South African Garden and Home - - Growing Hibiscus -

There are about 60 species of hibis­cus indige­nous to South Africa rang­ing from small peren­ni­als to trees of up to 5m tall. Some are quite showy and well worth grow­ing. You’ll usu­ally find them at nurs­eries spe­cial­is­ing in indige­nous plants. The two most widely avail­able va­ri­eties are:

Hibis­cus pe­dun­cu­la­tus (pink mal­low) A dainty shrub that grows wild from the Eastern Cape to Mpumalanga, it reaches 1–2m high. It has strik­ing pink f low­ers and is rel­a­tively fast grow­ing, pro­vided it’s planted in fer­tile, rich and well-drain­ing soil and re­ceives plenty of light. It’s eas­ily prop­a­gated from seed and looks great in small groups placed towards the mid­dle or back of a peren­nial bed and in pots.

Hibis­cus ca­ly­phyl­lus (sun hibis­cus) This is adorned with bright lemonyel­low f low­ers with deep red to black cen­tres which at­tract birds and but­terf lies. The blooms close each evening. It’s a rel­a­tively large shrub (up to 3m high) so give it some space. It will grow in pots, as long as the con­tainer is of a good size. While it prefers moist, hot sum­mers it will tol­er­ate some cold. In frosty gar­dens, place it in a warm, shel­tered po­si­tion with some pro­tec­tion through win­ter.

H. pe­dun­cu­la­tus

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