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Hardy Hibiscus, these beautiful tropical shrubs are members of the large Malvaceae or mallow family. To thrive they require good light so best to plant in full sun to get a good show of blooms. Hibiscus, also known as rose mallow or Rose of Sharon, is a very useful shrub for late summer blooms. At a time when many garden perennials are starting to tire after a season of blooming, this hardy, reliable shrub will spring into the gap with a mass of brilliant blooms throughout August and September.
Introduced from Asia, hardy hibiscus shrubs have been grown in the UK for hundreds of years. They will be one of the last plants in your garden to leaf out in spring: do not fear, they are not dead! Once the foliage appears, they will be an unremarkable shrub until late July, when the blooms will start to appear in magnificent profusion, continuing into early October. Depending on the variety, you could have double or more commonly single blooms similar in shape to hollyhocks, each individual flower lasting a few days but followed by more, creating a spectacular show throughout the late summer.
Hardy throughout the UK, a hibiscus bush will grow to a mature height of 2.5-4 metres and spread of 2 metres. They can be pruned to a smaller size if desired after flowering, and will even come back from being cut back to the ground if more drastic restoration is required. They will do well in any moist, well-drained soil in full sun, sheltered from strong winds.
It is best to position your rose mallow shrub to work in tandem with other shrubs to provide a season-long show. Since its foliage is unremarkable, pair it with an attractive foliage plant such as Acer Palmatum Deshojo, or a spring-flowering shrub such as Spiraea Vanhouttei Gold Fountain.
The hibiscus is a hard-working, hardy and low-maintenance shrub which will give you two months of bright blooms year after year! It’s a great choice for your garden.
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