The term “hardy hibiscus” is a generic term used to describe a couple of different species, as well as their hybrids, all of which are a member of the rose mallow group of the Malvaceae family: the same family as the standard tropical hibiscus.
Hardy hibiscus, as the name suggests are “cold-hardy” unlike their tropical relatives which thrive in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions.
Planting Hardy Hibiscus
Hardy hibiscus can be planted in spring or fall, as long as there is less likelihood for occurrence of frost. The plants will blossom quickly, erupting each sumer with beautiful flowers that feature tissue-thin, ruffled petals in blues, reds, whites and pinks.
Care for Hardy Hibiscus
As established earlier, hardy hibiscus plants are cold-hardy despite bearing large blooms that brings the tropics to mind. Although the plants seem woody in summer and could function as sub-shrubs in the landscape, the stems die in winter which makes them herbaceous perennials.
Hardy hibiscus plants are easy to care for: as long as they are granted enough light and water, they will blossom well. They can also thrive in plant containers, which grants you the opportunity to bring them indoors for the winter season particularly if you live in a harsh climate. You should move your hibiscus to a bigger pit every two to three years.
Light Needs for Hardy Hibiscus
If you want your hardy hibiscus plant to blossom to it’s greatest potential, it needs at least six hours of full sun daily. However, you should provide your hardy hibiscus occasional relief from brought sunlight if you live in a hot and dry zone. You can also grow other leafy plants near the hardy hibiscus plant to cast a shadow, or you can choose a planting location that gets shade in the afternoons.
If indoors, hardy hibiscus plants should be placed near a sunny window which can be augmented with artificial lighting if it doesn’t provide the plant with enough light.
Soil Needs for Hardy Hibiscus
Hardy hibiscus are wetland plants. Hence, they are the ideal specimen for soggy areas that cannot accommodate other plant life. They can also be planted around areas that have unique water features and ponds. Hardy hibiscus plants also thrive well in organically rich soil. If the soil mixture in your environment is lacking in the essential nutrients, ensure to amend ith with the required amount of organic compost before proceeding to plant your hibiscus.
Water Needs for Hardy Hibiscus
It has been established that hardy hibiscus are wetland plants. However, if you are not planting hardy hibiscus plants in a wet spot due to the nature of your landscape, you should ensure that they watered adequately. Do not overdo this. It is noteworthy that a small plant with few leaves needs less water than a large plant with many leaves. In warm weather conditions, endeavor yo water your hibiscus plant daily. When in winter conditions however, only water it when the soil is dry to touch.
Temperature and Humidity
Hardy hibiscus plants grow best in temperatures ranging from 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. When it is observed that the temperature will drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, bring plant indoors. You should note that low humidity can quickly dry these plants.
If you bring in your hardy hibiscus plant for the winter, endeavor mist the leaves daily or place the plant pot or container on a tray with a layer of gravel underneath. Carefully add water to the top of the gravel and as it evaporates, the humidity around the plants will increase. It can also help to have a small space humidifier.
Like other plants, growing a hardy hibiscus plant requires plenty of nutrients. Ensure to feed your plant with a diluted liquid fertilizer once a week. An alternative is to use a slow-release fertilizer four times annually: during early spring, after the first round of blooming, in mid-summer, and the onset of winter.
Pruning Hardy Hibiscus
Since this perennial plant dies back to ground level during winter, you can prune it during fall. Even though your hardy hibiscus plant is very alive during the fall, they will die during winter. The root system however lives on thereby enabling need branches to spring out of the ground the following year.
Propagating Hardy Hibiscus
The best way to propagate hardy hibiscus plant is through stem cuttings.C
Living in Ohio doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beauty of Hardy Hibiscus plants. With what has been discussed in this article, you will be able to plant and care for your hardy hibiscus plant all year round.