Lipstick Hibiscus

The lipstick hibiscus (Malvaviscus penduliflorus) is an evergreen shrub from Mexico. It belongs to the Malvaceae or Mallow family, along with its relative the true hibiscus. It grows to around 2m tall. It has pendulous, bright red flowers from about Christmas through and into winter. The flowers never open completely although they do loosen to form an irregular funnel. These plants prefer a warm, humid climate.


Lipstick hibiscus grows best in well-drained, light sandy loam. They like a warm, sheltered position in the garden. Prune back half the annual growth in early spring (when all risk of frost has passed) to maintain shape and encourage summer flowers. Lipstick hibiscus is easily propagated from cuttings taken in winter or early spring.