Hibiscus 'Etna Pink'

Common Name: hardy hibiscus
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Malvaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Light pink with dark crimson eye
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Wet Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun. Best in moist, organically rich soils, but does surprisingly well in average garden soils as long as those soils are not allowed to dry out. Regular deep watering is advisable. Tolerates some light shade, but full sun with good air circulation produces best flowers, strongest stems and the best environment for resisting potential diseases. Site in locations protected from wind to minimize risk of wind burn. Deadhead individual flowers to maintain plant appearance. Cut back stems to approximately 3-4" in late autumn. New growth shoots are slow to emerge in spring. However, once new growth begins, it proceeds quite rapidly and plants will benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season.

Noteworthy Characteristics

'Etna Pink' is a vigorous, sturdy, rounded, somewhat shrubby, woody-based hibiscus cultivar that typically grows to 2-3' tall and features dinner plate-sized, 5- petaled, hollyhock-like flowers (to 12" diameter) which are among the largest flowers produced by any perennial which is hardy to the St. Louis area. Flowers are light pink with dark crimson eyes. Each flower has a prominent and showy pale yellow tubular central staminal column. Individual flowers last only one day, but one or more flowers usually open each day, in succession, over a long mid-summer to early fall bloom period. Oval dark green leaves. This hybrid is part of the Mammoth Series.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spots, blights, rusts and canker. Japanese beetles, whiteflies and aphids are occasional insect visitors. Japanese beetles can severely damage foliage if left unchecked. Leaf scorch will occur if soils are allowed to dry out. Healthy plants grown in the proper environment usually do not need staking.

Garden Uses

Borders. Specimen, group or mass for landscape accent. Temporary hedge. Useful in low spots or wet areas in the landscape. Effective along streams or ponds.