Maintenance Information

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Want a hardy Hibiscus?

Although it is tempting to plant a Tropical Hibiscus in our area (Northern and upper Central California) it is not advisable, due to winter cold i.e. freeze and cold snaps. Even the mildest freeze will damage Tropical Hibiscus. Certainly, there are exceptions but for the most part these plants are often better treated as annual potted plants rather than set out into the garden. We will see if global warming changes these comments but for now you may want to try a hardier Hibiscus called "Rose of Sharon" or Hibiscus syriacus.
The difference being that Hibiscus syriacus is a deciduous shrub so it can live through the winter as a dormant plant rather than suffering through winter with an abundance of tender leaves.
There are some beautiful hybrids of this plant with varied sized flowers and colors. It is also fairly low water once it is established. Rose of Sharon is a large plant usually 6-8' tall and can be purchased as a single trunked  small tree or as a multi trunked large shrub.
They have a bit of yellow fall color and lovely small leaves.
Plant in full sun and in a spot with good air circulation. Water well at first to avoid wilting then taper off water to once or twice a week. Trim only for shape and do not shear, instead selectively prune away foliage that is diseased, dead or in need of clipping.

Pictured below ar Hibiscus syriacus 'Minerva', 'Diana', and 'Red Heart' (in order shown)

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