Texas Star Hibiscus

This is a plant that I had high hopes for, but so far, it’s been a so-so performer.  It is planted in a raised bed that has pretty good soil.  This is the fourth year I’ve had it.  I decided that maybe I expected too much from the Texas Star Hibiscus and had not given it the care it needed.  So I began to investigate.

This is my Texas Star Hibiscus, Hibiscus coccineus.  I already knew that it is being crowded out by Henry Duelberg Salvia.  I’ve pulled out some of the salvia that is close to the trunks.

In the wild It grows in sandy, moist acidic soil.  Okay.  Now the problem is evident.  It also has very high moisture requirements and usually grows in bogs and water gardens.  So the statement I had read before buying it (that it is a plant for all soils) is probably not accurate.  Double whammies against success in my garden.

It needs plenty of sun.  It gets that in spades.  But morning sun and filtered afternoon light is best.  It blooms on new growth and needs sufficient water to keep it growing all summer.  That explains why mine didn’t bloom at all last year in the drought.  It only grew to about a foot then. Poor thing didn’t get much water at all.So, if I want it to bloom, I must give it more water.  This year it must be getting enough water because it has bloomed several times – one bloom at a time.  The bees and butterflies enjoy the treat.

Without the flowers, the weird shaped leaves make it look like what hippies used to smoke.  I’ve read that some people have called the police on their neighbors who own this plant.

The bright red makes it really pop in the garden.  So I’ll just enjoy those occasional unusual star flowers whenever they bloom.

“Praise the young and they will blossom.”  Irish proverb