Do you grow a Hardy Hibiscus?

OakleyMay 27, 2010

I've been growing annual Hibiscus in pots for years and they just thrived.

Last summer I put an annual in the ground and it went nuts!

This year I bought a Hardy Hibiscus, it will come back each year. But it sure seems slow to bloom. There are buds all over it though, but it seems to be a slow grower/bloomer.

I've seen these in people's yards and they turn into a very pretty bush.

Mine is red. What should I expect from this plant?

I do let the soil stay moist like instructions say, and that's what I did in the past.

Is this thing ever going to take off? It's only been fertilized once, maybe I should do it more often? I use the Miracle Grow mixed with water in a milk jug.

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

If you are talking about Hibiscus syriacus, they are very late to leaf out in spring. Mine is only just doing so. It won't bloom until late summer in my climate. That's what makes them such an asset in the garden. They flower at a time when there aren't many other shrubs in bloom. I don't know about keeping the soil moist. Mine has never been watered or fertilised. But you don't say where you live so maybe it needs water in your area. Over here they are considered to enjoy high temperatures and to be drought resistant - but that's all relative.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 1:32PM
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Oakley

Sorry, I'm in central OK. Here they need lots of water and sun.

Like I said, they're full of buds but it seems like it's taken forever to get them.

The other Hibiscus I grew before this year, which weren't considered hardy, would always wilt as soon as they began to dry out.

The one I had in the ground last year (not hardy) turned into a beautiful bush full of blooms all summer long!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 2:13PM
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sweetannie4u(midOK_z6b/7a)

I grow them Pam.

My red one is growing in filtered sunshine, in my shade garden area. The Tall Texas Star is in the old Potager now rose garden by the arch and is in full sun and another is in the front of my shrubs with western exposure to sun near the patio area. It is a hardy white also with marijuana type leaves.

The red one is now 2 feet tall and growing fast.
The Texas Star is taller, but it is a taller Hibiscus and grows to about five or six feet tall. Same with the other white one (no name).

I water just about every day to keep my gardens going here in Okie. The sandy soil dries out fast and it is very hot in the summer. Even the winds are furnace-like hot. I have to run the soaker hoses when it is drought-like or in drought years just to keep them alive sometimes. We have lost full grown trees to droughts, so it tends to be very dry here in summer.

Right now it is super hot out there and we have a normally windy state, but it is dead still. The only air movement is from the heat. It is stifling out there! Big thunderhead clouds formed all day yesterday and a little bit ago it became completely overcast. I bet we get some big bad storms tonight. We are having a more wet year this year, but still, my gardens have to be watered EVERY DAY or at least every other day. So Pam is absolutely correct in stating the need to water them here in this region of Oklahoma in the U.S.A.

SO Pam, Hardy Hibiscus come up and grow when it gets HOT, and then they grow like gangbusters. They come from very hot climates with good drainage in the zone 8-10 regions. My Texas Star can take the heat and dry climate, but it does much better when I water it.
When they bloom, the so exceed the Tropical Hibiscus in bloom size and production of flowers. Of course, the Tropicals have flowers from scenes of Fantasia, with amazing color variations and those pistals make them look like psychedelic satellite dishes and you don't even have to do acid to see it! :)

Anyway, they are both lovely to have in the garden.

I don't fertilize my plants once they are established, other than the occasional dose of Fish & Seaweed Emulsion. I only add compost and manure to the soils around them to keep the soil healthy and active so my plants can thrive. I also pile on leaves and leaf mold to keep the pH towards the acid side, since my soil is very alkaline.

And BTW, Pam, you don't need to apologize about not mentioning where you live. It is on the top with your forum ID:

Posted by oakleyok OK. z7

((HUGS little Pseudo-Sister))

~Annie
Posted by sweetannie4u midOK_z6b/7a :)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 3:20PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I have a Plum Crazy, a Hardy Pink and just bought Kopper King last fall. I have only about 5-6 hrs of sun to give them. They've bloomed but they haven't gotten bushy in the past. This year, I fertilized with Alfalfa pellets and moved one into more sun. The new stems and f*oliage look good, but I'm thinking of cutting them back by half about mid June to get some more stems from the base and hopefully get a shorter [4ft?] bushier plant. I don't water mine any more than anything else.

I also have a Tropical standard that I just bought which I was told likes water water water and f*ertilizer.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 3:52PM
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Oakley

Annie, it was stifeling today! I spent all of 15 minutes deadheading in the garden and had sweat dripping off my nose! lol

I'm glad I'm finished planting, now the constant watering begins. We had a good rain Tuesday morning so the ground is still moist.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 7:10PM
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sweetannie4u(midOK_z6b/7a)

I have never seen the Hardy Hibiscus sold here.
The only ones I have I grew from seeds which I got on the Seed Exchange Forum.
However, my gardens are so packed with plants, I'd have to dig up what's left of the lawn to plant more...he.he.he! No I'm not going to do that. I like all the green areas of grass. I love mowing it too.

Prairiemoon (what a lovely name), post pictures of yours when they bloom. I would love to see them and I am sure everyone else would too.

~Annie

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 7:29PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Yep. They start blooming for me in June.

Luna Red.

Here's Turn of the Century.

Lord Baltimore. Red blooms. The foliage behind him is perilla.

Red Texas Star. I have seedlings that are supposed to be white this year.

White hibiscus. Unknown. Wintersown 2008/9. Bloomed one bloom the first year.

Another unknown, grown from seed. It's huge this year already, but no buds yet.

This is another one, no tag when I purchased it. The Japanese Beetles did a real number on it before it started to bloom.

All of them are up and growing. They root easily from cuttings taken in July and August. Just snip the flowers off, put a 6" cutting into clean, well draining soil, and place in a shady spot with a dome for humidity. I haven't found any of the rooted cuttings from last year. I think I planted them too late to establish before winter set in hard.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 8:31PM
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cindysunshine(5b)

I have them all over in my gardens, too - they really are just wonderful late in the season with the rudbeckea (fab pic above!) or zinnias, sunflowers.

I have a big tall one with those open petal raspberry colored blooms that is particularly showy and in a perfect spot and then a lot of the shorter ones - I just put in a couple of the 'Luna' series - rose in my butterfly border last week.

I get these miserable little green beetles late in the season just as all these things bloom and they just love the flowers. Don't touch the leaves but will really tear up the blooms and it really spoils them to have big holes in those big beautiful flowers! they are the beetle stage of corn borers. Hate them!

I am intrigued with the growing from seed - did you purchase the seeds in a mixture somewhere? What fun - and they are the hardy types?

I also have grown the tropicals in containers for years - they are just so tropical. Love that in late summer.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 8:55PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Very pretty photos Token. The white with the red center is my favorite.

Annie, I especially like your name too. Did you ever consider the screen name, AnnieOakley ? :-)

I have a photo of the Plum Crazy from two years ago. Last year was an awful year it had some kind of caterpillar strip the leaves all of a sudden. It grew tall and straggly last year in part sun.

'

I have a pink that I started from seed too.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 9:04PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

As for what I do to grow these, nothing. I cut down the dead foliage in late winter when I prune the knockouts and perennials. I don't fertilize. I don't normally give them extra water, even through weeks without rain. I pick the Japanese Beetles from them sometimes. Mainly, I just enjoy them. In the ground, they get all they need from the leaves I use as mulch each winter. Very easy to grow and needs little attention. I might pinch a few every now and again, like Turn of the Century. It seems to come back each year as a single stalk rather than a shrub form like Luna Red.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 9:51PM
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scully931(6)

Mine are just now starting to rise to attention and it has been HOT here. I usually don't get blooms until August. However, I'm talking about the taller single shoots. I just got a lady baltimore this year which I believe will be bushier.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 12:42AM
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sweetannie4u(midOK_z6b/7a)

Token,
Turn of the Century is fabulously beautiful. Oooo la la!

Here is my unknown Hardy white Hibiscus

Another view of the same one - I love that it is pure white.

Budded Red Hibiscus - June 6th, 2009

Side View - June 30th, 2009

Three-quarters view - July 2nd, 2009

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 5:48AM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Annie, the white one I have was started from seed collected from a pure white one too. It looked just like yours. I have another that was wintersown this year from more solid white seeds. Really hoping it comes true.

TotC has never set seed for me. But it roots easily. Maybe I can send you one this summer once it's hardened off enough to take cuttings.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 5:51AM
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Oakley

My Hibiscus looks nothing like your's. I've seen a flower on it so I know it's a Hibiscus. lol.

My leaves are very compact and thicker than in the pictures above. Not "light and airy" like yours are.

I'll take pictures once the blooms open.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 8:07AM
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roper2008 (7b)(7b)

I have one Hardy Hibiscus planted from seed last year. Received in
a trade. It turned out to be white with red eye. I was happy to see
that it's growing again this spring. Just a few flowers last year, this
year should be better. I would like to get some other colors.

Token, in one of your pictures I see you have the same worm damage
mine had. I pulled about 15 of those little worms off last week. I'm
going to be on top of them this summer.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 8:55AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I planted a red one last year. No sign of it this year :( I bought several different types on eBay and almost all of those are out of hybernation and seem to be growing OK...I planted a few from seed that are growing slowly (they have red leaves but are supposed to be perennials. I'm sceptical...)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 12:26PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

OK - having seen the pictures I see that we are talking at cross purposes. Just ignore what I wrote. Over here we refer to Hibiscus syriacus, what you call Rose of Sharon as hardy hibiscus. I don't stand a hope of getting those large flowered ones to grow here - not enough summer heat. Just goes to show yet again how useful the botanical names are.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 12:33PM
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Oakley

Personally, I don't like using the botanical names on a "common" plant here in the USA. I also have a Rose of Sharon and that's what I call it. lol.

Besides, there is no way I can remember the botanical names at my age! :)

Also, many places where I get my plants don't have a botanical name. My Hibiscus was called "Hardy Hibiscus."

I'm enjoying learning what the UK calls their plants though!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 1:22PM
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sweetannie4u(midOK_z6b/7a)

Okay,
Rose of Sharons!

Gotcha!
Their blooming period is in late summer.

I grow those too. The flowers are the same, only smaller. Mine are small trees or large shrubs. I have white with pink eyes and a very pretty lavender one. There are four new ones that Keesha sent me last spring in a plant trade that haven't bloomed yet. They are really growing. Anxious to see those heirlooms from her mother bloom. (Thanks Keesha. Hope your Corkscrew willows are growing well for you. One of the Pussy Willows made it and doing really well, too) ;)

So...Rose of Sharon, like Crepe Myrtles, are summer blooming shrubs/small trees. Everything has its own time.
For these, that is mid-to-late summer.

~Annie

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 2:00PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I love hardy hibiscuses! They are definitely late summer flowers for me here - August into September. Most of them haven't even emerged from the ground yet. Here are a couple of my favorite HH pictures:

In the driveway border near the end of August:

As seen from the main front bed:

Through the arbour at the end of September (the reds ones were fairly new so hadn't bulked up yet... - I expect a better show this year)

Beautiful plants - I keep adding more.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 4:39PM
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Bev135

Does anybody have experience getting hardy hibiscus to winter-over in a container?
I have a plastic pot that is about 18" in diameter. I'm in zone 4 and will keep the pot on a patio that is somewhat sheltered from wind and the worst of the cold.
Think I have a chance of the hibiscus surviving the winter?

Thanks!
Bev

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 3:37PM
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squirejohn zone4 VT

Is this a hibiscus? It was sold to us years ago as "perennial hollyhock".

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 5:11PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

That is not a hibiscus, it is malva, which is also known as a perennial hollyhock. Don't know the variety. They are prolific self seeders so I deadhead leaving only a few late blossoms to set seed.

Bev, I would be surprised if it will survive without being put in an unheated building. A better option if you want to keep it in the pot is to sink the pot in the ground. If you can't do either then you could try wrapping with bubble wrap or placing bags of leaves around the pot. Good luck and let us know next spring if it survives. Remember hibiscus are late to emerge in the spring.

My hardy hibiscus are just starting to bloom. Plum Crazy is one of my favorites.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 10:45PM
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gardenweed_z6a

Bev - I second mnwsgal's comment. Rule of thumb is a plant needs to be hardy to two zones colder than yours to survive winter in a container. Most sources say hibiscus moscheutos/hardy hibiscus is only hardy to Z5. You'd have a better chance of yours surviving the winter if you can sink the container into the ground or somehow protect it from extreme winter weather.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 5:51AM
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