Growing hibiscus in Washington DC

Hi gardeners -- I'm in Alexandria, VA and would like to grow a hibiscus in my yard, parts of which get very good sun most of the year. I'm looking for any feedback from folks in my area about your experiences growing hibiscus outside. I planted a Rose of Sharon a few years ago that died the first winter I planted it, so I'm wondering if it's possible to grow hibiscus as a perennial here or if I just killed the plant with my rudimentary gardening skills. :)
Any comments or ideas would be most helpful. Thanks!
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some more and plant them in May, feed them some 10-10-10 and put a layer of mulch around them in October. Check out the Parks site or your local nursery for something called a perennial hibiscus, only name I know. It has large red (6" dia) flowers that form seed pods and it easy to grow. Look for anything in okra.
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Rose-of -Sharons have a number of insect problems. Also leaf spots can marr foliage, Japanese beetles love this shrub and chew up the leaves, also rust, cankers, and blights can sometimes be problematic. Supplemental watering in droughts, and newer disease resistant cultivars help reduce these problems. These plants tend to persist for decades in the garden despite insect and disease problems, encroaching shade, neglect, etc. The older cultivars also have quite a reputation for be weedy and seeding themselves around, sometimes being quite a nuisance. Donald Egolf's newer cultivars (the 'Greek Goddess series') are triploids (having 3 sets of chromosomes) and are sterile or nearly so, so besides having very large and showy flowers, they do not seed around like the older cultivars.
As I said, Donald Egolf of the Arboretum has introduced several triploid cultivars that rarely if ever produce seed so they do not have the weed problems of other old fashioned cultivars. The flowers are also particularly large and showy, blooming over a long period. 'The Greek Goddess's series'. 'Diana' - Triploid form with 3 sets of chromosomes), sterile with large pristine white flowers that remain open at night so great for evening gardens, sets very few seeds (Dirr thinks this is a "wimpy" form); but there are very handsome full bodied specimens that are quite showy and attractive even semi-so in winter. 'Helene' - another triploid, white flowers with reddish-purple blush at base, not much fruit. 'Minerva' - June - Sept. heavy bloom, lustrous foliage, 8.5' tall, erect growing form, lavender flowers with pink tones, and dark red eye. Triploid. 'Aphrodite' - erect, upright form to 8.5 - 9' tall with dark pink flowers with a red eye, although a triploid, Dirr has observed rather heavy seed set in his garden and is not impressed with this one.
Dave

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Natty_Dread wrote:

There are Hibiscus cultivars out there that are hardy in our area. These are NOT to be confused with the tropical kind that are not hardy. Last year, I planted a Hibiscus 'Crown Jewels', and it did great, putting on a lot of growth and a dozen or so flowers. From what I understand, they're late to break dormancy, and I haven't seen any sign of it yet. Plant Delights Nursery has a pretty decent selection that you might want to look into: http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Current/page39.html
Suja
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