Fireworks Double Hardy HibiscusHibiscus syriacus, ‘Amplissimus’; ‘Ardens’; ‘Lady Stanley’
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Hibiscus syriacus, ‘Amplissimus’; ‘Ardens’; ‘Lady Stanley’
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Fireworks Double Hardy Hibiscus brings you an amazing display of multiple colors on a single bush. Growing 6 to 8 feet tall, some blooms will be pink, others purple-red, and others mauve. Blooming begins in summer and continues to the first hard frost. The glossy foliage is rich green, and this vigorous, upright, deciduous shrub is a winner for tubs and for any sunny spot in your garden, even those hot and dry ones.
A sunny position is best for the Fireworks Double Hardy Hibiscus, but it will take a little partial shade too, especially in hot zones. It will grow in any well-drained soil, including sands and clays, and in tough urban conditions. Occasional deep watering in summer will keep it growing well, but it is drought resistant too, once established. Pests and diseases don’t normally bother it, and deer usually leave it alone.
Have you been looking through our big range of hardy hibiscus? And you can’t make up your mind which color you like most? Well don’t worry – we have the answer. The Fireworks Double Hardy Hibiscus is a clever mixture of three of our most popular double varieties, in a colorful blend of red, pink and purple. Now you don’t need to settle for just one color – you can have three. For potted plants this bush is unbeatable, but why not grow it in your garden too? Imagine a beautiful tapestry hedge in three bold, blended colors. Or a specimen in a bed. However, and wherever, you choose to grow it, we guarantee a display worthy of July the 4th with this explosive package of colors. All three varieties are wonderful fully-double blooms, up to 5 inches across, and densely packed with colorful petals, like living pom-poms. Why hesitate? Go for it – every day can be a celebration.
The Fireworks Double Hardy Hibiscus is a vigorous deciduous shrub with a vase-shaped or rounded habit, with branching to the ground. It will grow to 8 feet tall in warm zones, when planted in a sunny bed, and stay more compact in a planter. The leaves are around 3 inches long, with a narrow base flaring out into 3 rounded lobes, with jagged edges. They are a rich, glossy, dark green, which holds well through the summer, before finally turning yellow in late fall.
The first flowers should appear by June in warm zones, and by July in cooler ones. Clusters of buds form on all the new shoots, and on short side-shoots that develop in a couple of years on older stems. The flowers last just a few days, but they are replaced by more and more, with flowering continuing right up the first hard frost. The flowers are all double forms, that is, they are not the open funnel of some hardy hibiscus, but a bowl of large petals filled with many smaller, thinner, often twisted petals, creating a brilliant pom-pom up to 5 inches across. The flowers may be gorgeous pink, rich purple-red, or a wonderful purple-mauve with blue overtones – all three colors appear on the same bush, on different branches. At the base of the petals you will see a blood-red pool of color develop as the flower opens fully, highlighting the brilliant main color of the bloom.
This colorful shrub is perfect for growing in pots and planters, where it will bring a spectrum of coordinated colors to a patio, or even on a balcony, for those who have no garden at all. Plant it by a doorway or gate, for a bright explosion of color to greet you and your visitors. Grow it in beds, surrounded by other pink, purple and red flowering shrubs for a vibrant display. Plant in a row for a tapestry hedge or screen that has to be seen to be believed, it’s so vibrant and colorful.
You can grow the Fireworks Double Hardy Hibiscus anywhere from zone 5 to zone 9. In zone 5 there may be some winter damage, but it will quickly re-sprout in spring, and since blooming takes place on new stems, it will still flower profusely, although on a shorter bush.
Although some partial shade is fine, full sun is best for the Fireworks Hardy Hibiscus, particularly outside the hottest zones. It will grow in any well-drained soil, including poor and dry soils, but for maximum growth and blooming, richer soils are preferred. Once established it has good drought resistance.
A deep soaking from time to time through summer will keep your bush in top condition. In planters, use liquid fertilizer for flowering shrubs regularly and use a granular shrub fertilizer in spring for plants in beds. Some trimming back of last-year’s stems in spring will keep it compact and vigorous. Note that this tree cannot be trained into a single stem, as there are three roots in the pot. When pruning be careful not to remove any stems at ground level – you should be able to identify the three plants by looking at the growth as it leaves the soil. Harder pruning back to 2 or 3 buds on last-year’s stems will encourage larger flowers on a smaller bush.
The hardy hibiscus, Hibiscus syriacus, is a plant that has been grown in gardens for many centuries. It grows wild in parts of China and India, and it has also been grown in gardens there, and in Korea, for as long as there are records. It travelled west along the Silk Route, and it was in England before 1600. It was equally popular in America and grown by Thomas Jefferson. It enjoyed enormous popularity in the 19th century, and many of the varieties we grow today we created back then.
The variety called Fireworks Double is a tribute to those early breeders, and also to the skills of the modern grower. Our growers take three different plants and raise them together in a single pot to create a balanced, multi-stemmed plant. The pink blooms are the variety ‘Lady Stanley’, an English creation from 1875. Its beauty is enhanced by the deep red color at the base of the glowing pink petals. The red flowers are ‘Amplissimus’, a very old plant probably from France, that certainly existed by 1861. The rich purple-red coloring is enriched by the elegant twisting of the central petals. Linking these colors is ‘Ardens’, a variety with wonderful mauve to light purple-blue blossoms, again with a hidden heart of deep red. Little is known of its exact origins, but it is probably also French, and certainly known by 1873.
You will love the treasure-trove of heirloom beauty that is the Fireworks Double Hardy Hibiscus. The excitement of waiting for the first buds to open – ‘what color will they be?’ – and the party atmosphere of this plant makes it a great gift for a loved one, which of course includes yourself. Don’t wait though, because our stock is limited, and hard to find, as only a handful of growers have the skills to create something this special.