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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.
2014-08-04 17 51 21

POTW: Perennial Hibiscus

Plant of the Week!

This week I'm featuring the Perennial or Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus mosheutos). Many gardeners are familiar with the tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) that many of us grow as houseplants in the winter and set outside for the summer, or the shrub hibiscus, better known as Rose-of-Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus. This hibiscus though, is a great addition to the perennial landscape here in Illinois with its hardiness to zone 4.

To be honest, I was worried about my perennial hibiscus after this past harsh winter because every other perennial in my landscape had started to emerge this spring, but nothing was coming from the hibiscus yet. Turns out though, that just the perennial hibiscus being its usual late self. They are traditionally one of the latest perennials to emerge in the spring.

Fast forward a couple of months and the hibiscus is now about 4-5 feet tall with gorgeous flowers. The mature height of perennial hibiscus can range from 2-8 feet depending on the cultivar. Foliage color can be either green or a nice dark purple like the one in my landscape.

Flowering typically occurs in July-September with pink, rose, red or white flowers with red eyes.

This perennial is easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun. It does best in moist, organically rich soils, but does surprisingly well in average garden soils as long as those soils are not allowed to dry out. Perennial hibiscus should be cut to about 3-4" from the ground at the end of the season. Next year, new growth will appear late but will grow quickly.

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