Hibiscus (Hardy) hi-BISK-uhs
Hardy hibiscus is fully hardy in USDA zones 4-9 which means the plants survive winter temperatures as low as -20°F. It shrugs frost off like a champ. Since it dies back to the ground each winter, there is no need to mulch the stems through the colder months. Though it looks tropical and fragile, hardy hibiscuses are tough plants that don’t require coddling. With at least one of its parents being native to low-lying, damp soils, hardy hibiscus is a great fit for poorly drained areas. However, it also thrives in average garden soil. Amend the soil with compost prior to planting and keep the plants well-watered during times of drought. Select a site that receives full sun. Shadier conditions result in too-tall stems that flop under the weight of the flowers. A minimum of 6 hours of full sun per day works, but 8 or more hours is ideal. This large, upright shrub is striking as a border or it can be featured in a landscape or used as a focal point. This is a low-maintenance shrub once it has time to settle in, so planting in early summer will ensure enough time for roots to establish before winter. Butterflies are drawn to the large blooms as an added perk, but the foliage is deer resistant.