Want to give hibiscus a good start in central Fla

Once upon a time had some red-bloomed Hibiscus that I planted in front of a window that were very hardy for a number of years. Green, lots of blooms, bounced back annually from freezes after trimming to stumps and grew like weeds again once the weather warmed.
Circumstances required their removal and they didn't survive replanting. I tried to replant new ones from Walmart in the same basic spot but they never really seemed to take. Even after several months they would only grow if watered constantly and the first freeze killed them. I apparently unwittingly did something right with the first ones but don't know what it was.
What's the right way to go about it to ensure solid root establishment as quickly as possible?
Thanks in advance for all input.
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