Peppermint Smoothie™ Hardy HibiscusHibiscus syriacus ‘DS04PS' (PP# 26,551)
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Hibiscus syriacus ‘DS04PS' (PP# 26,551)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Peppermint Smoothie™ Hardy Hibiscus has big, frilly blooms that are packed with ruffled petals in glowing candy pink. A deep red heart adds depth and interest. This compact bush grows no more than 6 or 8 feet tall, and it has a neat, upright form. The rich green leaves are glossy and clean and stay that way all season. Blooming begins in mid-summer and continues to the first hard frost. A wonderful choice for a lawn specimen, in shrub beds for late color, and in planters for your terrace or patio.
The Peppermint Smoothie™ Hardy Hibiscus grows best in full sun, but it will take a little afternoon shade too. It grows in any well-drained soil, thriving in heat and sun, and it is drought tolerant when established. Pests and diseases normally don’t bother it, and deer leave it alone. A simple spring trimming and some fertilizer are all it takes to keep it blooming like crazy.
Those old-time gardeners knew a thing or two – and they knew how valuable the hardy hibiscus, or Rose of Sharon, was for late blooms with little effort. Somewhere along the way, with all the new plants that came along in the last 70 years, we forgot about this great plant. But not anymore. The arrival of some great new varieties combined with reviving old favorites means this classic shrub has soared in popularity – and no wonder. Easy to grow; tolerant of heat and dryness; flowering late in the season when most other plants have finished; and big, showy flowers in colors that are rich enough to eat. Remember the old red and white peppermint candies? You can recapture that look with the fabulous Peppermint Smoothie™ Hardy Hibiscus. Its big flowers are beautiful pom-poms of fluted and ruffled petals, and the petals blend a pale pink with a rich purple-red that flows from the heart of the flower. It’s a bloom worth a party – and you get lots of them every day from mid-summer to the first hard frost – how sweet is that!
The Peppermint Smoothie Hardy Hibiscus is a deciduous shrub growing 6 to 8 feet tall, with an upright form, so it is only 3 or 4 feet wide. The strong branches rise up and branch out, making a dense plant that always looks neat and full. It doesn’t flop and sprawl and clipping and trimming are just not needed. The leaves are rich, glossy green, and 2 to 3 inches long. They have a narrow base, spreading out into 3 rounded lobes, and the edges are cut into irregular zig-zags. The foliage is so rich and lush that this bush looks great right from early spring when its first leaves emerge. The leaves turn bright yellow in late fall.
Of course, it is the flowers we are here for, and what gorgeous flowers they are. 4 inches across, each bloom is a party-dress of ruffles and frills, with a full, rounded form made up of many petals, each one folded and ruffled along the edges. The basic color is clear, light and pretty pink, but in the heart of the bloom is a rich red center. That red color peeks out from among the petals, sometimes running along the veins. The background pink is highlighted by splashes and streaks of a darker pink, and each flower is subtly different from the next one. Blooming begins in June in warmer zones, and by July everywhere else. Each bloom lasts 2 or 3 days, but it is replaced by more and more, as the buds just keep on coming. This bush is sterile, so no seed-pods are produced. This means all the plant’s energy goes into making more blooms, and none of it is wasted on seed production. That also keeps it blooming and blooming, week after week and right into fall. Often it takes a hard frost to finally end the show.
The relatively compact size of this bush makes it a great choice for smaller gardens, smaller beds, and for growing in tubs and planters. It is perfect beside a doorway or garden gate, and it looks wonderful around an older home, but also in a modern urban garden. Plant a row for a fabulous flowering hedge that only needs one trim a year. Grow it out on a lawn as an eye-catching specimen.
The Peppermint Smoothie Hardy Hibiscus will grow anywhere from zone 5 to zone 9. It thrives in hotter zones, and it may have some winter damage in zone 5. That doesn’t matter, though, because it blooms on new stems, and these quickly shoot up once you trim away any dead branches. Blooming will be just as prolific.
Especially in cooler zones, full sun is best for the Peppermint Smoothie Hardy Hibiscus. In hot zones some afternoon shade is OK, and it can even be beneficial. This reliable plant grows in almost any soil, from clay to sand, as long as it is well-drained. Avoid wetter areas, especially in cooler zones.
Very little maintenance is needed for this great shrub. Pests and diseases are very rare, and deer usually leave it alone. It tolerates urban air pollution and salt spray, and even grows well in poor city soil. A single trimming in early spring is all it needs to keep it looking perfect and flowering like crazy. Cut back the stems that formed in the previous year to about 12 inches long, and remove some of the oldest branches low down, to encourage vigorous new replacements. In pots you can trim back hard, to just 2 or 3 buds – this will produce the biggest flowers on a smaller, compact bush. Some fertilizer for flowering shrubs, applied in spring, is useful, and potted plants should be fed regularly. In summer water deeply from time to time to keep your bush growing and blooming vigorously.
The Hardy Hibiscus, Hibiscus syriacus, was more popular than roses in the south during the 19th century. Thomas Jefferson grew it at Monticello, and it had been a popular garden plant in Europe since the 16th century. It came originally from China and India and it is the national flower of Korea.
Don Shadow is a respected nurseryman with a nursery in Winchester, Tennessee. He started breeding and selected hardy hibiscus early this century, growing several promising varieties for further breeding. In 2007 he grew a batch of seedlings with seed from one of his own plants, and among those seedlings he found one with great promise. After growing it some more he patented this great plant as ‘DS04PS` in 2016, and it is released as Peppermint Smoothie™ by the Greenleaf Nursery Company of Park Hill, Oklahoma.
These blooms look so delicious you can almost smell that peppermint, and you will love growing this easy-care plant. Enjoy late blooms with little effort, but order your bushes right away, because great plants like this one sell out very fast.