United States Edition

Confederate rose  

Hibiscus mutabilis

Belonging to the Hibiscus genus, Confederate rose has a botanical name of Hibiscus mutabilis. The botanical name epithet mutabilis means 'variable'.

Confederate Rose is a Chinese plant more closely related to cotton than a rose. The Confederate Roses appear from the late summer into fall, when other plans have finished blooming. Each flower blooms independently and has a three day life cycle where the color changes daily from white to pink, and then red.

The Confederate is deciduous losing it leaves in the Fall, however, it grows back fast to 8 feet during the Summer and blooms heavily in the Fall, usually September.

likes full sun, well-drained , slightly acid soil. It grows as a multi-branched shrub or a small deciduous tree with low branches which can get up to 12 feet tall and wide so allow room for expansion.

It is hardy in zone 8-10 and will die back with the first hard freeze but return in spring getting larger each year. If you are growing it in a container it will be easy to maintain.

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   Carnation pink. The mature flowers are of a double form. Confederate rose grows as an annual/perennial and is a flower / ornamental. Being an annual / perennial plant, it tends to grow either as a single season plant, or a plant that can stay in your garden for many years. Normally grows with a bushy habit. This plant tends to bloom in early autumn.

China is believed to be where Confederate rose originates from.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Confederate rose have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Confederate rose

  • Full Sun

    OR +
  • Partial Sun

    +
  • Low

To shape it into a tree, choose one large dominant branch and cut away all others.

When to prune?

In colder climates, once the plant freezes, cut it back to several inches above the ground. New growth will emerge in mid spring. Pruning in the fall/winter can encourage new growth which will be prone to cold damage.

When the first frost nips off the leaves, cut back the shrub to 12 inches above the ground and cover it with a cardboard box. Mound pine straw over the box to insulate the stem and roots. Uncover it in late March; the stem should put out new shoots immediately.

You can cut back 1/3 to 1/2 of the branches down to 1/2 up to 6 inches above the ground of the stem and then prune the rest one month later. This way you will reduce the size, get a fuller bush and still have flowers. Remember heavy pruning can delay blooming. You can also prune lightly throughout the year. In colder regions Confederate rose will die back to the ground and the roots will send up new growth which bloom that summer.

Plant in a location that enjoys full sun / partial sun and remember to apply water fairly sparingly. Use Zone 7 - Zone 9 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Keep in mind when planting that Confederate rose is thought of as hardy, so this plant will survive close to or on freezing temperatures.

Growing Confederate rose from seed

Transplanting Confederate rose

There are several ways to propagate a confederate rose.
Fall: try rooting your cutting in water, or in a bucket of damp sand and keep it out of direct sunlight. Store in a cool (not freezing) spot for the winter. If that doesn’t work try it in the Spring with new growth. Start with a pencil-thick 5-6 inch cutting of firm new growth, strip off the lower leaves and insert cutting in a mix of 3 parts sand to 1 part peat. Rooting is quicker and should take 4-5 weeks. Transplant when the plant is dormant or in early spring.

As Confederate rose is hardy, ensure temperatures are mild enough to plant out - wait until after your last frost date to be on the safe side.

Harvesting Confederate rose

After the flower turns red a seed pod is formed which can be opened and the seed planted to form new plants.

Companion plants for Confederate rose

These plants have been known to grow well alongside Confederate rose so consider planting:

Repellent plants for Confederate rose

These plants will not grow well with Confederate rose so avoid planting these within close proximity:

Common Confederate rose problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Confederate rose plants:

Confederate rose Etymology

The botanical epithet is from the Latin mutabilis meaning “variable”

Other names for Confederate rose

Dixie rosemallow, Confederate rose shrub, Cotton rose

Hibiscus mutabilis L.

Confederate rose care instructions

How long does Confederate rose take to grow?

These estimates for how long Confederate rose takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Footnotes

Popular varieties of Confederate rose

View the complete variety list for Confederate rose »

Confederate rose Forums

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