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Most people have heard of the Hibiscus flower. The most popular is probably a Tropical Hibiscus found in southern Florida, Mexico, and maybe Hawaii. However, there are varieties of Hibiscus that are permanent plants in the ground in north Alabama.

One of the varieties is called Althena or Rose of Sharon. It is a large shrub or small tree, much like crape myrtle, but the other variety is called Hardy Hibiscus. Hardy Hibiscus is a dependable perennial that grows to a large shrub in size. They bear large dinner plate size flowers starting around the first of July. Hardy Hibiscus are typically pinks, reds, whites, or bicolored. The flowers only last a day, but have no fear; they will bloom each season and bloom on and off for the next several weeks.

Hardy Hibiscus prefers full sun and tolerates light shade. They appreciate regular watering and could handle too much instead of too little. When colder weather arrives, these plants will freeze for the wintertime. Once the plant is frozen, it’s appropriate to cut them down to about six inches tall. However, no extra winter protection is needed. In the Spring, the flowers will not emerge until late Spring when the ground is truly warm.

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