How to Grow Perennial Hibiscus

'Hibiscus moscheutos'

These tropical wonders, with their dinner-plate-sized blooms and tropical appearance, may seem like an impossibility in our perennial landscapes. The truth is, they’re really astonishingly easy to grow!

Here are a few tips to remember when growing perennial Hibiscus:

  • They love water during the growing season! Hibiscus moscheutos is one plant you do not have to worry about overwatering. As long as they have leaves on them, you can absolutely drown them and they will be very happy. If they go dry too many times, their buds tend to yellow and drop off before blooming, so make sure you keep up a deep watering schedule during the summer and early fall.
  • They love sunshine! Pick the sunniest, hottest, most toasty spot in your garden for them, so they have enough sunshine to produce their huge flowers.
  • They go completely dormant during the winter. Like, dead sticks dormant. Typically I cut mine back to about 12” or so in the early spring, just so I remember where they are, but expect the new growth to come from the very base of the plant near the soil line.
  • They like to hit the snooze button in the spring. When all other perennials and shrubs and trees are leafing out, these guys will look deader than most doornails until we get into very warm weather (sometimes as late as mid-July!). Never fear, once they start growing, just pour on the water, and they reach their breathtaking heights extremely rapidly. If you get concerned about your dormant hibiscus, simply check the roots to make sure they are robust and firm, or the stem just below the soil line to make sure it has green when you scratch it. If the roots look good, and there’s till green under the bark, they’re perfectly fine. Then all it takes is a little bit of patience for these sleeping beauties to rise.

Posted on July 17th, 2020

Anna Paolozzi, Green Goods Buyer