Hibiscus are so well known by gardeners. The ‘Summerific’ Series are different in that they are deciduous, Yes, that is right they lose their leaves in winter but they are incredibly hardy. Initially there are several colours in this release from ‘Berrylicious’ - a good deep pink with a darker centre; ‘My Valentine’- strong velvety red; ’Tie Dye’ -shades of pink and white with a dark centre and ‘Midnight Marvel’ -the darkest of dark reds with purple foliage. Flowers are enormous up to 20cm in diameter and very showy. In the garden they need a protected position away from sever winds that could damage the foliage and flowers. Planted as a background to the garden they show out, the flowers are so large and dramatic.
Take your plant and put it into the garden when you get home. Most garden soils should be satisfactory, loosen the soil up and work in compost around the areas where you are planting. After winter Hibiscus ‘Summerific’will grow very fast from the underground crown. They will attain up to around a metre with a similar width. Be patient as the crown will take a while to get active after winter but by September you should begin to see activity. A truly dramatic plant as the leaves develop and then the huge flowers begin to open.
Hibiscus ‘Summerific’ cultivars respond to generous fertilisers. Apply a dressing each spring and if it can conveniently done mulch around them for the summer. Keep the ground moist, water deeply when needed. As the plant begins to close down for the winter recess prune back almost to ground level. This pruning must be done before spring comes. Make sure you have a stake near the plant to identify where it is during winter. As the plant begins to grow in early spring it will send up a shoot, sometimes several which need tip pruning to fill out the plant. This will give you more flowers for the season. Overall a plant that is easy to manage in the garden. Any insect pests will be the usual ones seen normally in gardens, treat in the usual way.
Hibiscus ‘Summerific’ are selected from breeding of members of the Rose-Mallow Hibiscus hybrids bred from species which are native to North America from Georgia to Northern Florida and as far north as Maryland, In the inland parts of the USA some species come from Virginia through to Ohio and from Pennsylvania to Minnesota. Species which are parents of the Rose-Mallow group grow in moderate to moist areas with good drainage.