The Southern belle hibiscus is a perennial shrub that can reach up to 6 feet tall. The plant produces pink, white or red flowers that are 10 inches across, which is larger than most hibiscus varieties. It is hardy in average garden soil, but does not tolerate drought, which makes it susceptible to disease and insects. The Southern belle hibiscus is hardy in zones four through nine.
Select a planting site for the Southern belle hibiscus that receives a full eight hours of sunlight daily and is shaded from the wind. The site should have regular to moist soil. To test the moisture of the soil, crumble a handful in your hand. If it turns to dust, the soil is too dry. If it crumbles or forms a ball, the soil is fine.
Apply a general purpose fertilizer to the soil around the hibiscus once a month during the growing season, according to the package directions. The growing season depends on your area, but is generally early spring through late summer or early fall.
Water frequently enough to keep the soil moist. Do not allow the soil to dry out, as dry soil conditions can lead to leaf scorch.
Use garden shears to remove any spent blossoms throughout the growing season. This process, known as deadheading, maintains the appearance of the Southern belle and encourages the growth of new blooms.
Prune the plant in the late fall, after all of the blooms have faded. Use pruning shears to cut each stem back to 3 to 4 inches above the ground.
Mound up organic mulch around the base of the plant in the late fall. Make the mound 3 to 4 inches high. This will protect the plant from the bitter cold of winter.
The Southern belle hibiscus blooms very slowly in the spring, so do not misinterpret this as a sign of an unhealthy plant.