My favorite flower is hibiscus and I was wondering if I could grow them in Kentucky: would they survive?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Amanda in Kentucky: Hibiscus flowers are certainly a favorite among many gardeners. Here in Kentucky we can grow the tropical varieties outdoors during the warmer months but we have to over-winter them indoors since they will not tolerate our winter temperatures. These hibiscus are found in abundance at garden centers during the early summer months. They are usually shrub form but are also available as standards (tree form) and sometimes braided. We can also grow hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos), which are large shrubs reaching 4-6 feet every season. They produce dinner plate-size blooms, much larger than the tropical varieties. Hardy hibiscus can add a tropical feel to any sun-loving perennial garden here in Kentucky. They are deciduous shrubs that require pruning every year and as long as you have a space that will receive full sun (a minimum of six hours daily) during the growing season you should add one or more to your garden. They can be a bit harder to find than the tropical hibiscus but they are certainly available. You can ask at your local garden centers to see if they carry them or if they can order one for you. The most common colors available are white, pink, and red.