Sea Hibiscus Tree – Bright Yellow Flowers

The Sea Hibiscus Tree, also known as Hibiscus tiliaceus, is a tropical flowering tree that grows 10 – 33 feet tall with a spread of up to 25 feet.

This evergreen tree is common near the coast in tropical and subtropical locations.

It typically has a short trunk with intertwining branches that create a shrub-like or thicket form.

Flowers are cup-shaped, consisting of five petals and staminalSea Hibiscus Flower column in the center. The bright yellow flowers have a dark red center, are 4 inches in diameter, and bloom all year long.

Sea hibiscus flowers are short-lived, expiring the same day they open. Blooms fade to pink before they fall from the tree.

The heart-shaped leaves are 3 – 8 inches long, 4 – 6 inches across. They are bright green and smooth on top, and grayish-green with a hairy texture below.

The fruits are a light brown, approximately 2 cm (0.8 in) long, and produce  10 cells of seeds when mature. Fruits can occur all year long. 

Sea Hibiscus Tree - Growing Information and Plant Care Tips


Hibiscus tiliaceus grows best in USDA Zone 9 – 11. This tropical tree will grows best in coastal tropical environments, and once established, it will grow and spread - especially in wet conditions.


In order to bloom well, Sea Hibiscus Trees require full sun. They will tolerate partial shade; however, growth rate is slower and leaves will be larger.


Water newly planted trees daily to establish the root system in the surrounding soil. These trees are drought tolerant once established; seasonal rains will provide sufficient moisture.


Teh sea hibiscus tree is easily propagated both from seed and stem or branch cuttings.


Hibiscus tiliaceus will thrive in a variety of light to heavy textured soils.


Regular pruning 1 – 3 times per year is sufficient. Branches can also be trained on a trellis or pergola.

Pests and Diseases

This tree has minimal problems with pests and diseases. Possible pests include mealy bugs and Chinese rose beetles.

Display Tips

Hibiscus tiliaceus can be grown as a tree or shrub. It can be used to create shade, or line a driveway or walkway in tropical and subtropical landscapes.

Sea Hibiscus Tree – Propagating Branch Cuttings

The most common and easiest method of propagation is branch cuttings. Cuttings can be collected any time of year.

Take a cutting of a straight branch section (approximately 7 – 10 feet long). Remove cutting with a sharp tool, such as a lopper or saw. Remove all leaves from the branch cutting.

In moist locations, tree branches may bend down and take root in the soil. Branch cuttings with roots attached can be collected for propagation.

A commercial rooting hormone can be applied as a pretreatment; however, this is not required. Before planting, make several small incisions through the bark on the lower section of the cutting (12 – 16 inches). This will promote side rooting, encouraging a strong root structure.

Plant cutting to approximately 1/3 of its length in the soil, ideally during the rainy season or wet weather.

Make sure the soil is packed firmly around the base of the cutting. Air pockets could inhibit root establishment. Remove weeds from around the base of the planted cutting.

In dry conditions, supplemental watering must be provided once or twice weekly until cuttings are established.  Cuttings take approximately four months to become established. Once established, little maintenance is required.

Smaller cuttings can be planted containers in full sun or light shade if container grown plants are preferred.

Note: Cuttings should be planted as soon as possible after collection. If immediate planting is not possible, store branch cuttings upright in a bucket of water located in a shady location.


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