A Love / Hate Relationship with Hardy Hibiscus

Occasionally there is that one plant that stops you in your tracks and cries ‘plant me’.  Some plants are easy to ignore while others – not so much.  One such plant that begged and begged and begged (I have considerable will power) is Cranberry Punch™ Hibiscus. 

Eventually my will power completely dissolved and into my car went a hibiscus.  I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal but, in fact, it is huge…a visit (or three) to the psychiatrist huge.

Why?  I hate, loathe, absolutely abhor hibiscus. It doesn’t matter which kind, Tropical (hibiscus rosa-sinensis), Rose of Sharon (hibiscus syriacus), or the Hardy Hibiscus (moscheutos) that I’m talking about here.  I hate them all equally.  Yes, I know the flowers are gorgeous but they don’t stay around for long and the foliage…ugh, don’t get me started!

And then one day it happened….

Let me tell you why I fell in love with Cranberry Punch™ Hibiscus.The color spoke to me first.  It cried out to me:  ‘I’m gorgeous.  You will love me.’  And I did!  The cranberry red flowers only bloom for one day but the buds are profuse so you will enjoy their spectacular show for quite some time.

Hibiscus Cranberry Punch
But let’s face it, we all know that there is more to life (and hibiscus) than beautiful flowers.  Many hibiscus plants lack interest when there are no flowers present.  Not this beauty.  The red vein in the leaves mirror the cranberry colored flower and is quite lovely even when not in bloom.  Simply pair it with the soft textured and upright form of ‘Fine Line’ Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula) and the delicate burgundy leaf of ‘Summer Wine’ Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolious) for a spectacular combination.

Best part of all?  Cranberry Punch™ Hibiscus is hardy!  No more planting Tropical Hibiscus every year, no more ‘but I thought I could keep it at 4 feet and it got to 12’ Rose of Sharon.  This variety tops out at 2-3 feet tall and wide so he fits in any sunny garden without taking over.  Plant it, cut it back every spring and enjoy!

Simple, gorgeous and easy.  What more can a girl ask for!