Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
One of my favorite heirloom plants is Confederate Rose today on Southern Gardening.
Confederate Rose is a wonderful plant that is really unknown outside of the Southeast where it has been grown in landscape for many, and I mean many years. But this old fashioned plant is not a rose at all. It is actually a hibiscus known botanically as Hibiscus mutabilis, with other common names such as Cotton rose or Cotton Rosemallow. In the late summer and fall Confederate Rose is in its prime blooming season and covered with hundreds of blooms per plant; as the older flowers are starting to fade there are new ones opening. On a typical day there will be loads of flowers in varying shades of white, pink and dark pink. I love the six diameter flowers that are double forms. Plant in a full sun location considering its potential size. At up to ten feet tall it’s impressive. The best landscape use would be as a specimen plant in order to properly display the gorgeous and prodigious number of flowers. This plant will die back to the ground after a hard frost; it may over winter in the coastal counties. But not to worry as Confederate Rose will grow up to ten feet tall next season. To accommodate the next season’s growth, Confederate Rose should be cut back to four to six inches in late winter.
Until next time, I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman enjoying our Southern Gardening.