The Q&A Archives: Perennial Plants

Question: Japanese Magnolia, hibiscus are they perennial also I
need some tips on growening them

Answer: Japanese Magnolia is Magnolia x soulangeana, often called saucer magnolia. Saucer magnolia is one of the most dramatic deciduous flowering trees when in bloom. A prolific bloomer, its flowers are large and goblet shaped and cover the naked stems of the tree just before the leaves emerge. The flower buds are big and fuzzy and about 1 in (2 cm) long. Depending on the variety, the fragrant flowers vary in color from deepest purple to lightest pink to pure white. Some have pure white interiors with exteriors of purple to pink blending with white in various patterns. Each bloom is composed of six waxy petals in a goblet arrangement that ranges in diameter from 3 - 6 in (7.6-15 cm) when fully opened into "saucer position".

The tree has a coarse texture in part due to its big and broad dark green leaves. These are 5-8 in (13-20 cm) long. Saucer magnolia usually has multiple stems that are covered in smooth, gray bark. Mature trees can reach as high as 30 ft (9 m) with a spread only somewhat less. Shape and form is dependent on variety.

Prefers excellent, rich soil with plenty of organic matter. It must be well drained but moist. Prune as needed after flowering but before setting buds for next season. Plant in protected area to delay blooming as long as possible.

Morning sun with filtered shade in the heat of day is ideal. Will take full sun if well mulched and moist, but such conditions often promote earlier flowering which is subject to cold damage.

Keep the soil evenly moist and pay attention to watering needs in times of drought.
Saucer magnolia is hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 9. Late freezes sometimes burn the very early flowers.

There are 2 types of hibiscus - tropical, with glossy green leaves and hardy, with dull green leaves. The tropical kind will be an annual in your garden unless you bring it indoors and grow it as a houseplant during the winter months. The hardy hibiscus, sometimes called Rose of Sharon, is winter hardy in your growing region and will come back year after year.

Best wishe with your new plants!

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