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
This evergreen tree is common near the coast in tropical and
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 staminal
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
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
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
Hibiscus tiliaceus will thrive in a variety of light to heavy textured
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.
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
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
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.
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.