One of my favorite pieces of garden advice is to plant for blooms throughout the growing season, not just during the spring rush. So, my yard may never be chock full of blooms, and it is likely that there is always something unsightly due to dying back, but there is always a burst of color somewhere waiting to greet my eye. In August, this includes my stunning pink dinner plate hibiscus!
This hibiscus is one of the very last perennials to break the ground in spring, waiting until the weather is warm, about the first of June. Every year I find myself wondering if it will come up. And because it happens to be planted where I get a lot of volunteer larkspur in early spring, I try to keep watch and clear those plants from around it.
My plant is about five years old and displays a succession of blooms that sometimes weigh the stems down. Other than the petals getting chewed on if they hang all the way to the dirt, I have never had any insect or disease problems with it. It resides in the front yard, where the flower bed is watered by the lawn sprinkler system several times a week. But I’ve done next to nothing to amend the soil there, being impatient to plant after just taking time to scrape away the red lava rock. It may have gotten one layer of compost a couple of years ago. It is possible the soil acidity is affected by the spruce tree needles. The hibiscus is roughly 5 feet out of the spruce tree’s drip line.
The photo below gives a reference for seeing what size the blooms really are:
This close-up of the center shows that even the pistils and stamen are worth admiring. The flower’s large size would make it an excellent choice for dissection, easy on hands and eyes.
While many plants are heat stressed by this time of year, the dinner plate hibiscus defies the heat on a grand scale, flaunting its liquid pink like spiked punch at the garden party.