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Sunday, September 13, 2009


I would like to share a plant with you from my good friend and neighbor behind my house. I will introduce you to the "Confederate Rose" (hibiscus mutabilis). Neither a "confederate" nor a "rose" by ANY name, this member of the hibiscus (Malvaceae) family has double, more often almost triple blooms it seems and it is really a hardy perennial in Zones 7-9, though in 8 & 9 it becomes a seasonal "tree" of sorts. It originally hails from southern (!) China and it is true to its name "mutabilis" meaning mutable...color changing. The Confederate Rose has 3 basic good reasons for becoming part of YOUR garden landscape: low maintenance, drought resistant and flowers at the time of summer when everything else seems to have finished. Cut old, woody stems to about 1-ft above ground in winter and just let it go "a naturale" next spring, with new shoots reaching around 15-ft tall and 10-ft wide or so. Propagate from cuttings and seeds are often available from garden sources or someone who has one as well. Enjoy this as a background feature and front with day lilies or other spreading low growing, blooming plants such as lantana (Lantana camara/Verbenacea family) to give some foreground depth and attention. So enjoy this presentation and thank you my good neighbor, "Mr. C".


  1. I will need some 'garden' and 'yard' advice soon. Can we talk?

  2. I had a HUGE Conf. Rose that died. I think the carpenter ants got it. I had grown it from seeds smuggled in from Hawaii. I had saved a few seeds from it, so I grew another, and it's about 5 feet tall now and is starting to set buds. Of course, it blooms much later down here in S. Florida. I love your picture! I lost all the pictures of my big one, so I'm waiting for this one to bloom, then I'm going to write an article on them for my Examiner site.

  3. Thank you, Deborah A., for your comment and for viewing this blog. I have not stopped adding things to my site but I am on a deadline for the Tennessee Master Gardener internship program with classes, my work at a "big box" home improvement store and preping my garden home for the upcoming LANA Holiday Home Tour I am working on. Keep up YOUR good work on your Examiner site as well!