May 20, 2019

Tropical Dream

Hardy hibiscus

Janine Pineo Photo | Hardy hibiscus

On a hot summer afternoon at Rogers Farm in Stillwater, it didn’t seem odd to see a hibiscus in full bloom. But in the depths of winter, it seems odd that the same hibiscus is hardy enough to withstand a Maine winter. Labeled only as hardy hibiscus, this pure white variety has no eye, unlike most other rose mallows. It looks much like Hibiscus Blue River II, which grows 4-5 feet tall with up to a 3-foot spread and blooms from July through September. Hardy to Zone 4, it will grow in much of Maine, preferring full sun and moist soil.