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The Santa Cruz blue hibiscus commonly grows into a medium size shrub 6-10 ft. high, equal in width. It is also available from nurseries as a small patio tree for use in large containers and raised planters. Its pale green leaves are deeply lobed and create an open foliage appearance. In comparison to the blue hibiscus species, the Santa Cruz cultivar produces striking deep purple-blue flowers from spring through summer.

Santa Cruz blue hibiscus is appreciated for its fast growth and intense flower color. It tolerates many types of soil, but good drainage is essential. It prefers a sunny exposure and grows well with moderate moisture in winter and spring, less water is important in the summer. Too much summer water leads to excessive growth and short-lived performance; pruning in late fall can help maintain good branching and foliage character.

Water Needs

The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth of the Santa Cruz blue hibiscus throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. As mentioned earlier, too much summer water can lead to excessive growth and shortened life spans.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Open, Low-branching
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 6 ft. - 10 ft.
Width: 6 ft. - 10 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Medium green, Dull green
Flower Color: Purple, Blue
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, All day sun
Function: Residential spaces, Raised planters, Flowering accent plant, Borders, Background plant


Pinch or prune as needed to keep a compact of bushy form (5). Major pruning is best done in late fall (4)



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