Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Confederate Rose

The Confederate Rose is one of the South's heirloom plants.  It is a timeless plant that blooms late Summer and into Fall.  The blooms are its most noteworthy characteristic as they change color over a three day period.  The 6-8 inch blossoms open up white or pale pink, and gradually get darker pink then finally red before closing up.  This is a site to see with the three colors simultaneously on one tree as different blooms open up daily!

The Confederate Rose is not a rose, but is actually in the Hibiscus family.  The nature of this family means it is sensitive to freezing, but thrives very well in Houston and will grow 10-12 ft in one season.  Older plants have been known to withstand the freezing temps here and can reach 18-24 ft tall.  I have seen a Confederate Rose of this size in a front yard that was just spectacular in bloom.  If freezing temps affect the outside canopy of the tree, simply cut the dead branches off at the end of winter, and the plant will regrow from that point in the Spring.

Many gardeners have considered this a "pass-a-long" plant.  A small cutting off a stem can be placed in soil or water and rooted very easily to make a nice gift for someone.  I find great joy in giving a plant I grew from seed or cutting to someone.  This is one of the easiest plants to try this with.

Confederate rose is drought tolerant, easily maintained, and blooms at a time of year when most other woody ornamentals are through with their floral show.  With qualities like this, how could you not want one in your landscape?

This plant made my day!  How 'bout yours?

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