ShadyGardens Blog

June 29, 2012

Texas Star Swamp Mallow: Native Hibiscus

Filed under: gardens, hardy, hibiscus, mallow, native, nursery, perennial, plant, Shady, southeast, star, Swamp, Texas — shadygardens @ 9:08 pm
Hibiscus coccineus, Texas Star, Swamp Mallow
Shady Gardens Nursery
One of the showiest summer bloomers in our garden this time of year is the Texas Star Hibiscus. A native plant of the Southeastern United States, Hibiscus coccineus is also known as Swamp Hibiscus, probably due to its love for moist soil.

Hibiscus coccineus is very easy to grow. It grows well near a pond or stream, and really enjoys a soggy spot. We have no pond, stream, or soggy spot in our garden–our Hibiscus is located in ordinary garden soil (that means dry hard clay in Georgia language). Admittedly, I do water it on occasion, but it grows bushier each year–we’ve had it several years now.

You can grow Hibiscus coccineus if you live anywhere in the south and as far north as USDA Zone 6!

Even before blooms begin in summer, Texas Star is a spectacular presence in the garden. Palmate leaves resemble Japanese Maple foliage and even have a reddish tinge.

Blooms are showy red star-shaped flowers appearing throughout summer and into Fall. The flowers can be up to 6 inches across!
Hibiscus coccineus dies down to the ground in winter but re-emerges in spring. By mid-summer this hibiscus will be 6-8 feet tall and look more like a shrub than an herbaceous perennial.
Texas Star Hibiscus does need full sun to bloom well, and you’ll need to water it weekly when rainfall is absent. Also a regular application of compost or composted manure will keep it growing well for you.

Source for Texas Star Hibiscus: Shady Gardens Nursery.

January 29, 2008

Rabbiteye Blueberry Bushes Easy to Grow in Georgia

Filed under: Becky Blue, Blueberries, blueberry, Bush, Climax, Georgia, plant, Premier, rabbiteye, shade, shrub, South, southeast, variety — shadygardens @ 3:52 pm

Many times Blueberry Bushes sold in our local garden center stores will not grow here in Georgia—they are not able to tolerate our summer heat and humidity. There are several “Rabbiteye” varieties recommended for the Southeast. Highbush blueberries will not thrive in our area.

When selecting blueberry plants for your garden, look for Becky Blue, Climax, Premier, Tifblue, or Woodard. For a good crop of berries, you will need 2 or more different varieties for cross-pollination.

Although blueberry bushes normally occur in the woods, more berries will develop when the plants receive at least half a day of sun and plenty of water.

The planting hole is important for getting the plant off to a good start. An effective planting method is to dig the hole twice as wide as the rootball and the same depth. Mix the soil with plenty of organic matter such as compost, manure, and peat moss. Place the plant in the planting hole and fill the hole completely with water before filling in with soil. After filling in around the roots with the amended soil, water again, and apply a thick layer of organic mulch to conserve moisture and keep the soil cool.

Water weekly. You’ll be eating blueberries every year, as long as you get to them before the birds do!

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