Monday, July 18, 2016

Hardy Hibiscus

This is the time of the growing season that one of the most spectacular flowering shrubs begins to bloom. Hibiscus x moscheutos or hardy Hibiscus are tough, resilient garden shrubs that  can take our winters and come back strong. Sometimes called rose mallow, these hibiscus were developed  from native plants and are now hardy down to Zone 4. Hardy hibiscus are fairly easy to grow. They like their place in the sun, so select a site in the garden where they'll get as much sun as possible. They can be grown in partial shade, such as an East-facing location, but the flower production may not be as great.
Once established, hardy hibiscus can easy grow 6' high and 6' across so keep this in mind when you're choosing a planting spot. There are dwarf varieties of hardy hibiscus that only get about 3' tall and 3' wide, if you don't have room for a full size shrub.
Hardy hibiscus like well drained soils, so prepare the planting site by adding compost or peat moss to your existing soil at the rate of about 50:50.
Add some Root Stimulator to the planting hole to ensure good root production. Planted now, you should get flowers yet this season Hardy hibiscus flowers only last a day, but the flower production will go on all season, right up to first frost. In our area, the canes will die back after the first hard frost. When they do die back, cut the canes to the ground. Water the root ball occasionally during the winter. Hardy hibiscus are among the last plants to emerge in the spring, so give them plenty of time. To often, people think the shrub died over the winter when in fact it's still alive, just dormant and slow to emerge. Some of the spectacular color choices in hardy hibiscus shrubs include:
'Copper Queen', 
'Mocha Moon',
'Pink Clouds'. Planting hardy hibiscus will add unique color to your garden landscape for many seasons to come.

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