Thursday, June 23, 2011


A lovely tropical plant that will grow in our landscape here in Tucson is the hibiscus.  It loves sun and has lovely tropical and lush foliage.  There are many varieties that have red flowers, yellow flowers, orange flowers, red with yellow, orange and yellow, blue.....well there are a lot varieties that were created for different zones. After this winter, most of the hibiscus were killed to the ground or completely killed altogether. For that reason, I have a mixed opinion on whether one should plant this lovely bush into their landscape.  Personally, I like hibiscus in pots or planters, but I won't be putting it into the ground due to the ugly results of last winter's freeze.
BUT.....I think you should consider this lovely plant because it adds a nice focal point around your garden. I put this plant in pots and move it into my shed during the winter to protect from the freezes.  You should water this plant regularly and it does LOVE sun.  HOWEVER, if you can protect your hibiscus from the afternoon's intense last two or 3 hours of sun during the middle of summer, it will do well. So it loves sun, but with too much of it,  the leaves will burn. It also needs to be fertilized regularly.....about twice a year.  Here is some info on how to care for this lovely tropical here in Tucson.
"In our hot, dry part of the summer, hibiscus blossoms tend to desiccate at the junction of the flower and stem, causing them to drop off prematurely. As we cool down and have a bit more humidity, the flowers have much more tendency to open fully and stay on the plant longer. There are so many great hibiscus varieties it would be near impossible to list the good ones, but it’s easy to say there is one to suit every person’s color choice. Tucson is not a tropical climate, but in many parts of the valley it is almost easy to believe that. The biggest differences are the temperature fluctuations and lack of humidity most of the year. If either of these plants is being added to the landscape at this time of year, it should be soon so it can get settled in before we get close to freezing temperatures. If it is going into a container, it is much more easily protected during a freeze.
Enjoy these tropical beauties. They will soon be at their peak!" End of article.  Source:

One last item friends.  I would be negligent in my duties as Spanish teacher not to mention another positive about his plant.  Mexicans make a drink from the leaves of hibiscus known as "Jamaica" (Ha-my-ca) which is created from dry flower petals.   You can buy them at the store in large bags.  It's a delicious drink served cold in summer or it also makes a great hot tea. Squeeze a bit of lemon or lime and voila! You will need to boil first and than cool. Simple. Easy. Delish! Here's a recipe.....

Jamaica Flower Iced Tea Recipe
(Agua de Jamaica)

4 cups water
1/2 cup dried jamaica flowers
1/2 cup sugar
Another 3 cups of cold water
More sugar to taste
1 lime, thinly sliced


  1. Beautiful. I have a hardy hibiscus that does return each year and we get below 0 every year at some point. I waits until it is nice and warm before resprouting but seems to be getting bigger for me every year. The colors you shared are very pretty.

  2. Hello from TX,
    I saw the link to this post on the blogroll of another blog I visit frequently and since hibiscuses are my favorite plants, I just had to click the link to read more.
    Although I have several different hibiscuses, I do not have any of them planted in the ground. They are all in containers. Our last winter was unusual long and cold for our region here in the Houston area and I had to bring my hibiscuses together with the other tropical plants that also have in containers into my garage for several times. If I would have left them out in the cold, even covered with a sheet, they would for sure not have survived. I lost some of my hibiscuses due to temperatures dropping down to freezing and below in other years and learned my lessons. Even if the cold does not completely kill the plants, it takes a long time for a hibiscus to recover and them to start blooming again.

    Happy Gardening
    Paula Jo


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