Approximately a year ago I authored a blog regarding hibiscus plants successfully growing in Minnesota. In this piece I would like to provide some continuing information on a particular hibiscus I have been working with for a couple of years.
I planted a hibiscus ‘Sultry Kiss’ in an experiment replacing a failed hibiscus ‘Fireball’ that was the beginning of said experiment. The hibiscus ‘Fireball’ is a great specimen and labeled Zone 4 hardy. However, this one failed after just one season.
After some deliberation and research I chose hibiscus ‘Sultry Kiss’ as the next candidate. I suppose the main reason this variety was picked is it has a similar bloom size to that of the ‘Fireball’.
This hibiscus was planted the end of April 2015 in a #1 container. All of the care guidelines at the beginning of this original study were followed. This was also planted in the exact same place as the hibiscus ‘Fireball’ in order to maintain consistency.
The hibiscus ‘Sultry Kiss’ turned out to be an instant winner. The root structure took hold quickly and the plant health never faltered. This plant was about 5’ tall and 4’ across at season end 2015. The average daily bloom on it was 10 new flowers and some days it would hit 18 blooms.
Hibiscus does not like to be bothered by the wind. It does not take a lot of wind loading to stress and break their canes. As the plant becomes established, I highly recommend putting a legitimate steel cage on it. Once the plant is big enough to gain the wind load, it will be too late in the season to recover the damage. This ultimately greatly reduces the bloom quantity. Gerten’s Greenhouses & Garden Center carries a nice selection of large steel cages that are painted green. You truly don’t know that this support is even in the plant once it’s grown in late spring/early summer.