White Angel™ Hardy HibiscusHibiscus rosa-sinensis x syriacus ‘Grewa’
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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis x syriacus ‘Grewa’
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The White Angel™ Hardy Hibiscus has the largest blooms of any hardy hibiscus. They are over 5 inches across, pure, pure white, and fluted and ruffled like a tropical plant. The big bold leaves are deeply divided into large lobes, and their rich color is the perfect backdrop for these spectacular blooms. This deciduous shrub will grow from 3 to 8 feet depending on where you garden, and it makes a wonderful plant for late blooms, flowering all the way to the first hard frost.
Place the White Angel™ Hardy Hibiscus is full sun, in a warm spot, in well-drained soil. Once established it is drought resistant, but it benefits from regular fertilizer and water during summer, for the best growth. It is ignored by deer and normally free of significant pests or diseases. Pruning in early spring will encourage the largest flowers and the strongest growth from this remarkable plant.
It is always remarkable what plant breeders will do to create outstanding plants. Sam McFadden, a retired horticulturist, is a top breeder of hibiscus, and he has created something really special. He took the tropical hibiscus we know as a houseplant, and crossed it with the hardy hibiscus, an heirloom plant that is hardy even in zone 5. The result – the White Angel™ Hardy Hibiscus – is a gift from heaven. With enormous snow-white blossoms, but hardy in colder zones, you can now grow flowers that look tropical without living in Hawaii. It’s a miracle. This shrub is perfect in the garden or in pots, growing rapidly and producing its huge flowers even when young.
The White Angel Hardy Hibiscus is a deciduous shrub, growing to 4 or 5 feet in cooler zones, and up to 8 feet tall in warmer areas. It has strong upright stems with gray bark, and forms a dense, bushy plant. The leaves are up to 5 inches long, glossy and a little leathery, divided into 3 large separate lobes, with pronounced veins and an irregular serrated edge. The leaves will begin to yellow and drop once the temperature comes close to freezing.
Flowering begins early in warm zones, by June, and by late summer in cooler areas. The flowers last just a few days, but more and more open every day, so this bush flowers profusely for many weeks, all the way up to the first hard frost in your area. This makes it one of the very best shrubs for blooming in fall, even when the leaves of your trees are coloring gold and orange. The flowers are simply enormous, much bigger than we see on hardy hibiscus, and they look just like the bloom of a tropical hibiscus. At least 5 inches across, the blooms are pure, pure white in every part. The bold ruffled petals form an open trumpet, with a prominent center of pure white stamens. A fresh snow-fall isn’t this white. Remarkably, the blooms stay open at night, adding glamor to your evenings in the garden. Because this plant is a hybrid it is unlikely to produce seeds, meaning that it won’t waste energy on seed making, which can stop flowering early in other varieties. Instead it just keeps going and going.
The White Angel Hardy Hibiscus is perfect for your garden beds to add late color. Use it as a flowering screen or grow it in pots to decorate your patio and terrace. This is one of the best hardy pot plants for warmer zones.
The White Angel Hardy Hibiscus is hardy from zone 5 to zone 9. It will bloom more reliably in warmer parts of zone 9 than other hardy hibiscus, because of its tropical parentage. In zones 5 and 6 the stems may be killed by cold, but it will quickly re-shoot from the base, and since the flowers are carried on new stems, it will still flower profusely for you, although on a smaller plant.
Grow the White Angel Hardy Hibiscus in full sun for best results. It thrives in almost all soils, from sands to clays, but they must be well-drained. Richer soil and some fertilizer will encourage the most vigorous growth. This plant thrives in heat, and once established it is drought tolerant. Just give it a deep soak of water every few weeks during summer to keep it growing strongly.
The White Angel Hardy Hibiscus tolerates urban pollution and poor environments. It is usually ignored by deer, pests and diseases. In zones 7, 8 and 9 pots can be left outside all winter. In colder zones bury the plant in the ground and re-pot in spring, or store the leafless plant in a cool place, such as a porch or garage. Prune annually in early spring for the best results. Remove any dead branches and shorten back the stems from the previous year. For the biggest possible flowers, leave just 2 or 3 buds at the base of those stems. Otherwise, and for a larger plant, leave them 12 inches long. Remove some older branches at ground level once your plant has been growing for a few years, to encourage plenty of new shoots.
The hardy hibiscus, Hibiscus syriacus, is also called Rose of Sharon or sometime Althea. It is one of the oldest cultivated plants, originating in India, China and Korea. It was carried along the Silk Route into Syria centuries ago, and from there to Europe, where it was first called Syrian ketmia, and recorded as early as 1597. President Thomas Jefferson grew it at Monticello in 1794, and it has always been widely grown in the USA, being more popular than roses in the 19th century.
Dr. Sam McFadden was a horticulturist at the Florida Agricultural Experimental Stations in Gainesville for many years. He retired to Somerville, Tennessee and became an enthusiastic breeder and promoter of different Hibiscus bushes. In 2004 he took pollen from a hardy hibiscus with white flowers called ‘Diana’ (bred at the US National Arboretum in the 1970s) and use it on the flowers of a Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), the well-known tropical hibiscus. Both these plants have irregular numbers of chromosomes, allowing for lots of new varieties to be created when they are bred together. Among the seedlings he selected one with enormous pure-white flowers on a vigorous, fast-growing bush, and named it ‘Grewa’. In 2013 it was given the trademark name of White Angel™ by Greenleaf Nursery of El Campo, Texas.
The White Angel Hardy Hibiscus is the closest thing there is to a tropical hibiscus that will grow outdoors. This unique plant is turning heads everywhere, and it will be gone almost as soon as we receive our stock. Order now, because this special plant is so remarkable and yet so easy to grow.