17
July
2012

Hibiscus ‘Luna Red’

hibiscusAlthough we treat it as an annual, Hibiscus ‘Luna Red’ is really a perennial and hardy in the Cincinnati area. It requires absolutely no maintenance—just stick it in and the plant will thrive. It is very drought tolerant once it’s established. For example, we planted a couple of ‘Luna Reds’ out by the barn where the soil is a mixture of concrete, clay and rock. Even though we never water them, they’ve been thriving and blooming since we threw them in there.

The natural season for Hibiscus began about three weeks ago, and they will keep putting forth large, two-foot blooms all summer long. Although the day length will slow them down in autumn, they will keep on blooming until the frost gets them.

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Don’t confuse this Hibiscus with the Wild Rose of Sharon that is commonly planted around here (sometimes called Swamp Mallow). The Sharons have a hibiscus-like bloom, but their flower is much smaller. We consider them to be the wild dandelions of the shrub world. Why would you want that when you could have ‘Luna Red’—tough as nails with brilliant red blooms the size of dinner plates?

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In a garden bed, Hibiscus ‘Luna Red’ is a great foundation plant. It will grow three or four feet tall when mature, and it stays clean and grand looking all summer long—no deadheading, no pests, no fungus. The plant does die back to the ground in winter, and it starts late in the spring, emerging about the same time as Buddleias.

Bear in mind, our Summer Hibiscus is grown specifically for the summer trade—these are not spring leftovers. Contrary to the common wisdom, Cincinnati’s gardens do not shut down for the summer, and we do strong book-of-business supplying the summer trade. If you need fresh material grown specifically for Cincinnati’s high summer, we have a great selection in prime condition.

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Diefenbacher Greenhouses is a supplier of annuals and creative green goods. We sell directly to Garden Centers and Landscapers in the Cincinnati Area. 

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