Lower South

May, 2004
Regional Report

Web Finds

Growing Ferns
Growing Ferns is an excellent Web reference on ferns from Georgia Extension. It features extensive information on all aspects of fern growing, propagation, and use in the landscape, and includes helpful charts of native southeastern ferns and non-native ferns for planting beds and containers.

Favorite or New Plant

Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)
Few plants can match perennial hibiscus or rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) for summer beauty. These gaudy wonders have the largest flowers of any hardy perennial. They are descendants of the native hibiscus found throughout the Gulf South states. Few garden plants provide so much enjoyment for so little care. Mix in a few inches of compost prior to planting and keep the soil slightly moist. They like full sun but will tolerate light shade. Blooms last one day, but more blooms are always waiting to be on stage tomorrow. Picked blooms can be displayed floating in a large bowl indoors. To display them for an evening event, pick a fully open bloom in the morning and refrigerate until late in the day. Some new varieties that offer larger blooms and more intense red colors include 'Moy Grande', 'Flare', and 'Lady Baltimore'. Then there is our great southeastern native, Hibiscus coccineus, called Texas star, scarlet rose mallow, or swamp hibiscus, with its strappy, red blooms and deeply cut foliage.

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