Common Name: hardy hibiscus
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Rosy red
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Suggested Use: Annual, Rain Garden
Tolerate: Deer, Wet Soil
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. 'Disco Belle Rosy Red' is a seed-propagated F1 hybrid, and seed may be purchased from a number of mail order catalogs.
'Disco Belle Rosy Red' is a compact, vigorous, sturdy, erect but somewhat shrubby, woody-based hibiscus cultivar that typically grows to only 2.5' tall and features dinner plate-sized, 5-petaled, hollyhock-like flowers (to 9" diameter) which are among the largest flowers produced by any perennial which is hardy to the St. Louis area. Flowers are rosy red. Each flower has a prominent and showy pale yellow tubular central staminal column. Individual flowers are very short-lived (1-2 days), but one or more flowers usually open each day, in succession, over a long mid-summer to early fall bloom period. Large, ovate, green leaves. Also commonly called rose mallow or swamp rose mallow. Species is a U.S. native of marshes, swamps and stream banks from Massachusetts to Alabama and west to Michigan.
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.
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.