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ISO Compact, Dark-leafed Hardy Hibiscus w/Large Blooms

Tuskegee, AL(Zone 8a)

Is this a unicorn? The ones I'm finding are either single-stalked or leggy and most have smaller blooms.

Is it always a choice for foliage, form or flower size?

The picture is of Kopper King, which often has larger blooms, but mainly produces a single spike with little lateral growth.

I see most posts here are about tropical hibiscus, so I hope this isn't out of place. If there is a better forum for my question, please redirect me.

Thank you very much for your input!

Thumbnail by SilkKnoll
Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

That is absolutely gorgeous!!!!! Wish I had one. Must put that on my must have list.

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

When the plants are about 2 ft. tall, if you pinch out the tops you will have a much bushier plant ~ more branches, more blooms, more compact.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Silk, this is my hardy hibiscus that I have had for over 15 years. I have over 10 different varieties now growing in my garden that are in their second year. I also have about 30 babies in my holding garden I purchased on a cubits co op. Mine always put out a single stalk with about 10 blooms on each stalk. That is on the one that is 15 years old. I moved it to our new home 8 years ago. This year it has about 20 stalks. I would be very nervous cutting back but next year I will try it on a couple of stalks to see what happens. I just plant them close and then they spread. I just lucked out starting with hardy hibiscus with a gift from my father. I had only one until last year when I found there are many new varieties. There are also varieties that have very colorful leaves to keep interest in the garden when they are through blooming.

Thumbnail by WormsLovSharon
Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

More Fleming hybrids to consider http://www.flemingsflowers.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=30 (hit the 'next plant' button)

(Karen) Frankston, TX(Zone 8a)

WormsLovSharon, I am curious as to why you say you would be nervous cutting back the stalks on a hardy hibiscus? Where I live they are meant to be cut back every year, they die back in the winter. You cut the dead stalks off and they sprout fresh from the ground ever year, bigger and better than ever, with more, and stronger stalks, bigger and better flowers...

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

Heres a picture of the hardy hibiscus in the yard across the street from me. It gets no care from the jerk that lives there and if he can he mows some of it down whenever he can. I collected seeds from it last year when he cut it down and threw it over the fence. Now I have about 25 seedlings growing.

Now that he is selling out to move back to Florida, I hope someone who likes to garden moves in there.

Thumbnail by marti001
Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

I cut it down in the winter but someone suggested you cut it back while growing to make it bushier. That made me nervous.

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

I didn't suggest cutting it back, only pinching out the leafy tips. From the article here: http://www.gpnmag.com/Hibiscus-moscheutos-Pyrenees-Pink-article4243

"To help promote lateral branching, pinch the hibiscus, retaining 4-6 leaves on each branch. Pinching will provide more branches, more flowers and a fuller plant."

(Karen) Frankston, TX(Zone 8a)

ah..I see..thanks for the info!

Tuskegee, AL(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the input. I wonder if strategic pruning will work on those (like Kopper King) that tend to make single stalks.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

The pinching technique that Moby linked to should work for any H. moscheutos--it's not specific to the cultivar in the article. But make sure you're pinching rather than doing a lot of pruning--even pinching will delay flowering a little bit so if you do too much pruning you may not give them enough time to bloom before they die back for the winter.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

OK, I am confused but that is not abnormal. I will read about the pinching a few more times and then come back with questions. I have about 20 different varieties of Hardy Hibiscus but have always settled for their single stalk. Each of my plants have multiple stalks.

(Karen) Frankston, TX(Zone 8a)

haha, Sharon, I am confused too! you say your Hardy's have single stalks? And then each of your plants have multiple stalks? I am trying to build a mental picture here....I have about 5 years experience with Hardy's but am not really book smart...mine usually put out about 8-10 stalks strait from the ground. What do you mean when you say single stalks please? I am trying to learn more

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I think Sharon probably means that there are multiple stalks coming up from the base, but the individual stalks just go straight up and do not branch off at all.

(Karen) Frankston, TX(Zone 8a)

Oh, duh! Smacks self upside head! Well that is strange indeed!

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Here is a photo.

Thumbnail by WormsLovSharon
Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

Sharon, that looks like the one that the jerk across the street has and I have 20 seedlings from it.

Here is a picture of it.

Thumbnail by marti001
Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Looks the same but that does not mean anything about plants. I have had the plant for over 15 years. I moved some of it when we built this home. I have no idea the name. How did you get the seeds to germinate. I tried with no luck.

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

I just took a 4 inch pot with planter mix and sprinkled some seeds on top of the soil, pressed them in a little and watered. Than I keep it in the bathroom, I did not realize that I had put that many seeds in there, but I have about 20 little seedlings.

Beginners Luck????

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

worms ~ your poor germination rate may be due to insects. Lots of good infor here http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1055744/

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Thanks. That was great info. Here is a bloom from this morning. I will have to move to a more sun filtered area because by noon yesterday the bloom had closed. That is not bad news, just gives me more area for my new Irises. Bad news is the area they need to be moved to needs to be dug and then amended. I had the gardeners thin out the African Sumac branches away from the patio to stop the constant mess and when I did that I allowed our 110 degree sun to shine directly on the plants. I did not even think about that at the time. Live and learn. It is unfortunate that they are blooming the same time as our heat wave.

Thumbnail by WormsLovSharon
Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

Whats so funny is that the seeds had bugs and I put them in the freezer for 2 weeks than took them out and serveral weeks later planted them. I think even the ones with hole in them germinated.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

That is disgusting. I did everything by the book and came up with Nada. Just plain luck.

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

Sharon, when I'm sure that my seedlings are ready for traveling, so you want me to send you some?

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Actually I have 30 babies in my holding garden I purchased from a close out co op on cubits. And I have about 10 I purchased last year from Plants Delights that are blooming right now. I really do not need any more, just wanted to see if I could do it. But thank you so much for asking.

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

Ok, I'll just have to find homes for them in my yard. Or maybe I'll be luck and the two places next to me will sell to gardeners and I can share with them.

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

Sharon, if you're still hesitant about pinching, here is the result ~ a nice full-looking bush. :)

Thumbnail by Moby
Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

Moby, now that's a bush! How beautiful. At what point did you start pinching? When the plant had so many sets of leaves or got to be a certain height? Before it put out buds? I have a few hardies that are just starting to get some size and I'd like a bushy plant like yours but don't want to delay the blooms since it is already the middle of July.

thanks,
d

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

I pinch mine only once when they're around 18" ~ they usually have several sets of leaves by then and no buds. Maybe you could try pinching just a few stems?

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

Alright, I am convinced but now I am from Missouri and you have to show me how. If the 18" stalk has 10 sets of leaves, how many and where do I take them off. I am assuming you take them off on the outside to encourage growth outward. I am anxiously waiting because I have at least 10 new varieties and I will do this next spring. And I have about 30 new babies I got from a co op buy out from a grower on Cubits. Thank you so much in advance.

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5b)

You only pinch out the tip where the new leaves are emerging at the top. This article about herbs is the best I can come up with with any kind of graphics. http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/106/

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

thank you...I'll give it a try!

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