A number of new patio plants have arrived on the scene in recent years and here’s one that’s an unexpected and valuable innovation.
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is usually seen as a tender shrub that made its mark as a large plant, over 2m in height if allowed, with large flowers. Hibiscus ‘Petit Orange’* does the opposite, making a neat low dome with flowers that are smaller than usual. But such was its impact at this year’s Chelsea Plant of the Year award that it was placed third.
Shorter than usual internodes (the lengths of stem between the leaves) ensure that plants develop into low, spreading mounds filled with shining, dark green foliage. The leaves make a fine background for the flowers which sit just above the leaves.
Each slightly rippled, trumpet-shaped flower is vivid orange shading to crimson in the throat and, adding to the impact, the prominent rounded stigmas match the throat in colour.
This is a unique new sun-loving patio plant that can be moved into the conservatory in autumn to continue blooming.
Developed in Denmark by Graff Breeding, one of the world’s leading hibiscus breeders, this is the first dwarf type in its extensive Longiflora range that boasts flowers that last longer than those of other types - up to five days.
You can order Hibiscus ‘Petit Orange’* from Thompson & Morgan.
*The full name of this plant is Hibiscus rosa-sinensis HibisQs Petit Orange
**Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, which are not necessarily those of the RHS