Post Hurricane Irene, I am reminded of my days in tropical places like Jamaica or Belize….ahhhh, I have such fond memories of sipping cool drinks and relaxing beach-side.  But you don’t have to fly or cruise south to have a tropical garden to preserve those memories or make your own.  Planting a few hibiscus will do the trick.

I have several kinds, and if I labeled properly, I could tell you the latin names….(still working on that one), but they are part of the mallow family. But I have fantastical pics to share and inspire you to grow hibiscus.

 Blooms aren’t the only feature to this beauty.  I adore the pods as well.

Bargain hunter that I am, most of these were bought actually this time of year or later in September when they look almost dead and are literally 50 or 75% off.   Most people pass by the discount tables because they fear it is a bad investment…Not me…I embrace the challenge.  Plus, I usually buy from local nurseries instead of big box stores…a little tip you should keep in mind.

Hibiscus is a cinch to grown.  They are fairly maintenance free.

  1. Plant in the fall or early spring for best results.
  2. They like nutrient rich soil and good drainage, although my flourish even in this NC clay.
  3. Add fertilizer early spring to maximize blooms.
  4. Remember, they aren’t evergreen, so landscape accordingly, (one of my neighbors has a fantastic front yard in the summer, but in the winter there is nothing b/c no evergreens.)  Consider a good mix to create a year-round garden.
  5. Cut back in mid-winter when all foliage is gone and stems look dead.
  6. Enjoy with your favorite festive beverage on a hot summer day or over coffee on a cool fall morning.

Go tropical with hibiscus–Dramatic and easy!

Happy Gardening!

melissa

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