The Versatile Hibiscus

Having grown up in Florida, hibiscus have been a piece of my garden loving life since childhood. Etched into my heart is the memory of the hibiscus plant we gave to my Mormor (Danish Grandmother) when I was little. The cultivar was ‘Hawaiian Sunset’, and she was a beauty awash in shades of pink & orange. My Mormor had the greenest thumb of anyone I’ve ever known, so of course that shrub was there, blooming happily over the years that followed. To this day, I cannot think of hibiscus without also thinking of her. When my hibiscus flowers are blooming as gorgeously as they are right now, I like to think she’d be quite pleased.

 

Hibiscus are not terribly challenging plants to grow. Whether you’re blessed with a balmy tropical climate or winters that bring ice & snow, there are varieties available to fit the bill. Hardy hibiscus are something I’d only experimented with since moving to middle America, and I must confess, these robust shrubs have a charm all their own! Flowers that are, at times, the size of dinner plates, blooming in daily succession (just as the tropical varieties do), and with the very pleasant factor of being hardy to zone 4.

That said, even in Northern climates, one can grow tropical hibiscus if their heart is set on it. Planted in a container and over-wintered indoors, there is little to stop you. The great thing about tropical hibiscus is that they bloom even more prolifically when they are a bit pot bound… just don’t forget to water frequently during the growing season! If you add the (preferred) full sun exposure to the fact that you are growing them in a container, you may have to water twice daily on some occasions. The added effort is well worth it in my opinion though!

For more information about growing tropical hibiscus, visit Queen of the Tropics.

If that’s not enough & you really want to delve deep into some horticultural hibiscus knowledge, check out Hibiscus – Queen of the Flowers, a book available for free reading online.

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