Plant of the week – Hardy Hibiscus
Nothing attracts attention in the garden quite like Hardy Hibiscus (Rose/Swamp Mallow). They produce dramatic flowers in white, pink, red and purple that are among the largest of any perennials. Hardy Hibiscus bloom for an extended period from midsummer to early fall and can range in size from 2 to 8 feet tall, depending on the variety. They can tolerate light shade but grow them in full sun to achieve maximum flower production.
Hardy Hibiscus are native to wetlands and creek edges in the northeast but are equally at home in most garden soils with moderate moisture. They will benefit from mulching to prevent the soil from drying out, which will adversely affect flowering. A pollinator favorite, these perennials are also host plants for many species of butterflies and moth caterpillars in our area. Hardy Hibiscus tend to emerge in late May or early June, so be patient! Plant spring blooming bulbs (available in September) around your Hibiscus or locate where its early-season absence will not leave a space in your landscape. They grow fine on their own, but to encourage a bushier habit tip prune new stems in early summer. After a hard frost you can cut back old stems about 6” above the ground or leave until early spring so seed pods can provide a food source for songbirds in the colder months.
We are growing several new varieties of Hardy Hibiscus that are indeterminate bloomers. These cultivars will create buds at several nodes up the stem and produce flowers from the top to the bottom of the plant. They grow approximately 3-4 ft tall and wide. The dark leaf varieties include Mocha Moon with pure white flowers (scarlet red eye), Midnight Marvel with deep scarlet red flowers and Starry Starry Night with pale pink flowers. If you prefer green leaves, check out Summer in Paradise with stunning cerise red flowers. We are also offering Hibiscus laevis and Hibiscus moscheutos for those who are searching for the straight species of this eye-catching perennial.
No matter which variety you choose nectar-loving pollinators will be naturally drawn to these garden showstoppers and you will be, too. Come in today and check out our large assortment of Rohsler’s Grown Hardy Hibiscus in an array of colors.