Party Girl Hibiscus
The Hibiscus ‘Anne Arundel’ is blooming here on Walnut Hill. It’s a knockout (no pun intended) on the sunny hillside that also features Knock Out® roses, Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian sage), and Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ (Natchez crape myrtle) right now.
Perennial hibiscus (or rose mallow) is a conversation starter, because of its eye-catching, huge and flouncy petals. The clear colors are refreshing even on scorching Baltimore days. The blossoms are reminiscent of old-fashioned hollyhocks, and bigger than those on the tropical hibiscus plants grown as houseplants here in Baltimore.
Hardy hibiscus plants like full sun, good drainage and a spot where their three to seven foot heights at maturity will not block lower perennials. Occasional pruning helps to keep them from looking leggy. Because they leaf out late in spring, it’s easy to think they are dead. Usually, they are not; be patient.
All over Baltimore, we’ve spotted more varieties this summer: white ‘Blue River II,’ red ‘Lord Baltimore,’ pale pink ‘Kopper King, and another bright pink, ‘Lady Baltimore.’ Nice that so many carry Maryland names.
Regardless of which one, to know a perennial hibiscus is to want one.