Hibiscus – Marsh Mallow, Swamp Rose Mallow, Mallow Marvels
The perennial Mallows bear some of the largest flowers of any of our perennials and present a gorgeous sight when in bloom. They grow from 3 feet to 8 feet tall and the branches spread out over a great area. The leaves are large and grayish green in color. The flowers resemble a single Hollyhock bloom, only they are much larger, some measuring from 6 inches to 10 inches or 12 inches across. The colors range from white with crimson centers to deep crimson, but most of the colors are soft, causing them to blend with other flowering plants. The plants begin blooming in July, but are at their best during August and September. Altogether these large Mallows present quite a tropical aspect to any planting- The Swamp Rose Mallow (Hibiscus Moscheutos) grows 4 feet or 5 feet high, and has flowers 6 inches across of a clear rose color with a large dark eye in the center. This is a very showy plant. The Crimson-eye Rose Mallow (H. oculiroseus) has large, pure white flowers with a deep crimson eye. The flowers are extremely large and appear velvety.’ The Mallow Marvels comprise a group of especially large flowering sorts.
Mallows are hardy and adapt themselves readily to almost any planting. When grouped in masses the large plants present an extraordinary picture. They may be planted either among shrubs or used as a substitute for them. The plants are too large for the ordinary garden border because they require much room, but they can be used in large beds of mixed flowers.
Mallows prefer a moist soil although they will do equally well in dry soil, sun or partial shade The plants die down to the ground during Winter and are about the last plants to show green shoots in the Spring They grow very rapidly and do not require much care. A light mulching of the plants is good for Winter.
They are propagated from seed which will produce blooms the first year if the seeds are sown early enough. The roots are easily divided and one can always be sure that the plants will come true to form if this method is used.