Monday, July 28, 2008

Where to Find Perennial Hibiscus

Hibiscus moscheutos,commonly called swamp rose mallow, is a perennial hibiscus that can grow to 6-8' tall. These days growers are coming up with cultivars in a wide range of colors.

I saw a swamp rose mallow yesterday for the first time and thought it was the most beautiful flower. It reminded me of the tropics. I ran right to the computer and identified the species. Now I want to know where I can buy one. I live in Dix Hills, NY. Any ideas?

Hibiscus moscheutos is a great plant, and yes, very tropical looking, especially for being a native species. They do best in a full sun application, especially if you want them to set a lot of flower buds for their late summer bloom. As the common name implies, they also like to have pretty “wet feet”. In the past I have seen them growing naturally in wet, swampy or boggy areas, so make sure they get plenty of irrigation and the soil has good drainage. Certainly if you have any more questions about the cultural needs of this species let me know.

In the past I have found most garden centers or nurseries I drive-by on LI carry this plant in stock. Some places you might find carry them later in the summer because it coinsides with their naturally late-summer flower, but I hope you can track down a few in the next couple weeks. Also, if you know of any place near you that specializes in native plants then they would be a perfect place to approach and ask as well. Lastly, I will forward your query to Katherine Powis here in the HSNY Library as she has some great plant source references at her disposal.

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