With our ongoing drought, premature high temperatures, and predictions of more of the same in coming months, I’ve been watching plants that are still performing as usual without extra care and that provide summer color. Four of these are rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), common or swamp rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), a tropical hibiscus, and cannas (Canna spp.).
Hibiscus syriacus is a hardy species that grows from about three to six feet wide by 10-
16’ tall. There are colors and sizes to fit most peoples’ needs. It blooms on new wood meaning that the flower buds will form in the current year. Thus, if it is pruned, it should be done in late fall, winter, or early spring. If planted where they have room to grow, these plants need very little pruning. The only pruning I have done is to remove dead wood and an