Australian Guide on How to Grow Hibiscus as a Hedge

Although many different hibiscus varieties can be grown as a hedge if pruned and trained correctly, ideally you want to select from those varieties that are evergreen so that you end up with an effective screen all year round.

If you live anywhere north of Sydney, you can grow a gorgeous hibiscus hedge.

Hibiscus do thrive in warmer climates and their lush green foliage and stunning flowers create a pretty hedge that can add some privacy and colour to your garden.

You can choose just one variety for an amazing pop of colour or you could even mix it up and plant a few different varieties with different coloured blooms to give your hedge a rainbow effect.

If you’re going to mix varieties, make sure you choose ones that have a similar growth habit so that you get a nice dense screen.

Which hibiscus varieties are best for hedging?

Although many different hibiscus varieties can be grown as a hedge if pruned and trained correctly, ideally you want to select from those varieties that are evergreen so that you end up with an effective screen all year round.

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This is why I’ve recommended only gardeners in warmer regions should consider growing a hibiscus hedge.

In general, it’s only the tropical varieties that will stay green all year round while the hardy hibiscus varieties that will handle colder temperatures will drop their leaves in winter.

For this reason, you want to select cultivars from the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis species.

Some excellent cultivars available in Australia include:

  • Reggae Breeze – grows to 2.5 metres tall and 3 metres wide with yellow flowers and a red centre
  • Cooperi – A variegated form with lovely red flowers. Grows to a height and width of 2.5 metres
  • Catavki – grows to a height and width of 2 metres and has large claret red flowers
  • Andersonii – grows to a height and width of 2.5 metres with red flowers and leaves that have a purple tinge around the edges
  • Apple Blossom – grows to a height and width of 3.5 metres with white flowers tinged with pink

How to plant your hibiscus hedge

Before you plant your hedge, make sure that you enrich the soil by adding lots of compost or other organic matter.

Also, ensure that the soil is well-drained and select a sunny spot in the garden that is sheltered from strong winds.

Space your plants around 60 cm to 1 metre apart to achieve a nice dense hedge.

Use a string line to mark out where you want your hedge to grow and create all the planting holes first. This makes it easier to ensure that your hedge grows evenly and uniformly.

Once you’ve created your planting holes, take the plants out of their pots, one by one, and place each one in the centre of its hole. Backfill with soil around each plant and firm down gently.

Doing this all in one go saves you time and ensures that your hedge is straight. Water all your hibiscus plants deeply and apply a layer of mulch on top of the soil around the plants.

How to care for your hibiscus hedge

Your newly planted hibiscus will need a bit of extra care in the first two weeks. Make sure that you water them sufficiently so that the soil doesn’t dry out completely.

You might even want to consider installing a drip irrigation system along your hedge line to ensure that the plants get all the water that they need.

As with all hedging plants, your hibiscus plants need to be pruned from a young age in order to create that nice dense growth. Tip pruning is recommended when the plants are young to encourage bushiness. 

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You can also limit the height of your hibiscus hedge by keeping the top pruned to the height you want the hedge to grow.

Once you have a nice dense hedge, your plants should only need pruning once a year in late September to October to maintain a good shape and encourage more flowering.

You should also be aware that hibiscus plants are quite heavy feeders. Therefore, it’s a good idea to add a side-dressing of a controlled release and organic fertiliser such as Dynamic Lifter after you’ve pruned your plants in spring.

Always ensure that you water your plants well after adding fertiliser to the soil.

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Passionate about hibiscus plants?

If you’re passionate about hibiscus plants, why not consider joining the Australian Hibiscus Society?

They have various branches around Queensland including Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine coasts and the Wide Bay area. 

For those who live on the other side of the country, there’s also the Hibiscus Society of WA which has a Facebook group that you can join.

Keen gardeners who live in Sydney should head to the Royal Botanic Gardens in summer to see a spectacular display of flowering hibiscus including some of the rarest species.

These organisations are a great place to learn more about your favourite plants and get access to new cultivars that are constantly being created by both experts and enthusiasts.

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Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.


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