Name: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis aka tropical Hibiscus
Type of Plant: A shrub in warm climates, and a flowering patio plant in northern areas.
Why I Love This Plant: The flowers on this plant are large and often bright in color. For the northern gardener, this plant provides a touch of the tropics and showy flowers for pots on decks and patios. You can find tropical hibiscus in smaller bush form and made into a standard, with the green and flowers at the top of a tall stem.
A Word to the Wise: To keep this plant flowering all summer, clip off the faded blooms…they are only open one day, so remove the wilted ones. Secondly, keep the plant evenly moist – don’t let the soil dry out too much between waterings since that will cause the plant to slow flower production. Use a general synthetic fertilizer every month, or apply a time-release fertilizer in late-May.
If you want to keep this plant from year to year, buy a bushy form or one with a single stem. The types that have a braided stem can choke and kill the plant as that braid grows.