There’s always a place for a tropical vibe in the garden, no matter where you live. We at Wallace’s are happiest when the hibiscus is in bloom, and that’s why we stock up on so many perfect perennial varieties for you. The best part about perennial hibiscus varieties is that you don’t have to say goodbye to those large blooms when the summer is over, there are many cold hardy hibiscus flowers to choose from. Let’s dive deeper into some of these giant bloomers sure to add the perfect colors to your Bettendorf backyard!
Hibiscus for Iowa Gardens
Iowa can be cold, we know! But you might be surprised to know that hibiscus—a very tropical looking plant—can live quite happily in our coldest winters. Often called hardy hibiscus, these perennial favorites (Hibiscus moscheutos, or rose mallow) hail from wet floodplains, marshes, and meadows, and make outstanding additions to borders for visual impact. As sun-lovers, make sure they get plenty of daily rays for those repeated, large blooms (up to 10” across!), and plant them at the back of borders or on their own to allow their height to triumph in the garden.
When winter does come to Iowa, perennial hibiscus will die right back to the ground. To help it survive cold weather, cover the ground around your plant with a good mulch to protect the root ball from cold damage. You can also wrap a gardening fabric or burlap around the plant to keep the cold, biting winds and snow out.
If you’re into creating that exotic vibe in your Bettendorf garden this year, here are some of the coolest perennial hibiscus lining our nursery shelves right now, hand-picked just for you:
Midnight Marvel Hibiscus: This herbaceous perennial hibiscus grows in an upright spreading habit and blooms large, deep reddish-purple flowers from mid-summer to early fall. This beauty grows to 5 feet in height and 6 feet wide and is ideal for mass planting or border designs.
Starry Starry Night Hibiscus: On the lighter side, this pale-pink and white perennial hibiscus contrasts strikingly with deep purple (almost black) foliage. Not only a show-stopper, this variety attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, too!
Summerific Perfect Storm Hibiscus: Much like a pink, frilly summer dress, the Summerific perennial hibiscus dazzles the garden with a touch of whimsy. Reaching a height and width of about 3 feet at maturity, plant this bloomer in a compact border for an eye-catching display.
Valentine’s Crush Hibiscus: If bold is in the budget, go for this vibrant cherry red variety. The Valentine’s Crush has pretty, glossy dark green foliage that blends in well to a mixed border. Leaves are pointed, and change color to a coppery-bronze through the season.
When shopping for hibiscus for your Iowa garden, these Rose of Sharon varieties offer a classic, cottage-style look:
Lil’ Kim Rose of Sharon: A more delicate, compact perennial hibiscus, this variety displays flowers in a shell-pink color with red blotches and veins. With the proper care, Lil’ Kim can live for 40 years or more! This variety will tolerate partial shade, but prefers full sun for maximum bloom potential.
Starburst Chiffon Rose of Sharon: A vibrant, attention-grabbing hibiscus, this variety displays a double white bloom with deep burgundy veining. Starburst Chiffon grows a little leggier than others, but does well when used as a container plant.
Blue Bird Rose of Sharon: A higher-maintenance perennial shrub, the Blue Bird has a height potential of 10 feet and displays glorious sky blue flowers with ruby-red throats. Plant at the back of a border with shrubs of varying texture for an exciting visual composition. This perennial hibiscus also makes excellent hedging, and can be grown in containers.
Some amazing perennial hibiscus to make you hungry include these tasty-sounding bloomers:
Candy Crush Hibiscus: With large, bubblegum-colored blooms and dark, red eyes, choose this bright hibiscus for a sweet summer show. Another fast-grower, give this variety lots of sunlight, too!
French Vanilla Hibiscus: A fresh, perennial summer bloom with buttery-yellow flowers that feature crimson eyes, the French Vanilla hibiscus is perfect for container planting. Being a compact, vigorous grower, ensure this hibiscus gets plenty of sunlight and water.
Blackberry Merlot Hibiscus: Featuring deep velvety-red blooms produced above a tight, upright habit of bold, deep green leaves. This hibiscus makes an ideal centerpiece for a garden with bright and beautiful colors!
Looking for the perfect perennial hibiscus for your Iowa garden this summer? We’ve got all of these show-stopping blooms and so many more. Come see us today for the full collection, and advice on how to keep these beauties growing for years to come!