Hibiscus forum: 'Midnight Marvel' Conundrum

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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
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bloominholes2fill
Jul 31, 2016 11:53 PM CST
I'm kinda at war with myself over whether to keep my 'Midnight Marvel' hibiscus or not, so I'm seeking the advice of you all!

I bought this hibiscus because it's blooms are red, it has interest when not in bloom, and because the hibiscus is my daughter's favorite flower.

I'm in zone 6a and it is located on the East side of our garage, so it gets sun from dawn until about 2:00pm-ish.

Year one, when I noticed it's tendancy to wilt, I chalked it up to needing time to establish, like any other new garden plant. After all, it's a hibiscus, and thinking that it should be pretty good and drought tolerant, once established! I had no idea the amount of moisture that this hardy hibiscus would require! Last Fall (2015), I had torn out the ground cover and worked in compost and some peat, in hopes to help with moisture retention, but it still tends to wilt in drought conditions!

This is year 4 and I have to move it to a more spaceous location. So I need advice on a good location for light requirement (perhaps more shade?), and how to make mesic soil out of hard clay. Gardening is my lifeblood, and I need this hibiscus to be more low maintenance because I can have bouts of debilitation.

If its not possible, I'll consider Rose of Sharon, but the 'Midnight Marvel' hibiscus is so much more stunning in the landscape!

Expert advice would be greatly appreciated! 😃
"Where flowers bloom, so does hope" Lady Bird Johnson
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Aug 1, 2016 12:43 AM (+)]
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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Pro Football H.O.F. City!!!
Daylilies Butterflies Dog Lover Garden Photography Dragonflies Cat Lover
Roses Composter Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Birds Hummingbirder
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bloominholes2fill
Aug 1, 2016 1:21 AM CST
Some photos...

In the early dawn hours.....not the best lighting for the entire bush!





Thumb of 2016-08-01/bloominholes2fill/80c372






"Where flowers bloom, so does hope" Lady Bird Johnson
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Aug 1, 2016 1:25 AM (+)]
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
Aug 1, 2016 5:40 AM CST
I would say, if possible find a spot where it gets a few hours of sun in the morning but is in shade be the afternoon and evening. Dig a large hole, get rid of the clay soil from the hole, and fill the hole with the most moisture retentive soil you can find, then add a layer of mulch. Clay drains slowly so it should have a sort of bathtub effect. When you water, water deeply flooding the plant and saturating the new soil in the hole. The mulch should help the water from evaporating and the clay will slow the draining away.
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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Pro Football H.O.F. City!!!
Daylilies Butterflies Dog Lover Garden Photography Dragonflies Cat Lover
Roses Composter Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Birds Hummingbirder
Image
bloominholes2fill
Aug 2, 2016 6:12 PM CST
Jay!! The ole', if ya can't beat 'em join 'em trick!! D'Oh!

Use the clay soil to my advantage! Hurray!

This could be a challenge, but I'll break out the light meter and assess my next move.

Thanks! Thank You!
.
"Where flowers bloom, so does hope" Lady Bird Johnson
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Aug 2, 2016 6:13 PM (+)]
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Name: Kevin Smith
INDIANA (Zone 5b)
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kssmith
Sep 11, 2016 10:22 PM CST
Dana i just purchased Midnight Marvel a few months ago and planted it next to a trellis in full sun about all day. My only other 2 Hibiscus are planted at the back against a fence where my property slopes off and drains, hence they benefit by being in that drainage area. We had a drought from mid May to early Aug. before i got MM but since then an unusual amount of rain for this time of year. My MM did great in the trellis spot but has never been through a dry period yet.
I know the farm where i buy my Hibiscus and Daylilys from have theirs planted away from and large trees and close to a drainage ditch. I also have clay and i always leave plenty of that in all my beds to promote moisture retention.
Good luck with Midnight Marvel i hope you keep it. I know i love mine with the darker foliage and all.
Thumb of 2016-09-12/kssmith/164218

SO MANY DAYLILYS, SO LITTLE LAND
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Pro Football H.O.F. City!!!
Daylilies Butterflies Dog Lover Garden Photography Dragonflies Cat Lover
Roses Composter Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Birds Hummingbirder
Image
bloominholes2fill
Sep 19, 2016 7:54 AM CST
kssmith said: Dana i just purchased Midnight Marvel a few months ago and planted it next to a trellis in full sun about all day. My only other 2 Hibiscus are planted at the back against a fence where my property slopes off and drains, hence they benefit by being in that drainage area. We had a drought from mid May to early Aug. before i got MM but since then an unusual amount of rain for this time of year. My MM did great in the trellis spot but has never been through a dry period yet.
I know the farm where i buy my Hibiscus and Daylilys from have theirs planted away from and large trees and close to a drainage ditch. I also have clay and i always leave plenty of that in all my beds to promote moisture retention.
Good luck with Midnight Marvel i hope you keep it. I know i love mine with the darker foliage and all.
Thumb of 2016-09-12/kssmith/164218



Thanks Kevin! Clay dries out like the desert and hardens, in drought conditions. Think of the *concept* of clay pots or tiles. To help retain moisture in drought conditions, I always mix peat and compost/organic matter (also for nutrients) into the clay soil and top it off with mulch.

Beautiful photo, btw! Smiling
"Where flowers bloom, so does hope" Lady Bird Johnson

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