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'Perfect Storm' Hibiscus Plant Profile

‘Perfect Storm’ hardy hibiscus, a recently introduced hybrid cultivar of Hibiscus moscheutos, is part of the Proven Winners Summerific┬« series. ‘Perfect Storm’ is a compact version of the popular ‘Summer Storm’ hibiscus. With a mature height of about three feet, ‘Perfect Storm’ is roughly half the size of its larger cousin making it a better choice for smaller gardens and landscapes. Thanks to its compact size, it also needs no staking.

Like other hardy hibiscus, ‘Perfect Storm’ produces blooms late in the growing season, which extends the blooming season in your landscape. Its large blooms are seven to eight inches in diameter. Flowers are white with a dark red eye that radiates to the veins with petals edged in pale pink. The center of the bloom has a prominent stamen as is typical with hibiscus plants. Individual blooms are short-lived but are quickly followed by more blooms. Foliage is a very dark purple, almost black, which highlights the bright blooms.

Botanical Name Hibiscus moscheutos
Common Name Hardy hibiscus, rose mallow, swamp mallow
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Mature Size 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Medium-to-wet, average-to-rich fertility
Soil pH Acidic (less than 7.0)
Bloom Time Late summer
Flower Color White with a dark reddish-pink center and petals edged in pale pink
Foliage Blackish-purple
Hardiness Zones 5 to 9
Native Area North America

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How to Grow Perfect Storm Hibiscus

Even though this plant functions as a small shrub during the summer, it is a herbaceous perennial. This means it will die back completely to ground level in winter before re-emerging with new growth next spring. ‘Perfect Storm’ will be one of the last perennials to push up new shoots in the spring (sometime in May in a USDA zone 5 landscape, for example), so do not give up when it hasn’t come back to life at the same time as the other herbaceous perennials in your landscape.

In spring before new stem growth emerges, use a strong pair of loppers or a saw to cut down to ground level any woody stems remaining from last year. Do not prune or trim this plant in the fall.

Occasionally, the plant is attacked by aphids, mealybugs, or thrips. Inspect the leaves regularly for the presence of harmful insects. If you find any, spray the leaves with neem oil.

Light

Hardy hibiscus will bloom best if located in full sun, which means six to eight hours of directly sunlight per day. It tolerates some light shade, but full sun with good air circulation produces the most flowers and strongest stems.

While ‘Perfect Storm; hibiscus will survive in soil of average fertility, it will perform better in more fertile conditions. If soil is not fertile, spread and mix in soil amendments annually.

Water

Water enough to keep the soil consistently moist, provided the soil drains well. To help with water retention as well as drainage, mix compost into the soil. Do not let soil dry out.

Temperature and Humidity

Like most hardy hibiscus, 'Perfect Storm' can thrive in a wide range of temperature and humidity zones provided it is watered regularly. It thrives in heat and sun but must stay hydrated.

Fertilizer

To keep the plant well-fed, use a balanced fertilizer. Follow instructions on the package to feed your plants once a year in spring. Always water well after applying fertilizer.

Varieties of Hibiscus Flowers

Other varieties of hardy hibiscus include:

  • 'Southern Belle' flowers are eight to ten inches in diameter in red, pink, or white; plants grow four to six feet tall.
  • 'Disco Belle' a compact variety that produces pink flowers with a deep pinkish-red eye eight to ten inches in diameter; grows 24 to 30 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide. this cultivar was developed from 'Southern Belle' for gardeners seeking more compact plants.
  • 'Luna Blush' is a compact cultivar two to three feet tall and two feet wide; flowers are white with a pink rim and deep red eye four to six inches in diameter,
  • 'Cherry Cheesecake' flowers are large, up to eight inches in diameter, with a magenta or cherry red center surrounded by pinkish-white; plants grow to 5 feet tall.
  • 'Cranberry Crush' solid scarlet flowers are seven to eight inches in diameter; plants grow to four feet tall.
  • 'Berry Awesome' a tall cultivar that grows to 4 feet tall and produces large seven- to eight-inch ruffled, lavender pink flowers with a cherry red eye

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Common Pests/Diseases

Two common pests that attack hibiscus flowers are aphids and whiteflies. The former usually form in clusters that can suck the nutrients from the flowers, and the latter are gnat-sized bugs that usually hide under the flower’s petals.

Hibiscus can also be prone to fungal diseases that cause dark spots on the petals and leaves of the flower.

Perfect Storm

As the name implies this tomato plant can survive some pretty dramatic weather. With sharp flavor and good flesh to seed ratio they can be used in most cooked an raw preparations, and they tend to resist cracking, they even are sunburn resistant when they are hardening off! One year some of the Perfect Storm plants got flooded along with other tomatoes, and the perfect storm was the only type to recover from the stress. The disease resistance also is nothing to be scoffed at, with green lower leaves towards the middle of the season, they make fending off septoria and early blight look easy, with some moderate tolerance of late blight and fusarium wilt. The squat regular leaf bushes send prostrate suckers in every direction and can benefit from staking, but if pruned will not produce well. Although the plants stay small they are indeterminate or semi-determinate, and fruit throughout the season. At least 15 seeds per packet.