The two types of hibiscus plants are hardy or tropical, according to growers at Hidden Valley Hibiscus. Tropical hibiscus grow in warmer climates, while hardy hibiscus thrive in areas with colder temperatures.
Hardy hibiscus plants are native to the Americas and other moderately cold climates, states Hidden Valley Hibiscus growers. These plants go dormant in the winter and send out new growth in the spring once temperatures rise. Once the blooms appear in late summer or early fall, the plant blooms profusely for a short period of time before succumbing to the cold. Hardy hibiscus are difficult to establish in areas with hot, dry climates.
Tropical hibiscus plants bloom all year, reports Hidden Valley Hibiscus growers. They shed their leaves a few at a time, replacing the leaves before their loss is noted and giving the plant the appearance of an evergreen. Short, mild cold spells are tolerated by the tropical hibiscus. Cold, hard freezes kill the plant. Tropical hibiscus do not require much water and are suited to hot, dry climates. Their blooming season ranges from late spring through late fall, with winter blooms appearing in warmer locales. Some tropical hibiscus are grown in cooler climates and are preserved by moving them indoors for the winter.