Hardy Hibiscus moscheutos

Posted by gardensoul on August - 17 - 2014

Hardy_Hibiscus_close_20140817This flowering herbaceous perennial is a show-stopper!  Neighbors driving by stop to ask about this amazing plant. It prefers moist soil in full sun and blooms from July through September.  Plants are available from local nurseries in pink, red and white.  You may recognize the resemblance to another long standing Colorado shrub, Rose-of-Sharon.  They share the plant family, Malvaceae. As with most shrubs and lawns, regular deep watering is advisable. It will tolerate some light shade, but full sun with good air circulation produces the best flowers and strongest stems.  Protect from strong winds to reduce wind burn. Growing tips may be pinched when they reach 8” and again at 12” to promote bushiness.  In the fall, cut stems back to 3-4 inches.  It is slow to show growth in spring, so plant where early spring  flowering plants will add interest.  Fertilize once or twice after the plants start growing.  Individual flowers last only one day, but one or more flowers usually open each day, in succession, over a long mid-summer to early fall bloom period. Flowers are among the largest produced by any perennial that is winter hardy to the Denver area.
Hardy Hibiscus has no serious insect or disease problems.  Japanese beetles and aphids are occasional insect visitors.  I pick off Japanese beetles in the early morning as they can severely damage foliage if left unchecked. Use an organic mulch to keep soil from drying out, which can cause leaf scorch.



4 Responses so far.

  1. Trina Malvini says:

    When is a good time to plant hibiscus in Aurora?

    • gardensoul says:

      Hi Trina,
      The best time to plant in Aurora (or anywhere) is late Spring. However, we tend to make our purchases when plants are in bloom. Shrubs can be planted as late as October. The most important thing to remember is to reduce the shock by watering often at first, especially during very hot days. You will need to also winter water as this hibiscus won’t have the entire summer to grow new feeder roots. Here are a couple of links to valuable Extension information. Planting trees and shrubs – http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1711.html. Fall and Winter Watering – http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07211.html.
      I hope this helps!

  2. rebeca says:

    My lord baltimore hibiscus is nothing but twigs. I have cut a piece of twig in half and is brown inside and out. Is it dead ?