easy-care plants a spot in your garden. Hibiscus plants are tolerant of a wide range of climates and soil conditions. Most are very adaptive to varied watering practices, and they are perfectly happy in full sun or part shade. If red isn’t your color, these pretty plants come in a wide variety of colors to choose from, from white to orange, pink, purple, and many combinations of these shades.

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