Hibiscus Perennials

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Hibiscus perennials are both easy to grow and colorfully dramatic. At the same time, they do need care and maintenance if you want them to produce their showy blooms during the entire growing season. Moisture and drainage are as important and warmth and sunshine.

To ensure good drainage, you probably want to add leaf or bark compost to the soil before planting. Vermiculite or perlite will also help ensure that the hibiscus never stand in overwet soil. Hibiscus want to be fed regularly as well. Once a week is best. Peat moss and perlite, after all, have no nutritive value. Fertilizer should be high in potassium and low in phosphorus. Other nutrients should include manganese, copper, and iron.

Gardening with Hibiscus Perennials

The vivid color and dramatic wide blossom of hibiscus perennials stand out well along a white brick wall or picket fence. But hibiscus mix well in beds as well, whether toward the back or center. Usually standing about three or four feet tall, hibiscus perennials grow at maturity to thick bushes. Native to the tropics, however, they can reach heights of six and seven feet if conditions are conducive to it.

Hibiscus Blue River produces an especially large creamy white flower that blooms from mid-summer through the fall. Lord Baltimore also stands about four feet tall and produces a deep red flower. They both, like all hibiscus, die back completely in winter. Red Shield Hibiscus is a foliage variety with a spread of about three feet that is best used in containers or borders. Its bushy reddish leaves are remarkably similar to those of the Japanese maple.

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