The Q&A Archives: Sweet Caroline Hibiscus

Question: I have a pink hibiscus and the label says Sweet Caroline on it. What are the requirements to keep it living? I have planted it outside and watered it. Is this a drought tolerant plant?

Answer: Hibiscus "Sweet Caroline" is a large-flowered hybrid of our native hardy hibiscuses (often called rose mallows). Sweet Caroline is a large perennial that reaches 4 to 6 feet with an equal spread. The flowers are produced abundantly, but individual flowers last only for a day. Flowers are followed by interesting seedpods that can last through winter or be cut for dried arrangements.

For best results, plant hardy hibiscus in moist to wet soil - heavy clay soils are fine - they are native to wetlands. They survive dry soil quite well, but to look their best they should be watered during dry spells. Flowering is best when they are planted in spring through summer; fall plantings should be heavily mulched so they will root in well for winter.

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