Hibiscus is a group of large, late summer flowering plants with large, vibrantly coloured flowers. The flowers of perennial hibiscus, shrubs and trees feature delicate papery-crepe petals that form star or saucer shapes that can grow up to 12” (30 cm) in diameter. Colours range from hues of pink, white, red or orange to yellow, purple and peach. The huge sized and colorful flowers of hibiscus plants make them a showy addition to Okanagan gardens and landscapes.
As a member of the mallow family Malvaceae, the genus is quite large, comprising several hundred species that are native to a variety of temperate zones throughout the world. Hibiscus plants are widely spread in the Okanagan and are commonly known as “Rose Mallow” and “Rose of Sharon”.
Perennial Hibiscus, commonly known as Rose Mallow
Perennial hibiscus are non-woody plants which die back to the ground in the winter. They are hardy perennials in the Okanagan and their large dinner plate sized blossoms last from midsummer to early fall. Hummingbirds and pollinating bees are attracted to the colourful flowers, but deer typically pass them by. Perennial Hibiscus adapt to a wide range of soils, including clay, but prefer a moist but well-drained soil of average fertility. In the event of a prolonged summer drought, water as needed to maintain a healthy plant.
Summerific ‘Berry Awesome’ Rose Mallow
Summerific ‘Perfect Storm’ Rose Mallow
Summerific ‘Holy Grail’ Rose Mallow
Summerific ‘Spinderella’ Rose Mallow
|Growing Tips for Perennial Hibiscus
|Grow perennial hibiscus in full sun to light shade ▪ Never let them dry out, consistent moisture is critical ▪ Apply an extended release fertilizer once in late spring when new growth emerges ▪ This plant comes up later than most perennials ▪ Leave the woody stems standing until spring, then cut them down to 6” tall ▪ New growth will emerge from below ground, not on last year’s stems
Shrub Hibiscus, commonly known as Rose of Sharon
Shrub forms of hibiscus are bushy, woody plants that are cold hardy in zones 5-9. Many varieties reach heights of up to 12 feet. Their taller-than-wide shape makes them ideal for use of screening along a fence line or as a focal point near an entryway of a home. Single or double flowers, 2 to 3 inches wide are produced abundantly in summer. Butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy their nectar, but deer typically pass them by.
Blue Chiffon Rose of Sharon
White Pillar Rose of Sharon
Aphrodite Rose Of Sharon
|Growing Tips for Rose of Sharon
|Grow shrub forms of hibiscus in full sun ▪ When planting in fall, keep them watered consistently through late fall so they are well-hydrated going into winter ▪ Once established, plant requires average amounts of moisture ▪ If you wish to prune the plant to shape it, do so in early spring ▪ Apply an extended release fertilizer once in late spring when new growth emerges
Nicholas Alexander Home and Garden Centre carries the Okanagan’s most extensive collection of hibiscus plants. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you in finding the right plant for your garden.