Thursday, October 28, 2010

Another Kind of Rose

Hibiscus Mutabilis is one of the biggest, showiest shrubs to grow in the Southern landscape.  Around here it is called "Confederate Rose," but it is also known as the "Cotton Rose."  The flowers are huge, up to 8" across and they change in color as they age. 


The flowers start off a light pink.  I have the single-flowered specimen, but there are double-flowered forms that do just as well.



As the flowers age, they darken into a hot pink color. 



Before falling off, they get almost crimson.   At any time, the plant will have all the shades of pink, making for quite an interesting look.



The plant itself makes quite a statement in the yard.  It is wonderful planted alone in a place where it can really show off.  It makes a perfect round shape with huge, course leaves.  Even when not in flower, it looks distinguished. 


Plant in full or partial sun in about any soil.  It takes drought like a champ.  The leaves fall off in the winter and you can cut it down the ground if you want to at that time.  It can get 15' tall in the Deep South in one growing season.  It does well as far north as zone 7.  This is a great pass-along plant because it is so easy to root.  Just cut a small branch off, stick it in the ground, and water to get a new one.  It requires practically no maintenance at all and blooms at a time of year when many other shrubs aren't.  The flowers are a favorite of bumblebees. 

3 comments:

meemsnyc said...

I love hibiscus! This one is beautiful!

Sunny Day said...

This is my second time to try this plant. The first one died over the winter. The one I have now has survived the hot, dry summer and I fervently hope it survives the winter. We live in southeast Alabama.

Randy Emmitt said...

Davy,

I saw three groupings of this at Duke Gardens on Sunday, lovely plants!