Hibiscus' big, showy flowers make them a garden treasure

By Larry Sagers

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Aug. 26 2012 2:00 p.m. MDT

Lady Baltimore produces pink flowers with red centers on a 5-foot plant, and Lord Baltimore features red, 10-inch flowers. Disco Belle Mix is a shorter plant that grows only 2 to 2.5 feet tall, but it still has elegant 10-inch flowers. The color range goes from white to pink to dark red.

The Southern Belle series is also more dwarfed and offers red, pink or white 10-inch flowers on 3-foot plants. Mallow Marvels touts as its outstanding feature a stronger, more shrub-like plant that grows to 3 feet. It has red, white and pink 6-inch flowers. Super Rose produces pink flowers on 3-foot plants.

The Luna series is a great seed-grown release. It has white, red, pink and blush (white with pale pink edges and overlay) flowers.

For something more unusual, look for the Fleming hibiscus series developed in Nebraska. They are hardy to minus-30 degrees and would survive in some higher mountain valleys. Kopper King grows up to 4 feet tall and has 10- to 12-inch white to pink flowers with a red and hot pink eye-zone that streaks to the petal edges. The leaves are copper red and have a maple cut shape.

These are not the only ones available. Spend time finding the right ones for your landscape and get them planted. They will become some of the most enchanting plants you have ever grown.

Larry A. Sagers is a horticulture specialist for the Utah State University Extension Service at Thanksgiving Point.

Garden tips and events

The final Garden Talks in the Park is Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Brigham Young Historic Park on the Southeast corner of State Street and North Temple.

The title of this week's discussion is "The Dahlia Diaries: Stars of the Autumn." The talk is free and all ages are welcome.

Wasatch Community Gardens' Tomato Sandwich Party and Fall Plant Sale is set for Saturday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Grateful Tomato Garden, 800 South and 600 East in Salt Lake City.

Participants can sample heirloom tomato harvest with pesto made from homegrown basil and fresh locally made bread. Plants will also be up for sale.

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