Heartleaf hibiscus, Hibiscus cardiophyllus, is a Texas native, xeriscapic, drought tolerant, perennial. This means that this hibiscus grows wild in Texas, requires very little water, can withstand high heat and lives for more than two years.
Blooms and Leaves:
The blooms on the Heartleaf Hibiscus are coral-red and are seen from early spring into the fall months of the year, often until the first frost of the year. The leaves of this Hibiscus are heart shaped and velvety feeling. A mature plant can measure 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
Heartleaf Hibiscus grows well in soil that is enriched organically, but does not have to be. The main requirement of the soil is that is has to have good drainage. A heavy clay that holds moisture will kill this shrubby perennial. It can be placed where it does not get real hot, but can handle a little bit of heat. In the natural setting, Heartleaf Hibiscus will be located growing in the shade provided by other shrubs. It does not need a lot of water so it is drought tolerant. Pruning should take place in the summer months and should be tip pruning. Heartleaf Hibiscus is considered root hardy and will often return in the spring if the rest of the leaf is damaged. It may not be dead just because it looks dead. Wait until it has had time to come back out before considering it a lost cause.
Propagation of Heartleaf Hibiscus can be done from stem cuttings or from seed. If by seed, plant them soon as they do no store well. Any planting of this shrub should be done in the fall of the year.
Heartleaf Hibiscus has many uses in a landscape. It can be used in special gardens such as butterfly gardens and hummingbird gardens. It will also attract bees and even deer. This small shrub can also be used as an accent plant, as a plant in a container on a patio, in a mixed border setting or in a rock garden. It is hardy to USDA zones from 7 to 11. With so many uses of this beautiful small Texas shrub, there is surely a perfect spot in your landscape to place one or more. It might just become one of your most favorite plants, especially with the beautiful flowers it will decorate your landscape with year after year.