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What You Need To Know When Ordering Exotic Hibiscus

So you are blown away by the photos of these new gorgeous hibiscus, and want nothing more than adding them to your own garden? You are in good company - we are too! Before you place your order here are a few thoughts that will help you make the selection that suits you.

Grow Zones

All hibiscus sold by HVH are tropical and can't tolerate frost. Suitable areas for outdoor cultivation year round are Florida, South Louisiana, South Texas, South Coastal California and Hawaii. For other areas, you need to provide frost protection (where temperatures drop just below freezing) or over-winter the plants indoors in light, frost free conditions. Or you can treat your hibiscus as annuals and buy new plants every year.

Light Requirements

Modern hibiscus don't have the same light requirements as their predecessors. Although your plants won't die in all day sun, they will only rarely reach their full potential. Morning or afternoon sun is to be preferred with shade or dappled light the rest of the day. However, to set buds all hibiscus need at least 2-3 hours of direct sunlight every day, especially important to think of for plants grown indoors.

Plant Shipping Size

Please understand that some varieties are slower growers than others, or some were planted later, and the size of the plants will vary. All are healthy and actively growing and their roots have reached the bottom of the 6" pots they come in. The top growth varies by cultivar from 12" to 24" in height, measured from the bottom of the pot. Some varieties will bloom shortly after arrival while others may require another 2-6 weeks before buds appear on the plants.

Mature Plant Size

HVH hibiscus are generally shorter and more compact than older garden varieties. Sizes mentioned in the store are for mature bushes. The average maximum mature bush size is 4-6 feet. Cultivars with bush sizes outside this range are so marked in the store. Small, compact bush refers to plants of 2-3 feet height, medium are bushes in the 3-4 feet size, while tall means a bush above 6 feet. Container grown plants or plants that are pruned regularly will be shorter than the sizes mentioned.

Bush Qualities

All hibiscus are not created equal thus not all cultivars we offer have the same type of bush. Pay attention to the bush description for each cultivar. If the bush isn't particularly mentioned the plant has an average type bush, meaning it can be grown into a good-looking plant with judicious pruning. For bushes that branch well and grow into handsome plants with less effort we refer you to our Tried & True Hibiscus webpage.

Flower Size

Flower size is variable due to growing conditions, feeding schedules and watering. The flower sizes given in the store are guidelines based on the sizes we have observed in our growing conditions. These plants are on a regular feeding and watering schedule. If you grow your plants in full sun, water sparingly, allow them to suffer from pest attacks, or don't feed regularly, your blooms will be smaller than the sizes stated.

Flower Color

Nothing varies so much on these tropical hibiscus as color. We try to be as accurate as possible but can't cover all variations. Some blooms fade more than others and we have tried to indicate that in the description. Some color variations are due to light conditions, season, type of fertilizer, etc. Spots and streaks tend to be seasonal with more markings on hot summer days than in the depth of winter.

Hibiscus Plant Care

Caring for these new varieties takes a little bit of skill but with the aid of this website you will do fine and your plants will be beautiful. Our special Hibiscus Care Section provides extensive information for growing these beauties. At the top left of every page on our website, there is a sign-up for our free monthly newsletter that will keep you updated with seasonal care and information on new products that make a gardener's life easier. If you need more information, the HVH "Growing Hibiscus at Home" CD is the ultimate helper in getting the most out of your plants. Welcome into the fold of fellow hibiscus growers!

The best of luck with your plants!

Hidden Valley Hibiscus