Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hardy Hibiscus

Hardy hibiscus are among the most exotic and flashy of all plants. They have huge leaves and plate sized flowers. The above variety is called Luna Swirl.  Hardy hibiscuses are not be be confused with the tropical type.  Hardy's die back to the ground after a freeze, but they will always come back from the roots the next year.  They can take really harsh winters and in fact many great varieties were developed in Nebraska. 

Here is a whole bush shot of Luna Swirl as it's blooming in my yard right now.  Once the plant dies back in winter, it is fairly slow to come back in the spring, so don't be too quick to write it off when warm weather returns.  It will come back and start blooming in early summer.  This plant prefers a moist area and even does well in swampy soil.  Makes a great plant for a low-lying area in your yard.  It definitely prefers full sun.

This is another variety that I have.  It's called Lord Baltimore and it makes huge, deep red blooms.  Notice that the leaves are eaten with insect damage.  I prefer not to spray insecticides in my yard so the hibiscus sawflies are quick to get a snack.  I just let them eat because I don't want to kill the butterflies and bees by spraying.  If you want a taste of the tropics, you couldn't do better than to try out a hardy hibiscus or two. 

No comments: