Hardy Hibiscus for Your Summer Garden

Hardy Hibiscus - photo by Laura McKillop

The Earth Laughs in Flowers - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Want your garden to laugh in summer? Giggling with pink, red, and white? Then the hardy Hibiscus moscheutos or Swamp-rose Mallow is the answer for you! And butterflies love them! ( It is a host plant for Gray Hairstreak butterflies.)  

('Disco Belle' Pink Hibiscus - Johnsen Landscapes & Pools. photo by Laura McKillop)

I call them 'Dinner Plate' Hibiscus since the blossoms can be almost 9" across.

Johnsen Landscapes & Pools - photo by Jan Johnsen
Hibiscus moscheutos is a tall, cold-hardy perennial with huge flowers that is a native to wetlands and riversides of southeastern United States from Texas to the north Atlantic states. It naturally grows in large colonies.

(Lady Baltimore Hibiscus)

Lord Baltimore Hibiscus moscheutos

You can grow Hibiscus moscheutos easily in average to wet soils in full sun. (Do not allow them to dry out!)  Good air circulation is important for preventing potential diseases and they should be protected from wind. Deadheading the faded flowers is essential. Cut back stems to approximately 3-4" in late fall.

( Disco Belle hibiscus. photo: Laura McKillop)

The display of this magnificent plant from late July - September is stunning! I like to plant the shorter varieties like 'Disco Belle', a vigorous, shrubby cultivar that grows only 3' high. 

Tall hardy Hibiscus with echinops - Jan Johnsen 

Planted in groups behind lower growing plants is best. I have planted them behind yews, spirea and boxwoods. They are a great summer accent in foundation plantings, along fences and in containers, adding a tropical feel that fits the season. They make a summer screen and look lovely in cottage gardens. Regular fertilizing helps them to thrive and best of all, they come back every year.

What could be better? A beautiful, prolific bloomer!  Plant Now!
(Jan Johnsen - that is 'Blue Shag' White Pine  and Sedum Autumn Joy in front)


Popular Posts of all Time

Angelface Blue and Dark Violet Angelonia - a Flower that Keeps Giving

Planting Design for Dry Gardens by Olivier Filippi

'Purple Smoke' - The best Baptisia

No-Fail Tips for Turning Hydrangeas Blue!

Repurposed and Recycled - Creative Ideas for Garden Design

The Magnificent Purslane - Edible Landscaping at its best!

My one day Class Wednesday April 16 in NY - Jan Johnsen