Do bees like marigolds

Do Marigolds Repel Bees: Learn About Marigolds And Honeybees

Many of our favorite herbs and flowers can be beneficial partner plants in the garden. Some repel bad insects, others fix nitrogen in the soil and still others attract pollinators necessary for fruit to develop. If you have a bad and annoying bee population that you wish to repel without chemicals, searching among plant companions may be a good idea. Do marigolds repel bees? Marigolds emit quite a stench and may have the potential to deter some bees from hanging around, at least in high numbers.

Do Marigolds Repel Bees?

Honeybees are beneficial insects that drive pollination to many of our plants. However, there are other insects that we lump into the classification of “bees,” which can be irritating and even down-right dangerous. These might include hornets and yellow jackets, whose swarming behavior and vicious stings can ruin any outdoor picnic. Using natural methods to repel these insects is smart when animals and children are present. Planting marigolds to deter bees may be just the right solution.

Marigolds are common companion plants, especially for food crops. Their pungent odor seems to ward off numerous insect pests, and some

gardeners even report they keep away other pests, like rabbits. Their sunny, golden lion-like heads are an excellent foil for other blooming plants, and marigolds bloom all season.

As to the question, “will marigolds keep bees away,” there is no proven science that they will, but a lot of folk wisdom seems to indicate that they can. The plants do not repel honeybees, however. Marigolds and honeybees go together like beans and rice. So increase your marigolds and honeybees will come flocking.

Planting Marigolds to Deter Bees

Bees see light differently than us, which means they also see color differently. Bees see colors in the ultraviolet spectrum so the tones are in black and gray. So color isn’t really the attractor for honeybees. What attracts the bees is scent and the availability of nectar.

While the scent of marigolds may be rather repulsive to us, it doesn’t particularly bother a honeybee who is after the nectar and, in the process, pollinates the flower. Does it repel other bees? Wasps and yellow jackets aren’t after nectar in spring and summer when they are most active. Instead, they are seeking protein in the form of other insects, caterpillars, and yes, even your ham sandwich. Marigolds are, therefore, unlikely to be of any interest to them and they won’t be drawn to their scent or need their nectar.

We haven’t really got a definitive answer on whether marigolds can repel invading bee species. This is because even bee keepers seem to differ on whether they can prevent carnivorous bees. The advice we can give is that marigolds are lovely to look at, they come in a wide array of tones and forms, and they bloom all summer long so why not put some around your patio.

If they do double duty as insect deterrents, that is a bonus. Many longtime gardeners swear by their use and the flowers do seem to repel many other pest insects. Marigolds are widely available and economical to grow from seed. In the battle against picnic pests, their attributes seem to add up to a winning experiment with many other advantages.

Note: this article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may be paid a referral fee at no expense to you.

There are literally hundreds of plants that honey bees like. However, some of them are such bee magnets that’s they’re a cut above the rest. So if you can’t stand having bees around, you might want to watch out for the plants in this list.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are agriculturally important to humans, so bee pollination is always welcome for huge farms.

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If there’s one plant that pairs with bees tremendously, it’s definitely the sunflower.

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are giants that are often used for their seeds and oil. These tall flowers can measure up to 5 to 10 feet with massive blooms that can reach 8 inches in diameter. The biggest one ever recorded was raised in Germany. It reached a humongous 30 feet.

With its height and bright yellow color, the sunflower is like a lighthouse for pollinating bees, specially on a bright sunny day. However, hope’s not lost for bee allergic gardeners who really want to have this flower. That’s because there are pollen-free varieties that you can try out.

Marigolds

Golden fields of marigolds conveniently repel mosquitoes but attract a multitude of bees.

In our previous post, we talked about how marigolds can repel mosquitoes. But did you know that it’s actually a bee magnet?

Bees are as attracted to marigolds (Tagetes) as they are to sunflowers. That’s because the two blooms are related. They have roughly the same facilities that always keep the bees interested.

However, if you still plan on having marigolds in your yard, bear in mind that single flower varieties attract more bees than the multiple layered ones.

Bee Balm

Bee balms have unique flowers that are always guaranteed to attract pollinators.

Just by hearing its name, it becomes incredible obvious what kind of audience this plant appeals to – the buzzing kind.

The Monarda is a genus of flowering plants abundantly found in North America. It has many other names including horsemint, begamot and oswego tea.

Bee balms are a not only a favorite pit stop for bees. Because of its rich nectar, it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds too. You’ll recognize it over its aromatic leaves which smell like bergamot orange. It also has bracted flowers that can come in red, pink, purple or white.

Lavender

Lavender’s popularity comes from its wonderfully relaxing scent.

Flowers from the genus Lavandula are great to have around. In fact, their uses might even outweigh their habit of attracting bees. Not only will they turn your yard into an aromatic paradise; they’re useful for keeping other pests out, specially ants and fleas.

Mints

The mint family isn’t just loved by humans. It’s adored by bees too.

Huge flowers aren’t the only plants that can lure bees to your yard. Mints (Mentha) have that same effect on them too, even if they’re mostly covered with leaves. Long-tongued bees, for example, love hovering over salvia and oregano.

Apples, plum, peach and cherry trees

Stone fruits often invite bugs into their branches.

If you don’t raise flowers but wonder about the bees in your home, there may be a fruit tree nearby.

Apple, plum, cherry and peach trees (Malus and Prunus) often get insect visitors all year round. Their flowers have plenty of nectar and pollen for winged insects like hornets and bees, and their fruits offer nourishment for other foraging bugs.

Parsley

Parsley blooms tiny dandelion-like flowers, but they’re flat and stringy.

Another herb that’s very bee-friendly is parsley (Petroselinum crispum). Not only is this plant a culinary must-have, putting it on your yard and letting it grow flowers can attract many pollinators. They can pull in butterflies, hoverflies and of course, bees. So if you have a lot of parsley lying around your property, don’t be surprised to spot these bugs near you.

Chives

Chives have round purple flowers made out of tiny elongated petals.

Finally, we have chives. The Allium schoenoprasum is basically a cousin to onions, but its flower heads are a potent bee attractant. If you haven’t seen a growing chive before, you can recognize it through its stringy leaves and globe-shaped light purple flowers.

Chives only make up an extremely tiny percentage of the plants that honey bees like. In reality, there’s a vast number of flowers and other fauna that they visit, so vast that the world has become totally dependent on them to carry out countless environmental and agricultural processes.

However, having a green yard that has less bees isn’t completely impossible. It will take a lot of time, a huge deal of research and a good dose of trial and error, but it’s a thousand times better than having a barren wasteland for a front lawn.

Last Updated on May 9th, 2019

Wildlife garden: Top 10 plants to attract bees and other pollinators

Our gardens are home to a huge range of living creatures, and they play a very important role pollinating our plants.

Unfortunately, their numbers are dropping around the world, thanks to a pesticide use and a loss of their natural habitats.

But insect activity is great for the whole garden ecosystem. If you help them, they will help you!

The easy way to attract more beneficial wildlife to come and explore your garden is to grow pollen and nectar-rich plants that they love. Aim to have their favourite varieties blooming from early spring to late autumn to keep them happy.

Here are my top 10 plants for pollinators. And why not read my guide to creating insect hotels?

1 Lavender

This is a great all-rounder. It’s hardy, it smells lovely and it looks great all year round. Bees and butterflies in particular love it. It’s also a perfect for cutting and drying. Plant it along a pathway so it releases its scent as you walk by. And prune well after flowering for the best display the following year.

2 Dahlia

The single or semi-double flowered varieties are best. Double flowers are often bred without pollen-producing parts. Others have too many petals, making it difficult for bees to find the bounty. But simple dahlias are hardy and low-maintenance plants for pollinators.

3 Wallflower

These are like small shrubs, and flower during spring and summer. Many varieties have strong scents that make them perfect for edging pathways too. Most are biennial, meaning that you can refresh your display every two years.

4 Borage

Also known as starflower, this is actually a Mediterranean herb. It has lovely star-shaped blue flowers that pollinating insects love. It has lovely soft green foliage and self-seeds, so it’s low-maintenance.

5 Foxgloves

These are a quintessential British cottage garden plant. They have bell-shaped flowers that are popular with bees, and come in a wide range of colours. They are also special for being one of the few flowering plants that grow happily in shady spots.

6 Cosmos

These are very long-flowering, giving blooms from June until late autumn. Deadhead the plants and they will keep on giving. There are loads of different styles and colours, and some have great scents too. I love the chocolate cosmos!

7 Scabious

Scabious plants have feathery blooms, usually in a pale lavender or cream colour. They are full of nectar, and insects including moths and butterflies love them. They look great in any bed. Cut stems back after flowering and they will carry on producing for months on end.

8 Verbena bonariensis

This is a great tall plant that is much loved by pollinators. It originally comes from Argentina, but it grows well in Britain. It has tall, strong flower heads bearing masses of tiny purple blooms. Cut the stems back after flowering to encourage more to grow.

9 Marigolds

Marigolds are ideal summer bedding plants. They will grow in any soil type, and reward you (and the pollinators) with loads of bright, fiery flowers. Aim to buy varieties with open centres so insects can easily reach the pollen.

10 Marjoram

Better known as oregano, this is another great herb that pollinators love. If left to grow freely, it produces tiny, delicate flowers in a pink or white shade. They have spiky, protruding stamen that offer the pollen freely, making them a great choice for insects.

Once you have these plants in the garden, it’s important not to use any pesticides on them while they are in bloom. And why not make the insects feel even more welcome by building them a home?

Marigolds: Best Varieties for Butterflies

by Claire Hagen Dole

Butterfly Garden Standby

Check a plant list in any butterfly gardening publication and you’re sure to find marigolds, especially French marigold (Tagetes patula). What makes this old-fashioned species so desirable to butterflies?

Compared to pompon-type hybrids, the French marigold remains close to its wild relatives in Mexico and Central America. A member of the composite family, it has a daisy-like cluster of tube flowers, surrounded by a single (or double) row of petals. A medium-sized butterfly, such as an American Painted Lady, can comfortably perch and sip nectar from the many florets.

Although a butterfly may be drawn into a garden full of bright orange and yellow hybrids, it won’t find easy access to nectar in the frilly blooms. Triploids, which are infertile crosses between French and African (T. erecta), are unable to set seed, so they can keep blooming for months. As you might suspect, they have nothing to offer pollinators.

Out of the New World

Should you find yourself in a Mexican village for El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, November 1st), be sure to visit the local cemetery. You�ll see elaborate wreaths, festooned with orange and gold marigolds, on the gravesites, as families hold candlelight vigils to welcome the souls of departed loved ones.

There are about fifty species of annual or perennial marigolds from the Southwestern U.S. to Argentina, with most species occurring in Mexico and Central America. Marigolds were taken to Europe during the sixteenth century by Spanish conquerors. When Huguenot refugees introduced T. patula to England in 1573, the flower gained the name of French marigold. Thomas Jefferson planted French marigolds at Monticello in 1812, and they grow today at Old Sturbridge Village in a recreated nineteenth-century garden.

The equally misleading name of African marigold may refer to the fact that T. erecta, returning with the Spaniards, became naturalized along the North African coast. It was introduced from Africa into France in 1535, when the armies of Emperor Charles V fought in Tunis. Burpee calls this species American marigold.

To further muddy the geographical waters, the genus Tagetes derives from the Etruscan deity, Tages, grandson of Jupiter, whose specialty was soothsaying.

A Versatile Plant

Used to heat, drought and lean soil, marigolds reward the most casual of gardeners–perhaps a reason for their enduring popularity. Seeds can be planted outdoors when the soil has warmed, or started indoors and transplanted in early summer. Space seedlings six to twelve inches apart; don’t overwater or you’ll get leggy plants with fewer blooms. Plant in masses to attract butterflies, and deadhead to prolong bloom.

Marigolds are used in household crafts and in cooking. Their flowers can be boiled with alum mordant to make a vivid yellow dye for wool and silk yarn. The citrus-scented leaves of signet marigold (T. tenuifolia, also known as T. signata), can be dried for potpourri. Signet marigold’s tiny, edible flowers brighten salads or decorate a cake.

And Mexican tarragon (T. lucida), also known as mint-scented marigold, Mexican marigold mint or cloud plant, has aromatic leaves that can be used as a substitute for French tarragon or as a stimulating tea.

Nematodes, Begone!

It’s as a natural insect repellent, though, that marigolds have gained fame. They’ve long been interplanted among vegetables and roses to deter whiteflies, aphids and soil nematodes, and to attract beneficial insects. While their strong smell gets credit for repelling above-ground pests, the action underground is more complex.

Chemicals in root secretions of marigolds, especially T. patula, make nematodes ineffective by inhibiting their detection of target plants (such as potato). You may be able to rid the soil of nematodes by densely planting an area with marigolds, then turning the plants under and letting the soil lie fallow for the rest of the season.

At least a couple of seed companies promote the insecticidal qualities of marigolds. Burpee’s offers T. patula ,Nema-gone, a fast-growing plant with golden flowers. Richters sells Mexican marigold (T. minuta), dubbing it the Weedkiller. This plant, which rarely flowers in temperate zones, packs an even greater punch: in addition to its effectiveness against nematodes, mosquitoes and other pests, it has been shown to kill noxious weeds, such as ground elder and bindweed, that are growing close to its roots.

New Introductions

Thanks to the efforts of W. Atlee Burpee’s son, David, marigold offerings have been greatly expanded during this century. Of the 29 AAS (All-America Selections) medals awarded to marigolds from 1933-50, fourteen were Burpee introductions, including the still-popular T. patula “Naughty Marietta” (1947).

One of this year’s AAS Bedding Plant Award Winners is T. patula, Bonanza Bolero. Its large (2-1/4″) double flowers are distinctive because of their irregular gold and red pattern, with the red markings on petal tips rather than as vertical stripes. The plant reaches a foot high and up to two feet wide. It is available from Park Seed.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange offers T. patula ,Tashkent #1. During a People-to-People trip to Uzbekistan in 1992, grower Bob Bell collected seed from French marigolds growing next to an old Muslim school. One can only guess how these flowers made their way halfway around the world, to grow in obscurity until an heirloom aficionado appeared! Tashkent #1 is said to be unusually fragrant, with numerous single-petalled flowers (to 2″ across) that are velvet mahogany with a fine orange border and yellow center. As petals mature, they change from mahogany to orange-red. The plant grows to 16″, with dense, deep-green foliage.

Pesche’s Gold is an intriguing selection of the usually-hybridized African marigold, new this year from Seeds of Change. Single golden petals are lightly ruffled along the edges; blooms are large (2-1/2″) on stocky, broad-leaved plants (to 2″). The Seeds of Change catalog notes a strikingly similar offering (now unavailable) in a 1918 British catalog, Sutton�s Seeds.

Marigold Choices for a Butterfly Garden

Tagetes lemmonii (mountain marigold). Bushy perennial (to 3″), native to S. Ariz. canyons. Clusters of 1″ yellow flowers from Sept.-Mar. Attracts butterflies, but strong, unpleasant odor discourages browsers. However, Mountain Valley Growers calls its scent tangerine or lemon-mint.

T. lucida (Mexican tarragon). Tender perennial from Mexico. Small gold flowers on anise-scented, toothed foliage; to 3″. Blooms in fall. Leaves used as seasoning or tea.

T. tenuifolia (signet marigold). Also known as T. signata. Annual from Mexico. Dwarf (8″-12″) with many tiny flowers and citrus-scented foliage. Not day-length sensitive so blooms well into fall. Great container plant. Look for Lemon Gem, Orange Gem and Paprika.

Article by Claire Hagen Dole, Publisher/editor of Butterfly Gardeners’ Quarterly. Spring 1999.

These Are The Best Flowers For Butterflies

Butterflies bring more than beauty to your garden – the delicate insects also help pollinate your flowers, encourage more bright blooms. Southern Living’s floral guru, Senior Stylist Buffy Hargett Miller, shares the best secrets to attract these colorful creatures.

Butterfly Bush
The most popular way to attract butterflies and other pollinators to your garden is with a butterfly bush. They come in a variety of colors, and can grow 8-10 feet tall. Butterfly bushes grow big and unkempt with time. Because they bloom on new growth, cutting them back in winter won’t reduce flowering and may even increase it. We recommend pruning it back to around 2 feet in the off-season.

Lantana
Tougher than Clint Eastwood, lantana parties in heat, chortles at drought, and blooms in sunny colors from spring to fall. Plus, its nectar-laden flowers attract pretty butterflies like moths to a flame. Lantana can be an annual or a perennial, depending on the selection and where you live. In general, it’s winter hardy in the Lower, Coastal, and Tropical South (USDA Zones 8 through 10). Tough heirloom types like “Miss Huff” (orange-and-pink flowers) can get big—up to 5 feet tall and twice as wide—but, frankly, that’s a lot larger than most people want. Fortunately, plant breeders have developed lower-growing, compact hybrids suitable for containers and small gardens. Because the seedlings can be invasive in Florida, gardeners there should plant selections that set little or no seed, such as “Gold Mound,” “New Gold,” Carlos,” and “Pinkie.”

Zinnias
One of the easiest annuals to grow are zinnias. These bright, vibrant blooms come in a variety of colors, and they grow to be about two to four feet tall. Zinnias also make wonderful cutting flowers for inside your house, so they’re a practical option if you like to keep fresh flowers indoors. Zinnia blooms consist of two types of flower—a yellow “disc” flower in the center that forms seed, ringed by a larger “ray” flower for show. Zinnias are the Anne Boleyns of the garden: They love to lose their heads. As long as you keep cutting stems for arrangements, they’ll keep blooming profusely in a rainbow of colors up until an autumn frost. To start zinnias from seed, find a bare patch of soil or container filled with potting soil in a sunny spot, tear open a seed packet, scatter these large seeds over the surface, rake the soil very lightly, and then water. The seeds will sprout within a week. When seedlings are a few inches tall, thin them to 10 inches apart so each plant has enough room. Crowded plants can mildew and develop leaf spots.

Marigolds
Another great flower that butterflies love is the marigold. You can start these easy flowers from seed, or transplant to your garden from your local garden center. African marigolds grow tall and are known for their huge, round blooms in orange, yellow, or cream. French marigolds grow up to 12 inches tall and come in more color combos. Hybrid marigolds created by crossing French and African marigolds yield large, long-blooming color and need no deadheading. Plus, marigold blossoms are edible. Also called poor man’s saffron, these spicy, herbal flowers can sub for tarragon in a pinch.

Salvias and Mexican sage
These two colorful plants also make a wonderful addition to your garden, and you can pick from a wide variety of colors. Salvias and Mexican sage are especially great for attracting bees, and the plants grow from one to five feet tall. Mexican sage enjoys full sun, well-drained soil, and a medium amount of water. Be sure to cut back last year’s growth in spring; remove spent flowers anytime.

These beautiful plants not only add butterflies, but beautiful color to your garden all summer long.

Hide Transcript

We’re gonna show some simple easy ways to attract butterflies and other pollinators to your garden. The most popular way is to plant a butterfly bush. They come in a variety of colors and can grow eight to ten feet tall. One of my favorites is Lantana. It’s a very tough plant that endures drought, heat and poor soil. One of the easiest annuals to grow is Xenia They come in a variety of colors and they grow to be about two to four feet tall. They also make wonderful cutting flowers for inside your house. Another great flower is the Marigold. You can start them from seed or transplant to your Garden. Salvias and Mexican sage make a wonderful addition to your garden. They come in almost every color and can grow from one to five feet tall. These beautiful plants not only add butterflies, but beautiful color to your garden all summer long.

Marigolds have always been among my favourite flowers for fall. It was about this time last year I got into a pretty heated argument about whether they attracted butterflies. You would think a couple of geezers getting up there in years could argue about something else – like the economy. But instead we chose to have at it over marigolds and butterflies.

For years, I had been involved in trialing marigolds and remember seeing butterflies having a feast. On the other hand, I simply never took a photo to prove it.

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However, I recently visited Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, and it was a butterfly frenzy on the marigolds.

What really surprised me was that they were also feeding on the African or large-flowered marigolds. I hate terms like French marigolds (Tagetes patula) and African marigolds (Tagetes erecta), and there are hundreds of varieties associated with each.

There are numerous hybrids of the two, adding further to the confusion. You may even find the name American associated with the African hybrids.

The reason I hate it is that the French marigolds are from Mexico and Guatemala; the African marigolds are from Mexico and Central America; and neither of those groups are Mexican marigolds, which are known

botanically as Tagetes lucida and actually are from Mexico. This sounds like the horticultural comedy hour.

Both the French and the African marigolds have the ability to really put on a show.

While we may have paid more attention in recent years to the very large-flowered African selections like Inca, Marvel, Antigua and Perfection, there is something to be said for the power of the smaller French-flowered selections.

In the French marigold group, you will find what are known as French Dwarf Crested types like ‘Aspen,’ ‘Bonanza’ and the Janie series.

Then there is the French Dwarf Anemone series that includes ‘Durango’ and ‘Troubadour.’ Lastly, there are the French Fully Double types, such as the Aurora series. No matter which you choose, the colours are rich and vibrant.

Fertile, well-drained soil and full sun will make you look like a garden pro. First, plant enough to make a real show; one jumbo six-pack isn’t enough. Plant marigolds by the flat to do justice to your planting.

One thing you’ll notice is that late-summer or early-fall planted marigolds generally bloom before chrysanthemums and will still be blooming after mums are finished. Now you know you’ll also be feeding butterflies.

Sizzling colour combinations can be made using blue or violet companions for a complementary colour scheme.

If you are growing those in the orange-to-red colour scheme, then blue is the best choice as a companion plant. If you are growing those in the yellow range, then violet-to-purple colours may be the best, such as the fall-blooming Mexican bush sage. Don’t forget that oranges and yellows also partner well in the analogous colour scheme.

Warmer regions of the country can still get plenty of enjoyment out of marigolds this fall; the rest will have to wait until spring or late summer next year. I assure you that these little troopers you loved as a kid are even better now. Both you and the butterflies will love them.

Norman Winter is executive director of the Columbus Botanical Garden in Georgia, and author of Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bees are integral to a healthy eco-system. That includes your garden. Create a sense of “bee longing” with these 5 flowers.

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Bees provide significant pollination for an incalculable number of plant species. Their population has seen sharp declines in recent years. Help prevent the environmental damage losing our bees would cause by planting bee-friendly flowers in your garden this summer.

1. Monarda (Bee Balm)

Mondara, also known as bee balm, is a native of the eastern part of North America, stretching between Georgia, Ontario, and Minnesota, so if you live in this area, be sure to plant bee balm to attract bees to your garden.

Planting as many native species as possible is one way to make your garden inviting to bees. Bee balm has tubular flowers, which array themselves in bursts like fireworks, most typically growing in pinks, reds, and purples. They grow relatively tall (up to 35 inches), so use them to create height in your garden.

2. Sunflower

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love the inviting yellow and gigantic blooms of sunflowers, and bees are no exception. Though smaller gardens may not look their best with stalks this tall hanging out in back, enhance a larger garden or give depth to the back yard’s landscaping with stunning sunflowers. They need lots of sun, but aren’t picky about soil and can deal with almost any type of soil short of swampy.

3. Borage

(image: matsuyuki)

Borage is extremely important for bees because it makes nectar. It has vivid blue flowers and is actually edible, so not only will borage offer a spectacular spark of color to your garden, but you can also use it to garnish the food at your garden parties. Borage flowers in June and doesn’t stop until September–sometimes even later–giving you a long period of enjoyment and bees several months of nectar.

4. Lantana

(image: matsuyuki)

If your garden slopes at all or you need to plant bedding, then Lantana is your flower. The tiny blossoms grow in sweet little clusters and come in purple, yellow, white, and pink. The plant will grow better up against something, like a fence, because it needs some protection from harsh weather. Bees love the colorful flowers, though not everyone likes the smell of Lantana. Be sure you smell it at the nursery before taking some home.

5. Sweet Alyssum

(image: Hectonichus)

This annual loves full and partial sun and grows in white, lavender, and pink. It smells sweet and beautiful, which is part of why bees love it so much. The flowers are small but grow plentifully and obscure many of the leaves, making this a great garden border. It also grows low to the ground, so use it near taller plants to create eye-catching levels of height in your garden. Alyssum does best in moist soil. Dry areas with extreme heat aren’t hospitable to this plant.

Welcome, bees!

Each of these flowers, from the towering sunflower to the tiny Lantana blossom, will welcome bees to your yard and will provide your garden with eye-catching color and texture. Help the bee population in your own small way by cultivating these and other plants that encourage pollination and attract pollinators.

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.

News from Hidden Valley Hibiscus

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Hibiscus Nectar ~ Drink of the Gods

Nectar is made deep inside the flower

Hibiscus is one of the many flower species that produce nectar. This nectar attracts bees, hummingbirds, bats, and other potential pollinators to the flowers. If you are not equipped with a long thin beak similar to a hummingbird, you are not likely to experience the nectar from hibiscus flowers. However, every now and then when handling the blooms, a drop of nectar will escape a flower and land on your hand or arm. If you choose to taste it, you will find that it is a pleasantly sweet liquid. It is what bees use to make honey and hummingbirds use for their own nutrition.

Nectar for Reproduction

Hibiscus flowers make nectar in glands called nectaries, located just inside the calyx and under the ovary at the base of the flower. Nectar is mostly made up of natural sugars (sucrose, glucose, and fructose). It can also contain volatile chemicals that give it a scent which increases the attraction of pollinators to hibiscus flowers. We have seen several varieties of hibiscus that briefly have a scent when first opening (examples are Heaven Scent and Kona). Apparently scent never evolved as an important aspect of the attraction by pollinators to hibiscus. One reason seems obvious – the flowers themselves are big and bright enough to attract plenty of pollinators to the plants, so scent was not really needed.

Nectar for Protection

Similar to flower nectar, hibiscus leaves are able to produce another form of nectar. This is made by extrafloral nectaries (and is not to be confused with the sticky excretions of aphids or other sap-sucking insects). Extrafloral nectaries are located right at the point where the leaf stem (petiole) joins the leaf as well as along the edges of the leaves. Hibiscus leaves make this nectar to attract predatory insects to the plant. These predatory insects fight off plant-eating insect pests, and are the best defense our hibiscus have against the voracious sap suckers and mites that like to feed on hibiscus.

Leaf nectar also inadvertently attracts an ugly, but harmless, black sooty mold that can be seen on the underside of leaves just at the base of the leaf. The same sooty mold grows in the excretions of sap-sucking insects, an observation that can be confusing to hibiscus growers.

It is not always possible to tell whether the sooty mold is living on defensive nectar or on insect excretions. If the mold is seen at the junction of leaf and leaf stem on the underside of the leaf than it is living on defensive nectar. If you are able to keep a close watch on your plants and you see the sooty mold or feel a sticky substance on the leaves but do NOT see any aphids or other sap suckers than it is most likely defensive nectar and no further action is required to keep the plant safe from pests. If you notice the sticky substance on the leaves and spot insects on the leaves above, it is time to treat with a pesticide or use some other method to rid the hibiscus of the insects.

Nectar is not much talked about in hibiscus circles. However, this pleasant substance plays a significant role in the lives of our plants and adds a dimension of enjoyment for us by attracting hummingbirds to the area.

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Hibiscus in Winter

Keeping Them Warm

‘Too Pretty’

Above all else, hibiscus want and need to stay warm. At the most basic level, they need to be grown where the temperatures do not freeze. If possible, we want to do better than just keeping them above freezing. If there is any way you can grow your hibiscus in temperatures above 60°F (15°C), they will love you for it and show this by staying nice and green and healthy. They may not bloom much, but next spring they will be way ahead of hibiscus that have had to fend off winter chill.

There are many ways to keep hibiscus warm. Greenhouses are excellent, garages aren’t bad, but sometimes the best place is inside the house where they get to grow in the same temperatures that you live in yourself.

Some Light Please!

‘Valentine’s Day’

Hibiscus need light to photosynthesize, but they don’t need nearly as much as you might think. If you grow your hibiscus indoors, any type of light you can provide is better than no light. We have seen hibiscus overwintered inside a basement with nothing more than a shop type fluorescent light hung above them. They didn’t bloom much, but they did stay nice and healthy until they could be moved outside the following spring. A friend in Sweden, where the winter nights are long and days are not much brighter than the nights, has grown her hibiscus inside her apartment using only the artificial lights that her family used to light the apartment. She said that even adding one additional fluorescent type light near the plants caused them to perk up noticeably. The point here is that you do not have to spend a lot of money to provide light for the hibiscus – any light will do as long as they have some.

Hibiscus can be lighted 24 hours a day and will be glad for it. If the only available light is weak and does not appear to be sufficient, then try leaving it on all the time. Hibiscus can use every bit of light they get, so see what you can come up with that does not break the bank!

Feed Me!

‘Splash!’

Hibiscus will appreciate fertilizing regularly throughout the winter. It’s a myth that fertilizer should be stopped for hibiscus in the winter. The HVH Houseplant Formula is designed exactly for hibiscus living in the house, garage, or some other kind of shelter. It provides every possible nutrient that will help keep hibiscus healthy. If you use the Houseplant Formula every time you water all through the winter, your hibiscus will stay green and growing slowly, even in low-light conditions.

Or if you prefer, you can use the HVH Special-Blend Fertilizer at least once per month. A weekly feeding is even better. Hibiscus won’t grow much unless you have them in a warm place with lots of light, but the nutrients will keep them healthier and better prepared for renewed growth in spring. Supernova is another excellent nutrient to help counter the stresses of winter. We recommend it highly.

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Best HVH Hibiscus of 2011 ~ ‘Pinot Noir’

2011
Hibiscus of the Year!
‘Pinot Noir’

Hibiscus ‘Pinot Noir’ Just Opening

After growing, observing, and propagating ‘Pinot Noir’ for several years, we have chosen it for our 2011 HVH Hibiscus of the Year award. ‘Pinot Noir’ blooms abundantly with large 7-9″, well-formed, deep burgundy, blue, and purple flowers. It’s one of our Fascinating Foliage hybrids, and has all the vigor that these new hybrids seem to have. The vigorous bush takes after mother, ‘Creme de Cacao,’ while the flower derives more influence from dark blue and brown father, ‘Moon Madness.’ This hibiscus is beautiful, well-branched, lush, easy to grow, and a super bloomer. All the way around, ‘Pinot Noir’ has performed flawlessly for us, and the flowers are uniquely beautiful.

Hibiscus ‘Pinot Noir’ with its Unusual Leaves

by Connie Krochmal

Beekeepers in warm climates can choose from a number of bee trees. Choices include the native red bay and the common banana as well as flowering trees, such as Chinese hibiscus. These plants are great sources of nectar and pollen for bees.

Banana (Musa sapientum or Musa x paradisiaca)
About 40 species of banana are grown for food or as ornamentals. They apparently originated in tropical Asia.

Hardiness varies according to the species. Some ornamental types are hardy to zone five. The common banana is root hardy to zone seven, although a mild short freeze can kill the top of the plant. Bee gardeners in cold climates should dig the plants and bring them indoors into an unheated space for the Winter.

The common banana is five to 25 feet in height. Some other species can be almost 40 feet tall. Instead of a trunk, bananas produce a column of compressed leaf sheaths.

The thick stems form a clump. The large, tropical looking, drooping or arching leaves can be eight feet in length. The foliage is sometimes damaged by strong winds.

Blooming sporadically throughout the year, the main flowering period is from Fall through Winter. Opening on a terminal erect or pendant flower spike, the colorful yellow blooms feature vivid purple and red bracts. The blossoms usually hang downward from the top of the plant. The female flowers are located at the base of the flower spikes, while the males emerge near the tips. Flowering usually begins when the plant is about one to 1½ years of age, depending on growing conditions.
Bananas bear fruits in the Lower South. The fruit clumps arise from the flower stalks and turn upwards. Once that occurs, the corresponding stem and foliage begins withering and will be replaced by a new sucker or stem.

Dwarf Cavendish is a highly recommended cultivar. This reaches six to eight feet in height and bears edible, eight-inch-long fruits.

Related species that are cultivated include the Red banana (Musa coccinea), which reaches four to five feet in height. This also bears edible fruits. Rose banana (Musa ornata) grows eight to 10 feet tall.
Most bananas are propagated by root divisions or suckers, which should be planted 1½ feet deep.

Although the common banana is seedless, the ornamental species can be grown from seeds. Space the plants about 12 to 15 feet apart, depending on their mature size and the climate. These should be fertilized several times a year in warm areas.

Banana plants prefer full sun or partial shade. They thrive in well drained, porous, rich, moist soils high in organic matter.

These species are excellent nectar plants. They provide a steady and reliable nectar flow over a long period. Good rains and damp soils increase the flow. The fair quality honey varies from light to dark. This can taste slightly astringent, somewhat like tamarind pods. The blossoms also provide lots of pollen.

Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
Also known as China rose, and Chinese hibiscus, this is hardy to zone ten. It was once called shoeflower because Jamaicans used the crushed blossoms to shine shoes. Chinese hibiscus is sometimes grown as a herbaceous perennial in colder areas where it dies to the ground over the Winter and comes back from the roots in the following Spring. Thriving in sub-tropical and tropical regions, it is commonly cultivated in Florida and Hawaii.

Chinese hibiscus is generally a small, dense tree, around eight to 15 feet in height and five feet across. However, it can grow to 30 feet tall under good growing conditions. This erect, fast growing, branching plant features shiny, evergreen, edible foliage. Deep green and toothed, the oval leaves are six inches in length.

The flowers appear from Summer through Winter on new wood. The solitary blossoms are up to eight inches across. They can be red, yellow, pink, salmon, orange, white, or various color combinations. These flowers contain six to nine petals. Double-flowered varieties are unsuitable for bees.

At least a hundred cultivars of Chinese hibiscus are available. The plants tend to naturally hybridize. Often grown as a hedge, this drought tolerant, easy to grow species needs full sun. It grows in most any moist, well drained soil, but prefers a rich one. Fertilize this regularly to keep the plant vigorous. Prune when it quits blooming.

Other cultivated species include Hibiscus coccineus, which is native to Florida and Georgia and hardy in zones seven through 11. Another species known as roselle (Hibiscus sabduriffa) is grown in the Caribbean and Florida for culinary purposes.

Rose-of-Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is hardy to zone five. Reaching 15 feet, this commonly grown shrub has smaller flowers than Chinese hibiscus. They’re usually pinkish-blue or pinkish-purple. These open from May through September.

Chinese hibiscus and its relatives are good bee plants. They yield nectar and pollen. Bees are very fond of the blossoms. The abundant nectar is easily accessible to bees. In tropical regions, the plants are major sources of a water-white honey that tends to granulates rapidly.

Ehretia (Ehretia dicksonii)
This is marginally hardy in zone seven and tolerates temperatures slightly below freezing. Introduced from Asia in 1923, it is named for Dionysius Georg Ehret, a renowned German botanical illustrator. Ehretia is generally a small, deciduous, flowering tree when cultivated. In its native homeland, this can reach 50 feet in height. It features a broad, spreading crown. The glossy, elliptic to oval, hairy foliage is eight inches long.

The blooms resemble those of viburnums. They’re in flat terminal clusters, two to four inches wide. The small, scented, light yellow to white, bell-like to tubular blossoms open from Spring into Summer, usually beginning in May.

This bears small drupes, about ½ inch in length. Typically black, they’re sometimes yellow.
In Asia, this species is found in open forests and on moist hillsides up to 7500 feet elevation. It adapts to a range of growing conditions, including drought. Grown from cuttings, this prefers a well drained soil in full sun. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Ehretia and the related species are great sources of nectar and pollen partly because they bloom for a very long period. They yield a moderate honey surplus. The amber to white honey has a characteristic flavor and a sweet aroma.

Flamboyan (Delonix regia)
Also known as flame of the forest, flame tree, royal poinciana, and poinciana, this is considered one of the most beautiful flowering tropical trees. Native to Madagascar, it is widely grown in warm regions, particularly Hawaii and Florida.

About 30 to 40 feet in height, flamboyan is a low growing tree that is much wider than tall. This has feathery, vivid green, doubly compound leaves, which drop before the blossoms open. Up to two feet in length, the fine textured, dense foliage makes this species a good shade tree. The large, flat pods are up to two feet long.

The large, exotic-looking, scarlet-orange or yellow-scarlet blooms open in clusters from the ends of the branches. Although flowering can be somewhat erratic, this is heaviest during the Spring and whenever there is adequate moisture.

Hardy to zone 10, this fast growing plant prefers full sun. Adapted to most soils, flamboyan prefers a moist, sandy loam. Avoid planting this tree near paved areas for the surface roots can damage pavement.
Bees visit the flowers frequently. Flamboyan blossoms, which yield considerable nectar and pollen, are considered beneficial for brood rearing.

Red bay (Persea borbonia)
This is also known as tisswood, laurel-tree, sweet-bay, Florida mahogany, and red bay persea. Hardy to zone seven, red bay is native to the southeastern coastal plain. Its range extends from Delaware through Florida westward to Texas. This typically inhabits swamps, flooded areas, and other spots with standing water.

Usually 20 to 40 feet in height, this tree can reach 50 feet under good growing conditions. A broadleaf evergreen, it features alternate, medium green, leathery, lance-like leaves, two to six inches long. These are sometimes disfigured by a common gall. The fresh and dried leaves are used as a flavoring in gumbo and other Creole foods.

Red bay blossoms open in small panicles. The small, greenish-yellow flowers emerge from late Spring into early Summer.

The fruits are drupes, which come in various colors. Resembling grapes, these ripen in October.
Although the plants typically occur in damp soils, they also adapt well to dry soils. Requiring full sun, red bay is considered an excellent choice for difficult spots where other plants won’t grow. Preferring a sheltered spot, the tree rarely needs routine pruning once it is established. The plants are propagated from seeds and cuttings.

Red bay can bring a heavy nectar flow in some regions. It gives a good honey yield. This is considered a reliable honey plant in certain locations, including Texas.

The very dark honey, usually deep amber, is quite thick and syrup-like. This rarely granulates. At times the flavor can be strong. A fairly good quality honey, it is often used for baking or fed to bees.

Red bay is related to the avocado, which is grown in California and Florida. Avocado is also an excellent honey plant. The honey is similar to that of red bay.

Pepper tree (Schinus spp.)
About 30 species of pepper tree occur worldwide. Members of the sumac family, these broadleaf evergreens vary in size from one species to another. The trees get their common name from the berries, which are sometimes used as spice. Some people are allergic to the fruits and/or pollen. Occasionally, individuals have experienced upset stomachs after consuming the berries.

The compound, alternate leaves, about eight inches long, are composed of two-inch-long, stalkless leaflets in pairs except for the odd terminal one.

The small, inconspicuous blossoms form clusters that can contain hundreds of blooms, which feature five petals.

Two species were widely planted in the Southwest, California, and Florida until it became apparent that they’re quite invasive. These were used along highways, in parks, and home landscapes.

Pepper trees are successful because they adapt to most soils in sun to partial shade. The only serious pests are spider mites and scale. These tolerate heat, drought, and poor soils.

Brazilian pepper tree

The most common species in America are the following. Brazilian pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius), also known as Florida holly and Christmasberry tree, was widely planted in parts of Florida. It is most common around Palm Beach, Miami, and the southern peninsula. Commonly found along waterways, this particularly loves salt spray. The species also occurs in the Southwest and Hawaii.

Hardy in zones nine through 11, this vigorous, globe-like, dense plant can be a shrub or tree. It is typically 15 to 22 feet tall and ten to 15 feet across. The compound leaves feature three to 13 leaflets.

Male and female flowers occur on separate plants. These emerge in long, feathery, axillary panicles from Spring through Fall with the heaviest blooming occurring in late Summer. The female blossoms are yellow green.

Pepper tree (Schinus molle) occurs in California along the coast and in the southern part of the state as far north as the Bay area.

Hardy in zones eight to 11, this species resembles Brazilian pepper tree, but is slightly taller and wider with drooping, slender shoots. This broad headed tree develops a contorted, thick trunk and wide spreading branches. It features delicate-looking foliage that is smaller and features a greater number of leaflets. In addition, its flower panicles are less dense.

The tiny yellow or white blooms can appear several times a year from Spring through Fall with the main blooming period between May and July.

Both of these species are excellent, reliable, consistent, major honey plants in Florida and California. Yielding lots of nectar, the flowers are much loved by bees. The flow is heaviest when temperatures are elevated. These can bring 50 pounds of honey per colony.

The honey is rather dark, usually some shade of amber. It has a strong, somewhat spicy flavor and spicy aroma. In Florida, the honey is popular among local consumers.

Connie Krochmal is a writer and beekeeper in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Forest Garden

Hibiscus moscheutos, or Rose Mallow, in late July

Hibiscus flowers are a quintessential joy of summer gardens. One of the largest, brightest flowers we’ll find in our garden, ever, Hibiscus takes its place beside the Magnolia grandiflora for flowers the size of luncheon plates. Hibiscus flowers make us think of tropical vacations, aloha shirts, and rum drinks. They bloom during the hottest, muggiest part of our summer, taunting us out into the garden from our air conditioned shade indoors.

A dragonfly rests on a Hibiscus bud .

Loved by hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and dragonflies, hardy hibiscus are always the center of activity in the garden. Not only are they an important source of nectar for hummingbirds, but they also attract small nectar loving insects which hummingbirds love to eat. Once the flowers fade in autumn, and their seed pods ripen, hardy Hibiscus feed goldfinches, cardinals, tufted titmice, wrens, and other songbirds looking for nutritious seeds all winter.

A bumblebee enjoys the abundant pollen of a Hibiscus blossom

Hibiscus moscheutos or Rose Mallow

Although big box stores and garden centers offer potted tropical Hibiscus plants each summer, there are several varieties of hardy hibiscus native or naturalized right here in coastal Virginia. In fact, you’ll see many hibiscus, or Rose Mallow, plants blooming in July along the James and York Rivers, and in the marshes along the Colonial Parkway. Our native and naturalized varieties need no pots, no coddling, readily self-seed, and come with an agreeable price tag. The tropical varieties must be brought in before frost or left outside to die; the natives are deciduous, but reliably return the following spring.

Hardy hibiscus comes in two forms: herbaceous perennial and deciduous shrub. Both leaf out quite late in the spring.

Hibiscus syriacus, also called Rose of Sharon, or Althea, is a deciduous woody shrub. Its first leaves appear in late spring, and it begins flowering in mid June. Flowers continue into September. The leaves turn yellow in autumn and linger until after frost. The herbaceous perennials, which begin sending up their green stems and leaves in mid June, bloom in mid-July and August.

HIbiscus syriacus, or Rose of Sharon, is a favorite nectar plant for hummingbirds and bees.

Rose of Sharon is native to eastern Asia, and is the national flower of South Korea. It is so beautiful that it was carried all over Asia and Europe by traders in the 16th century before coming to North America with the English colonists in the 18th century, where it was called Althea Frutex. The flowers are edible, and the Koreans also use the leaves. Growing 8’-10’ tall, and 6’-8’ wide, it is hardy to Zone 5.

Rose of Sharon in a mixed shrub border with Hydrangea and Lilac.

Rose of Sharon is best used as a back drop for a perennial bed, as a screen, or in a border of mixed shrubs. Here several Althea shrubs form a backdrop for the butterfly garden.

This vase shaped shrub flowers from June through September in our area. Its flowers are 2”-4” wide, with five petals forming a deep throated flower with pronounced pistol and stamens. The throat is often a dark maroon, and the flowers come in shades of white, pink, and lavender. Some double forms are available, but most of the flowers are single. Each flower lasts a single day, but buds are produced prolifically throughout the season. Flowers form on new wood so the plant can be pruned in autumn or spring.

Rose of Sharon, or Althea

Rose of Sharon shrubs tend to grow very tall and leggy, and so annual pruning helps the plant to bush out and become a more substantial shrub. Mine are sometimes blown over in strong winds, but can be set upright, staked, and they will continue to thrive. Although reasonably drought tolerant, Rose of Sharon doesn’t appreciate too much water or too much fertilizer. Some of my shrubs have simply died over the winter for no apparent reason, while their sisters two feet away survived just fine. Rose of Sharon often doesn’t even leaf out until after the Azaleas have bloomed, so patience is important. Their flowers are worth waiting for, especially if you enjoy watching the beautiful creatures they attract.

A bee covered in pollen from the generous Rose of Sharon.

That being said, Rose of Sharon is not a good candidate for a “specimen shrub” in the landscape. They are good as the backdrop for perennial borders, although tall ones will sometimes droop over from the weight of their blooms and shade the plants growing in front. They are good planted as a mass, used for a screen, or even used as a foundation planting along a back wall where windows are quite high. Rose of Sharon work best in a mixed shrub and perennial border. They will carry the hottest part of mid summer when the hydrangeas have faded out but the Camellias haven’t yet come into bloom.

An Althea with double flowers

Rose of Sharon produces millions of seeds, and these seeds self-sow wherever they can. It is considered invasive in CT, but not in VA. This is a benefit if you want more Rose of Sharon shrubs in your landscape, or have friends who do. They are large enough to identify and pull up by May if you want to discard the seedlings. New plants can also be started by layering or taking green cuttings of new wood in early summer.

Japanese beetles will eat Rose of Sharon buds, but can be picked off easily.

These tough shrubs will grow in full sun to partial shade in a variety of soils. They grow as well on slopes as on flat ground, compete well with other shrubs, and have very few pests. I’ve seen Japanese beetles munching their flowers, and occasionally a caterpillar snacking on a leaf. The damage done was minor and didn’t detract from the beauty of the shrub.

There are actually several herbaceous perennial Hibiscus plants which grow will in our area, although only two are considered natives.

Hibiscus Mutabilis, also called Confederate Rose, is native to China, and most commonly grows in the Gulf Coast states in North America. This is a huge plant, sometimes growing to 10’ or more in a single season, especially in frost free areas. Even if it dies back to the ground in the winter, it comes back strong the following summer. It has white blossoms about 6” across which gradually turn pink, and in some cultivars red, over a period of several days before dropping off. Flowers on the same plant will appear in these different colors all at the same time. Flowers can be single or double depending on the cultivar.

Hibiscus coccineus, native in the Deep South, is hardy to Zone 6b and grows with little fuss or care. Also known as Swamp Mallow or Scarlet Mallow, it can grow in normal garden conditions.

This plant has large, coarse, deeply lobed leaves which open late in the season. Hibiscus Mutabilis is hardy to Zone 7, and is commonly found in Zones 7-9. It works best in a shrub border as it is inconspicuous when dormant, and quite large and showy in mid-summer.

Rose Mallow, or Swamp Mallow, is native to Virginia and naturalizes easily in sunny areas with moist soil.

Hibiscus grandiflora has the largest flowers at 8”-10” across. The flowers are a delicate light pink. It is a very large plant topping out at 8’, and prefers to grow in the wet soil of swamps and the edges of ponds. Hardy in Zones 6-9, it sends up new stems each spring covered in fuzzy, five lobed grayish green leaves. This plant is native to the southeastern United States and is most commonly found growing in full sun in wetlands.

The hardy Hibiscus growing in my garden is Hibiscus moscheutos, also called Rose Mallow or Swamp Rose Mallow.

HIbiscus moscheutos growing with Hibiscus syriacus, Rose of Sharon.

Numerous stems appear each year in early summer, rapidly growing from the crown, which expands each year. Leaves are heart shaped, medium green, and slightly fuzzy. Plants grow from 2’ to over 6’ high, depending on how well their needs are met. Plants prefer moist soil in full sun, but will grow in drier conditions and partial shade. This shrubby perennial is native to the Eastern United States from the Great Lakes south to the Gulf Coast.

Flowers have five long petals, usually with a dark red throat, and come in shades of white and pink. Flowers are generally 6” across and may be 5”-6” deep, with a large stamen and pistols loved by hummingbirds and bees. Flowers open in the late afternoon, and close again in the morning. Many hybrid cultivars are available.

Hibiscus Moscheutos

To encourage the best performance, water this Hibiscus during dry spells, and top dress each spring with an inch or two of finished compost. The plant does best in moist, rich soil. Collect the seeds once the seed heads open in autumn. These plants readily self-sow in the garden. I cut back the dried stems from the previous year in winter or early spring.

Other hardy Hibiscus plants are available, and those interested might enjoy looking at the selections available from Plant Delights Nursery near Raleigh, NC. http://www.plantdelights.com/searchprods.asp They also carry a number of hybrids with beautiful colors. Most online and mail order nurseries carry a number of selections of hardy Hibiscus.

Hardy Hibiscus along John Tyler Highway in James City Co.

Locally, Homestead Garden Center carries a dozen or more varieties each spring. Several colors are still available now in mid-July, and have been reduced in price. Homestead always has healthy, beautiful plants and a very knowledgeable family staff to help answer questions.

Rose Mallow, or H. Moscheutos growing beside College Creek on the Colonial Parkway.

Hardy Hibiscus are tough and forgiving plants, easy to grow, welcoming to wildlife, beautiful in season, and good additions to sunny areas in a forest garden.

Hardy Hibiscus growing along the Colonial Parkway near Jamestown.

All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2013

Scarlet Mallow

Wild Hibiscus

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