Has anyone attempted the herbaceous types? I was thinking of planting a few of the new and "earlier" flowering varieties up against the south side of my foundation, can't hurt to try I guess ...
Here is a link that might be useful:
I tried hibiscus syriacus one year, but forget the actual cultivar name. Planted it on the south side of the house, mulched somewhat for winter (but didn't go crazy with mulch). Unfortunately it didn't survive winter.
But, it was only a $6 experiment. Who knows though, sometimes young plants don't survive for other reasons besides the cold.
Thinking about it, the south side of my house, near the house foundation is both a great spot and a bad spot for tender plants. It provides plenty of heat in summer, maybe the foundation even heats the ground a bit in winter, but the snow cover is always the first to melt in this spot in spring. So, possibly, the plants may survive -30 in winter with snowcover over top, but not -10 in spring once the snow cover melts?
Several years ago my aunt gave me perennial hibiscus seeds from her Toronto garden. They germinated and grew easily, and I planted them about a foot or so from the south facing foundation. They bloomed very late August and survived several light frosts (no doubt being so near the house helped). They survived winter with no special protection and began growing in May the following year. Again, being near the foundation, snow melted and soil warmed earlier than anywhere else in the yard. Again they didn't bloom until late August.
They turned out to be bigger plants than I had planned for - around 3', but were sturdy and healthy. I had to remove them when I reconfigured the area and didn't have another suitable place for them so they got tossed. I had more seed, so I figured I'd start more when the time was right.
Last year I gave the rest of that seed to my sister who lives outside Calgary. They were still viable, germinated and she also planted them very near the house. It's the first winter though, so don't know yet of their survival. Lack of snow cover there can be an issue.
I think they were Hibiscus moscheutos. Here are the plants in mid-July, to the left of the blooming Adelaide Hoodless
And here's the bloom
Glen, I have two varieties of Rose of Sharon, they spend the summer growing directly in the ground and are dug up and placed in cold storage for winter. Problem with these woody plants, is that they too are late bloomers and so I force them into growth before again planting out.
Pudge, after seeing your photos, I'll go ahead and try a few of the herbaceous hibiscus moscheutos varieties, the ones offered through GardenImport are said to be some of the earliest flowering varieties. Indeed planting against the south foundation gives these perennial roots protection from the cold, though also a head start come spring, and this is what is needed in our short growing season. Thanks for the comments you two.
I've grown hardy hibiscus for over 30 years. They have survived -45 F. winters. All they really need is some mulch in the Fall to protect the plants. Here's some pictures:
Thanks Arctictropical for the beautiful photos ... hardy hibiscus will be making an appearance in my garden this spring!