Hibiscus are amongst the most favoured shrubs for giving some bold, bright tropical colour to a garden. In Whanganui hibiscus grow well in many gardens.

They enjoy a hot north facing position with full sun to encourage maximum flowering.

Most types require protection from frost during winter except for Hibiscus Syriacus varieties which are frost hardy.

Early botanists suggest Polynesian migrants may have bought Hibiscus with them from South East Asia, and then to Hawaii, Tahiti and Fiji.

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Many crossing of Chinese and native Hawaiian species has resulted in the development of most of the thousands of hybrids grown today.

Hibiscus are relatively easy to care for.

They will benefit from annual pruning which encourages fresh healthy growth, good flower production and neat compact plants.

The plants will benefit from being fed annually with 'Novatec Fertiliser'. Hibiscus respond well to regular watering but don't like having wet feet.

They are best planted in free draining soil & mulched with 'Natural Bark Feeding Mulch'. In pots use a top quality long lasting potting mix such as 'Natural Bark Potting Mix' or 'Tui Pot Power'.

There are a few different hibiscus types that are available to home gardeners today:

Fijian Hibiscus
Cold hardy shrubs that normally retain their leaves during winter. Blooms are slightly smaller than Hawaiian, but the shrubs tend to be larger. More solid colour shades

Clarks Hybrids
New Zealand bred varieties by Jack Clark that are ideally suited to temperate conditions. They are a cross between Fijian and Hawaiian hibiscus.

Hawaiian Hibiscus
These are smaller growing, cold tender shrubs with huge flowers, they like to be grown in a warm, sheltered and sunny spot. The varieties come in multi colours of almost every shade except blue.

Hibiscus Syriacus
A cold hardy deciduous variety ideal for those whose gardens get heavy frosts. These tend to have smaller flowers and smaller leaves and come in a range of colours.

HibisQs Longiflora
These plants are spectacular. They are a range that is the result of top quality breeding and selection that has resulted in plants that are compact growing approximately 80cm to 1.2m high by 80cm wide.

The second aspect to these exceptional Hibiscus is the large profusion of flowers that they produce at cooler temperatures starting earlier in the season and continuing for a longer period.

Additionally the flowers of longiflora varieties typically last 3-4 days as opposed to 1 day which has been the norm for hibiscus up till now.

Growing Hibiscus in containers is an ideal way of enjoying beautiful Hibiscus at close range.

The Hibiscus Longiflora range is particularly suited to pots and containers.