A New Hibiscus Plant For the Yard

Living in Florida means growing at least one hibiscus in the yard.

orange hibiscus shrub
Newly Planted Hibiscus Shrub

One plant that every Florida yard should have is the fantastic hibiscus.

A hibiscus will bloom constantly for much of the year in Florida. It loves the sun and does extremely well in the hot and humid climate.

Hibiscus plants come in a wide variety of colors and types. Some can grow in northern climates, but the ones I refer to here are tropical. They will not die over the winter. It’s not really necessary to know your types (unless you are searching for something specific, or mail ordering) because local stores will sell the types that work in your area of the country, or world.

One problem I remember having is aphids that get on the flowers and plant, but this new hibiscus contained a tag that said it was protected from aphids, white flies, and some other bugs.  So we’ll see.

They are easy to plant.  Remove any grass in the area and dig a big wide hole.  Mix together some kind of fertilizer, bone meal, and or garden soil and add that back into the hole with some of the dirt that was removed.  Push the dirt down around the edge of the root ball and then water thoroughly… that means a lot.   If the plant still looks great the next day, then you did a good job.  Water again, and continue to water well until it gets established.

My new hibiscus has a double orange bloom, which looks like a ruffle compared to the flat types of flower. It was the prettiest flower I saw among the bunches of plants at the local Home Depot.  I planted it in a spot that should get a lot of sun year round.  Once I buy some mulch, I’ll put that all around the bottom to help keep the soil moist.  Then I can water it less often.

orange flowering hibiscus
Double Orange Hibiscus

Although I have mainly been shopping for plants at Home Depot, I prefer to support a privately owned nursery.  I am not very familiar with any around here.  I’ve already been to Lindleys, and wasn’t all that impressed.  One that I plan to visit is Garden Arts and is located on Flagler Ave. Generally I only go to the very touristy Flagler Ave. to eat at Breakers Restaurant. I will brave the crowds to eat a yummy fish sandwich while looking out at the ocean.

Some friends just told me about the Garden Arts nursery and suggested I visit.  I have a free parking pass for the beachside lot (yes, they charge to park now!), so I may do just that.  Then I will write a review about the place, and visit often … if I like it.

Now that I have a hibiscus growing in my yard, it’s a reminder that I’m settling into my new lifestyle which is a throwback to a very old life.  When I see my photos of the huge piles of snow, and remember suffering without power for days during ice storms, I really don’t miss dealing with those problems.  Walking out the door, without a coat on, day or night, is quite a sweet change of pace for me.

Buying Is Fun, Planting – Not So Much!

hydrangeas in pots
Newly purchased hydrangeas in pots

Going to the nursery and buying new plants for the yard is such fun. I love to imagine them each growing large and gloriously enhancing my landscape. But once I’m home and the work of digging and getting them into the ground begins, I’m not having as much fun.

Finding the right spot for them is the first obstacle to overcome. Some of them, in fact most of them, like sun with some shade. The blue “Endless Summer”, white “Blushing Bride“, the “Limelight” (I bought two), and the “Pinky Winky” all need to get some sun, but the “Pee Gee” wants shade.

Also, the full grown size of these plants needs to be considered. Hydrangeas don’t really need to be trimmed, so I want to give them all the space they need to look natural in their settings.

While I am considering all these things and watching my yard for the sunny spots, the plants sit in their pots. Each day they must be watered. Plants in pots dry out very fast. Then a freeze was predicted and I brought them all inside the garage for the night. I wouldn’t have worried had they been planted in the ground, but being in pots makes them more fragile.

I know they want out! And they will do some nice growing once they are in the ground. This weekend the weather in my part of New England will be fabulous, so I plan to get the planting underway.  After all, adding perennials to the yard is a wonderful and lasting gift you can give yourself.

Planting a New Hydrangea Shrub This Spring

Endless Summer Hydrangea
Image by Chiot's Run via Flickr

You don’t need a green thumb to grow hydrangeas, so why not plan to plant a new shrub this Spring. With just a bit of knowledge, you can have a beautiful and long lasting addition to your landscape in the form of big gorgeous blooms.

Once you’ve made the decision to add a hydrangea to your yard, find out which type you’d like to grow and if it is right for your planting / climate zone. There are many varieties and flower types. Most are shrubs but some can be little trees, such as the Pee Gee, so know what you are buying. Decide where you will plant it by searching for a spot in the yard that is free of tree roots and has plenty of sun. Also remember that the plant you buy will grow to be around four Continue reading “Planting a New Hydrangea Shrub This Spring”