Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
One of my favorite heirloom plants is Confederate Rose. Today on Southern Gardening. Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Confederate rose is a wonderful plant that is really unknown outside of the southeast where it has been grown in landscapes 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 rose mallow. 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 are opening up. On a typical day, there will be loads of flowers in varying shades of white, pink, and dark pink. I love the six inch diameter flowers that are double forms. Plant in a full sun location, considering its potential size, and 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 prestigious number of flowers. This plant will die back to the ground after a hard frost. It may overwinter in the coastal counties. But not to worry, as Confederate Rose will grow up to ten feet tall next season.
To accommodate next seasons grow, Confederate Rose should be cut back to four to six inches in late winter.
Until next time, I am horticulturist, Gary Bachman enjoying our Southern Gardening.