Bold and Beautiful Hardy Hibiscus
I was thrilled to see more brilliant red hibiscus flowers blooming in the garden this morning. There were several open earlier in the week but I didn’t have my camera ready at the right time, so early this morning after doing my watering chores, I ran down with my camera and snapped a couple of pictures of this beauty before it fades. It may be a fleeting moment of glory for today’s flower, but no worries – this wonderful hibiscus does produce a good succession of blooms for the tomorrows to come.
The Cordial series of hardy hibiscus are an exciting offering from Bloom of Bressingham, that has done very well in the garden for several years. This group of compact hybrid Hibiscus hybrid have huge 8-10 inch diameter flowers on well branched plants. These plants love the heat and have done very well on my back garden patio without much attention and fussing. The entire Cordial series contains ‘Brandy Punch’, ‘Cherry Brandy’, ‘Peppermint Schnapps’ and ‘Cinnamon Grappa’ (pictured here).
‘Cinnamon Grappa’, with its large, brilliant cherry red blooms has bloomed the earliest in my Central Texas garden. There has been a nice succession of large dinner plate size blooms from late May onward. The plant is very ornamental and resulted from a cross made by Yoder breeder Mark Smith in Alva, Florida between an unnamed red hibiscus and rosy pink Hibiscus ‘Fantasia’. He selected the ‘Cinnamon Grappa’ plant for its good branching, uniform growth, good flower size, flower color, foliage color and foliage shape. ‘Cinnamon Grappa’ has attractive maple-leaf incised foliage with red highlights and stems.
This somewhat woody shrub grows to 3-4 ft. and loves a hot, sunny, well-drained location! An ideal heat-loving plant. It is slow to start growing in the spring and gardeners will have to be extra patient waiting for the first new shoots to start growing. Cut back the dormant plant in early spring or late fall. The hibiscus is hardy from zones 5-9. ‘Cinnamon Grappa’ is the shortest of the Cordial series.
A great middle or front of the border plant, the Cordial series is also suitable for large containers. Under the stress of intense, direct hot afternoon sun, it does wilt, but recovers overnight or if given water.
The others in this series include ‘Cherry Brandy’, reddish-pink and slightly later blooming, ‘Brandy Punch’, hot pink, and ‘Peppermint Schnapps’, pink with red veining and the tallest in the group.
All are guaranteed to be showstoppers in the garden. Cheers!