Breeding a Better Hibiscus

Breeding a Better Hibiscus

More flowers. Bigger blooms. Increased flower longevity: Tropical Hibiscus keeps getting better through breeding.
More flowers. Bigger blooms. Increased flower longevity. Tropical Hibiscus is summer’s biggest boldest flower that keeps getting better through breeding.

Tropical Hibiscus comes in lots of colors, flower sizes/types (single, double, frilly edged), and bush shapes. But Tropical Hibiscus are evolving into better plants every year. That’s because Costa Farms is working with our Hibiscus breeder of HibisQs®, who specializes in improving the genetics within the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis family, to bring you a better Hibiscus – one that will excel on patios, decks, and gardens all summer long.

So what makes a better Hibiscus? Here are some of the new characteristics and traits that the team is working on breeding into our premium Tropical Hibiscus collection.

Longer-Lasting Flowers
Everyone agrees that bloom longevity is a coveted trait. Old-school Hibiscus flowers generally last just a single day. But new breeding allows blossoms that stay open in cooler areas to bloom up to three days. That means that you may see longer spring and autumn blooming in hotter climates, and multiple-day bloom longevity in cooler areas.

More Flowers
More is better, right? When it comes to flowers, of course! And new varieties of our HibisQs® Hibiscus have more flowers per shrub than older varieties. That means you’ll see more gorgeous color on every plant. In fact, our new Constellation varieties (Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Draco, and Ursa) make more than twice the number of blossoms than old-fashioned Tropical Hibiscus varieties! 

Bigger Flowers
Flower size counts, and bigger is always better. Hibiscus are already one of the largest flowers in the garden, but new varieties boast even larger blooms – some measuring up to 7-inches in diameter. With flowers that big, you can see blooms from far away, so these plants make excellent front yard and porch container plantings.

Colorful Flower Buds
New breeding is creating Hibiscus buds that reveal their flower color (rather than the old-school all-green buds). This useful new trait will make it easier for you to select the colors you want in the garden center, even if the plant doesn’t have open blooms. Plus, you’ll reap more color in the garden because that hint of bud color adds a preview of the flower to come.

A Fuller, Lusher Plant 
In addition to flowers, foliage is an important aspect of how a plant looks in the garden, landscape, or containers. New Hibiscus breeding is resulting in fuller, bushier plants with more branches. More branching results in shorter internodes, the area on the plant where leaves are produced. And, of course, the denser the leaves, the lusher the look. More branching also results in more new growth points, which is where buds are formed. And that means more flowers. Another plus? Advanced breeding is producing greener, richer looking leaves so that the flowers stand out in a more colorful way.

Where to Buy!
Our newest and best varieties are only available online. Order yours now! 

Written by Karen Weir-Jimerson