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Hardy hibiscus is such a wonderful perennial providing drama and color late in the season. These beauties are unaffected by cold snaps and produce flowers which are enormous, yet delicate, as if they were fashioned out of crepe paper. During last night’s advanced photography class, the students photographed a large bud that I suspected would ‘pop’ today.

"Paper Moon" (Hardy Hibiscus) Nikon D300, 550mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/13, 1/100s, -0.3EV, ISO 400

"Paper Moon" (Hardy Hibiscus) Nikon D300, 550mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/13, 1/100s, -0.3EV, ISO 400

I was right! Late afternoon, I captured the lovely blossom just as the petals were unfurling. This bloom, measuring about 8 inches across (wow!), happens to have white petals with a dusting of blush pink along the edges. Since my plant is a mixed variety, there is no telling what other colors will emerge!

When most things in the garden are dying back, hardy hibiscus is a nice treat!

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2 Comments

  1. Ooh! 8 inches eh? I could use some late season blooms like this. What is planting season for these?

    • Yep – sometimes even bigger!

      I don’t think you’ll see these at the nursery until August as, that is when they can start to bloom (nursery plants always bloom earlier than what is in the landscape). They are pretty easy to grow but don’t confuse them with regular hibiscus that won’t survive the winters! The trick to these hardy varieties is to NOT prune out the dead wood until you see new green shoots coming up! This can be as late as early July. My plant doesn’t seem to be doing as well this year as it has in years past. Only a few shoots. I think it is being crowded out by my very invasive Loosestrife!


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