All about Perennial Hibiscus
If you have always loved the looks of hibiscus, but thought it could only grow in very warm climates, you should try planting perennial hibiscus. While there is a tropical or Chinese hibiscus that does need tropical or sub-tropical temperatures, perennial hibiscus can be grown almost anywhere. And, the great thing is, it won’t be killed by winter weather.
Perennial hibiscus dies back in the winter but then comes bursting forth again in the spring. And, because it is a perennial, you only have to plant it once and it will magically reappear every spring. Only the tops of the plants die off, while the roots just take a rest and start producing new shoots in the spring.
There are lots of types of perennial hibiscus from which to choose, and the plants can grow anywhere from three to eight feet high depending on which one you choose. Gardeners love hibiscus because they have brilliantly colored flowers. Not only that, the flowers are huge. They can be any size from four inches to ten inches in diameter. And, although the flower only lasts for a day, you have another new flower every day. This flower production lasts all season and into the fall.
If you want to grow perennial hibiscus, you can buy a plant, or, if you can obtain cuttings from another gardener, they can be planted by this method as well. You can even break apart the roots in the spring and divide one plant into several. You should not have too much trouble finding perennial hibiscus as they are one of the most popular perennials sold in greenhouses and garden stores every year.
Perennial hibiscus can grow in USDA zones three through nine, which covers a lot of temperature ranges. They can be planted in locations that get as cold as thirty below zero in the winter. You should plant these giant hibiscus plants at least three to four feet apart. That’s because a mature plant can be three to eight feet high and have a spread width of three to four feet.
When you plant your hibiscus, dig a large hole that is twice the size of the pot in which you bought the plant. Be careful in removing the hibiscus from the pot. Then, you should hold the ball of roots in the hole so that the top of it is level with the ground. Gently replace the dirt that you removed from the hole. Firm the soil around the plant down with your hands, and then water it well.
These perennial hibiscuses are not finicky plants and don’t need a lot of daily attention like many summer flowers. If you want to have well-prepared soil before you plant, you can rototill the space down to a depth of a foot or a couple inches more. The best ingredients to add are dried manure and compost. Add two inches of these organic fertilizers and then work them into the soil. You can also add peat moss or shredded leaves. For optimal growth, you can feed with a special flower fertilizer throughout the summer.
Caring for perennial hibiscus is easy. You will want to water them if the rain in your area is under an inch in a week. Mulching your hibiscus will not only help to keep the plants moist but will also reduce the number of weeds that will grow around the plants. Try to keep the plants as weed-free as possible because the weeds compete with the plants for necessary nutrients.
Your hibiscus will flower continually until the fall and then die back. Cut the stalks to ground level and leave it alone for the winter. Some people do apply another layer of mulch for over the winter, but it is not critical, and if you do, remember to remove it when the spring temperatures start to get warm enough for the plants to grow.