The hibiscus, which loves the Florida climate, is a popular flower here. Although most are red, the colors actually range from white through pink, yellow, orange, lavender, and even blue. They all have five large petals, and some exotic ones are beautifully ruffled.
It’s part of the Malvaceae family.
It likes some fertilizer twice a year and plenty of water. Since it blooms on new growth, you can encourage blooms by pruning branches back to the first joint occasionally.
Not only is it not a toxic plant, but hibiscus tea is popular around the world.
Individual flowers are fun to use in many ways. The interesting thing is that they do not have to be put in water, and they will last many hours or a full day. You can wear them in your hair, place them around your dining table, or decorate a Christmas tree.
Hibiscus is currently blooming at the Sarasota Garden Club, 1131 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota.
Submitted by Jan Johannesen, Sarasota Garden Club member