How to Grow and Care for Midnight Marvel Hibiscus

Midnight Marvel Hibiscus are herbaceous perennial plants with dark foliage color and purple tones that belong to the family Malvaceae, commonly called hibiscus plants.

Initially hybridized by Kevin A. Hurd in 2008 and propagated the same year using both sterile tissue and stem cuttings in Zeeland, Michigan. It’s native to the southeastern United States.

beautiful blooms of Midnight Marvel HibiscusPin

The common names for Midnight Marvel Hibiscus include:

  • Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’ PP24079
  • Hibiscus Midnight Rose Mallow

Midnight Marvel Hibiscus Quick Care Tips

  • Botanical Name: Hibiscus acetosella ‘Midnight Marvel’
  • Common Name(s): Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’ PP24079, Hibiscus Midnight Rose Mallow, Midnight Marvel Hibiscus
  • Synonyms: N/A
  • Pronunciation: Hi-BIS-kus
  • Family & Origin: Malvaceae family, native to the southeastern United States
  • Growability: Easy to grow
  • Grow Zone: 4-9
  • Size: Can grow up to 4’ feet tall and wide
  • Flowering: Blooms deep wine-purple and deep scarlet red flowers from mid-summer to early fall
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • Humidity: Prefers moderate to high humidity
  • Temperature: Thrives in warm temperatures between 68° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Soil: Moist, well-drained soil with neutral or acidic levels
  • Water: Regular watering for lush foliage and larger flowers
  • Fertilizer: Use a high-quality organic fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season
  • Pests & Diseases: Susceptible to spider mites, whiteflies, Japanese beetles, and aphids. Can also be affected by fungal diseases such as canker, rust, hibiscus blights, and leaf spots
  • Propagation: Can be propagated through divisions and tissue culture
  • Plant Uses: Can be used as a tropical accent plant or perennial borders in gardens or as a container plant on patios or balconies. The leaves can also be used in salads or as a garnish.

Midnight Marvel Hibiscus Plants Care

Size and Growth

The foliage color is dark green with purple undertones, with variable shapes per the stem positioning and time of the year.

This variety combines Perfect Storm’s deep wine-purple, maple-like foliage, and Cranberry Crush’s scarlet red flowers.

Red hibiscus flowers with dark leaves.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @growjoyplants

The deep wine-purple, maple-like foliage with red blooms makes it a stunning outdoor and indoor plant. The growth rate of the Hardy Hibiscus is moderate once the roots become stable, which takes four to six weeks.

After the plant is established, the growth rate escalates. It’s a compact plant growing about 4’ feet wide and tall.

The stalks of the Midnight Marvel Hibiscus remain upright and sturdy as it goes dormant in winter.

Flowering and Fragrance

The Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’ color ranges from deep wine-purple and deep scarlet red flowers with saucer-like flower form. These open from black-red buds.

These flowers are almost flat-faced, saucer-shaped, growing 8” – 9” inches long with overlapping petals. This plant blooms from summer to early fall (July to September) but sometimes to first frost.

Light and Temperature

This hardy hibiscus variety loves the full sun but tolerates part shade. Place this plant in direct sun with sufficient air circulation to produce strong stems and striking flowers.

Vibrant red hibiscus with dark leaves in garden.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @michiganbulb

The growth rate of this plant slows down during early spring and late summer, but it’s not a cause for concern. While it can grow well in partial shade, the flowering and growth will likely suffer.

During hot summer months, provide some shade to prevent potential damage. Midnight Marvel hardy hibiscus is recommended for USDA hardiness zone 4 – 9.

This plant also thrives in warm temperatures of 68° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit.

Watering and Feeding

The Rose Mallow prefers regular watering as they are not drought tolerant. Watering this plant regularly will result in lush foliage and larger flowers.

With insufficient water, the flower buds will start dropping, and the plant will become vulnerable to diseases and insects.

This plant also prefers moderate to high humidity.

Feed this plant high-quality organic fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season, and place fresh compost topping annually for optimal growth and striking flower color.

Bright red flowers with lush greenery.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @shelleyk6

Details on:

Soil and Transplanting

The Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’ tolerates a range of soil types, neutral or acidic, clay or sand.

Since these plants are native to swampy locations, moist, well-drained soil is best.

Moreover, it grows well along ponds as it offers the right soil moisture.

Vibrant red hibiscus flowers with brick backdrop.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @stefaniesincharleston

The plant also grows well and is adaptable to typical garden conditions as long as the soil is not too dry.

Grooming and Maintenance

This Hibiscus needs moist soil with good drainage for optimal growth but is mostly low maintenance.

Sufficient water will enhance the plant’s appearance and improve its growth rate.

Plant it in a garden during the summer season before temperatures become too hot.

Add proper mulch around the plant for its first winter season.

Prune the hibiscus plant to remove any broken and dead branches. During the spring season, trim stems before the appearance of new growth.

During late summer, deadhead the spent flowers to improve their appearance.

Always use a sharp saw, loppers, or hand pruners to prune the bareroot perennial.

Learn Why –> We like Felco hand pruners!

How To Propagate Rose Mallow

The propagation of MIdnight Marvel types is done using divisions and tissue culture.

Divide plants during the early spring season.

Growing through tissue culture or cloning assures the plant with being identical to the main plant.

Moreover, the stem cuttings might start rotting if they are taken before flowering.

When planting, make sure to create a large hole to comfortably fit the bare root without the need to bend them.

Cover well with soil, and thoroughly water.

NOTE: Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’ PP24079 is a patented plant, and propagation is prohibited.

Vibrant red hibiscus flowers with lush foliage.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @engelkefarm

Related: Details on the patent are here.

Hardy Hibiscus Pest or Diseases

The Rose Mallow is susceptible to canker, rusts, hibiscus blights, and leaf spots if not enough moisture and water is provided.

This beautiful plant occasionally attracts:

  • Aphids
  • Whiteflies
  • Japanese beetles
  • Spider mites

If appropriate action is not taken, Japanese beetles may severely damage the foliage.

More on –> How do you get rid of Japanese Beetles?

If the soil gets too dry, it results in leaf scorch.

This plant is deer resistant.

Uses For Marvel Hibiscus Midnight

The flower color of this Hibiscus and its purple foliage looks striking in borders, mass or group landscape accent, specimen, and as a temporary hedge.

These perennial plants are useful in wet areas, low spots, and along ponds and streams. Moreover, its foliage texture makes a stunning effect that stands apart either garden plants.

It also attracts pollinators, such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

Generally, all the perennial species of Hibiscus are edible. The flowers and the young leaves have a mild flavor.

The shoots, roots, and leaves contain a gooey liquid useful for thickening soups and meringue.

However, once the stems, roots, and leaves become mature, they become unpleasant and fibrous.

Press the seeds of this plant to produce oil which is useful for cooking.

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