The Q&A Archives: Lady Baltimore Hibiscus

Question: I purchased a major quantity of your plants last spring from the Red Apple Market in Chelan, WA. One type was the Hibiscus N 'Lady Baltimore' #4271.

I purchased 15 of these plants. They all flowered beautifully last year. However, this spring all of the branches that are above ground and appear gray-white in color - some of which are 8 feet tall are all dead - leading me to believe that the plants themselves were dead. When I examined the roots of each they were all quite green - leading me to conclude that they are all still alive. Please tell me what I am supposed to do to make them grow and bud/flower again. Please be as detailed as possible as I am quite a novice at gardening. I would appreciate a response at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Answer: Hibiscus 'Lady Baltimore' needs rich soils, consistant moisture and full sun, with plenty of room between plants to promote good air circulation. It isn't unusual for the tops of these perennial plants to die down during the winter months. The best way to treat 'Lady Baltimore' is to cut back the stems to about 3-4" in in the fall and then mulch over the plants during winter to protect roots from frost. Once new growth begins in spring you can pinch out the stem tips to promote multi-branched (bushier) growth. Aside from watering regularly all season long and pinching out the tips of the stems during the springtime, there's not much else to do but sit back and enjoy your hibiscus.

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