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New hardy hibiscus

Updated on July 10, 2016
Patsybell profile image

I inherited my love of gardening from mother and grandmother. I am a garden blogger, freelance writer, and Master Gardener emeritus.

The Perfect Storm

Perennial hibiscus easily overwinter in our zone  4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b gardens.
Perennial hibiscus easily overwinter in our zone 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b gardens. | Source

The Perfect summer container flower

Dark foliage sets of the bright 6" blooms.
Dark foliage sets of the bright 6" blooms. | Source

Look for this plant

Summerific® hibiscus ‘Perfect Storm’

I’m excited about a new container perennial that grows on my deck. ‘Perfect Storm’ is a hardy hibiscus with giant white flowers and a bright red center. These big, bright blooms are the star of the show.

Summerific® hibiscus has huge, 7-8” wide, white flowers with a bright red eye.The hummingbirds love these exotic looking shrubs. Summerific® hibiscus series really are hardy hibiscus meaning dependable perennials.

I’m also growing ‘Summer Storm’ Hibiscus, but it gets too big for a small garden space (decks, patios). It's perfect growing out by the mail box where it gets a little afternoon shade. 'The earlier introduction, Summer Storm' looks like a grownup version of the new ‘Perfect Storm.’

The ‘Perfect Storm’ keeps the lush, green/deep red foliage while shrinking down the plant size. ‘Perfect Storm’ makes a great container plant or fits in a small garden space.

Only 3 feet tall, ‘Perfect Storm’ has huge, 7-8” wide, white flowers with a bright red eye that radiates out the veins, and petals edged with pink. Expect blooms from late summer into early fall.

Bring a bright, colorful tropical look to the patio this summer with Perfect Storm hardy hibiscus. Look for these three new hibiscus with huge, continuous blooms:

  • ‘Summer Storm’ Pink and fushsa
  • 'Cranberry Crush' dark and deep red
  • 'Berrylicious' Lavender, purple
  • plus, more colors in this series are coming next year

The bigger Summer Storm

The lush blooms steal the show while producing more blooms more every year.
The lush blooms steal the show while producing more blooms more every year. | Source

Care and colors

I love these dependable hibiscus. This spring Summerific® 'Cranberry Crush' Hibiscus hybrid will also find it's way into the back of the full sun border. 'Cranberry Crush' Hibiscus hybrid grows 3' to 4' tall with leathery green, maple-like leaves.

Care. The woody stems of perennial hibiscus should be cut back to 4-6" from the ground in the early spring. Before the plant leafs out, use pair of sturdy loppers or a saw to cut back the plant. This will encourage more branching and thus, more blooms.

Pruning is optional and not required to have a beautiful shrub. There will still be many blooms all summer.

Hibiscus is one of the last perennials to emerge in the spring. Be patient. When it does emerge, it grows quickly.

To really want to encourage full, bushy plants, when the shoots start to come out of the ground, about 6-10” high, pinch them in half. You may pinch 2 or 3 times before 4th of July, taking no more than half the stem and pinching just above a set of leaves.

Notes. This is a trial plant, sent to me by Proven Winners. It will be available in garden centers this spring. Summerific® ‘Perfect Storm’ – Rose Mallow – Hibiscus is thriving in my zone 6, Southeast Missouri, USA garden. Deer resistant. Attracts hummingbirds. Non-invasive. Performs best with regular watering.

Hardy hibiscus

Perfect hedge or cover

Fast growing shrub blocks the view of the neighbors unsightly  garage.
Fast growing shrub blocks the view of the neighbors unsightly garage. | Source

Sugar Tip Rose of Sharon

Got space? Look for this big and beautiful shrub: Rose of Sharon

Sugar Tip® Rose of Sharon Hibiscussyriacus'America Irene Scott' This sweet, double flowering pink Rose of Sharon or shrub althea just keeps getting bigger and prettier every year. Variegated foliage is attractive all season.

Sugar Tip® is a sterile cultivar that does not produce seed. This Rose of Sharon is a tough, long lived shrub, once established. Pruning is optional.

Loaded with soft 3” pink double blooms in summer. Fortunately, Sugar Tip does not produce seed like older cultivars. It is non-invasive, deer resistant and, attracts butterflies. It tolerates deer, drought, clay soil and, black walnut.

Grow as a color accent, hedge or screen

Care. This really is a care-free shrub that would make a good hedge or a accent specimen in the garden. Not particular about soil, just as long as it is not too wet or very dry. Pruning in winter is optional but not mandatory.

Plant in full or part sun, must have 2 hours of sun for maximum bloom. Add a couple inches of mulch or compost in spring. Liquid fertilizer in early summer is optional.

Note. This is a trial plant, sent to me by Proven Winners about five years ago. On it's arrival, in a quart size pot, I wasn't expecting much. Now, it is a traffic stopper in the neighborhood. The attention-getting foliage is beautiful all season. Today, it is 7' or 8' tall, it serves as a screen from the neighbors open garage.

Perennial hibiscus are here!

What else will you grow, now that you are Not buying hibiscus every summer?

Rose of Sharon in the bible

Popular Culture. The 1611 King James Version of the Bible is the first appearance of "rose of Sharon" in English. In the song of Solomon ch2 v1: "I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley". In the any different translations of the bible, the flower is variously thought to be a lily, jonquil or, a crocus.

In The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Rose of Sharon (we Okies say "Rosasharn") is the eldest daughter of the Joad family and the sister of Tom Joad.

Grandmother had a Rose of Sharon Quilt. Different versions can be found for free online. I found examples by Googling "Rose of Sharon quilt patterns."

© 2016 Patsy Bell Hobson


Submit a Comment
  • Patsybell profile imageAUTHOR

    Patsy Bell Hobson 

    2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    Once established in your garden, you must have faith that they will come back the following year. They are one of the last shrubs in the garden to green up.

  • RTalloni profile image


    2 years ago from the short journey

    How beautiful these new varieties are! Will definitely be looking for them to be available in our area. Thanks.

  • Patsybell profile imageAUTHOR

    Patsy Bell Hobson 

    2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    sgbrown This spring, my hibiscus looked dead. But don't give up. These are the last plant to return. But they do return every year. Enjoy!

  • sgbrown profile image

    Sheila Brown 

    2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    I love your hub! I have one hardy hibiscus, it is a beautiful deep red color and comes back every year. I will have to look for the "Summer Storm", it would go great in my front flower beds!

  • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

    Claudia Mitchell 

    3 years ago

    If you get 2 comments from me, my apologies, my keyboard froze. Anyway, I love that there are more varieties of hardy hibiscus. They really add a tropical feel to a garden in NW PA.

  • Patsybell profile imageAUTHOR

    Patsy Bell Hobson 

    3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    justthemessenger, I agree. If I didn't have two hardy hibiscus growing in my yard for a couple of years, I wouldn't believe it. Tropical hibiscus will curl up and die at the first freeze here in zone 6b. I buy several every year, treating them as annuals. But I will buy fewer as the hardy hibiscus establish themselves in my yard. Thank you for your comments.

  • justthemessenger profile image

    James C Moore 

    3 years ago from The Great Midwest

    "Hardy hibiscus" sounds like an oxymoron to me based upon my one attempt to grow it and the plant's reputation as a tropical flower that doesnt fare well in winter. Hibiscus fun fact: the tea made from hibiscus is delicious and healthy. I can vouch for that.

  • Patsybell profile imageAUTHOR

    Patsy Bell Hobson 

    3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    MsDora 3. Thank you for your comments. The hibiscus varieties just keep getting better. It seems as though you are in the ideal region to have success. Please let me know if I can answer any questions or offer any specific points.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    3 years ago from The Caribbean

    The summer storms are gorgeous. The hibiscus is among my favorite flower, and I am yet to have success growing one--not for lack of trying. You encourage me to try again.


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