Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tropical Treasures

This is a Carolina Breeze tropical hibiscus. These pictures were all taken last summer. This is one of my wife's (Jo's) very favorite flowers. We bought it last year only expecting to get one year out of it. I didn't even plan on trying to keep it alive through the winter. It's supposed to be totally intolerant of frost. Earlier this spring, I noticed that from the dead looking sticks at the base of the former plant there were little green sprouts of leaves coming out. It has survived! What a trooper. I'm hoping it looks this good in 2009.

Look at this deep orange color. It is a lighter shade as the day progresses and the sun bleaches the flowers. This thing was loaded with flowers and laughed at the heat of summer.

Here's a picture of the whole bush earlier in the summer before it got much bigger. Notice the butterfly magnet lantana behind the hibiscus. I never noticed hummingbirds or butterflies on the hibiscus, but the bumblebees loved it.
Some tips on tropical hibiscus:
1) Plant in full sun
2) Plant in a large container so you can bring it indoors when a freeze comes, or else you can try to just put large amounts of mulch over the plant and hope it comes back next year
3) I recommend you cut them back occasionally to keep them "bushier." It can get a little "leggy" in our long growing season down here if left alone.
4) Move to Louisiana so they will grow easier for you! If you want a similar plant that thrives in colder areas, then do NOT plant tropical hibiscus - instead plant hardy hibiscus.


Sweet Sad rose said...

Your hibiscus looks marvelous, I love its orange color. Mine died this winter I think but I will keep it a little longer to check if it will come back.

Anonymous said...