Hibiscus – Summerific® Ballet Slippers
This new hardy perennial fits the need of providing a Hibiscus lineup with greater feminine appeal. Huge 7” wide, ruffled flowers are white with a deep red eye. The edges of the petals are edged with blush pink. Combined with the heavily overlapping petals, this creates a pinwheel effect on the flowers. Attractive, healthy leaves are bright green with slightly serrated edges. A polished, upright habit and extremely high bud count with good axillary branching ensures that this Hibiscus will have a longer season of color, from late summer through early fall. Flowers are produced from the top to the bottom of the plant, rather than just at the top like some other cultivars. ‘Ballet Slippers’ is the perfect backdrop or centerpiece for sunny borders.
Native to North America
Hibiscus love the sun and need moist, well-drained soil. Keeping these plants watered will result in larger flowers and lush foliage. Deadheading will improve the appearance of the plant, but is not necessary for continued bloom. It is best to plant Hibiscus in the garden before the heat of the summer arrives, and should be heavily mulched the first winter. In spring, cut back any remaining stems before new growth appears. Do not trim back in fall. A strong pair of loppers or a saw will be necessary to cut this plant back. Be advised that Hibiscus is always one of the last perennials to emerge in spring. Be patient, even if you think it is dead, it most likely isn't. Its vigorous growth rate more than makes up for this late start, however. Japanese beetles find these plants especially delicious. Perennial Hibiscus should be cut back to 4-6" from the ground in the spring. Since this plant doesn't leaf out until late, any time in spring before the new growth appears is fine. The stems are quite woody, so a saw or strong pair of loppers is necessary to cut through the thick stems. If you want to get really bushy and full Hibiscus plants, when the shoots start to come out of the ground and are about 6-10 inches tall, pinch them in half. The pinch should be made just above a set of leaves, this will improve branching. Improved branching will yield more flowers. If you are really dedicated, you can pinch them back 2 or 3 times before the 4th of July. Each time you pinch, take no more than half of the stem and pinch just above a set of leaves. You will get fuller plants doing multiple pinches. It is also perfectly acceptable not to pinch at all. The plant will have fewer branches, but it will perform perfectly well.
Uses Notes Great in landscapes.
Maintenance Category Easy
Water Category Average
Flower Form Landscape
Soil Fertility Average Soil
Soil PH Category Alkaline Soil
pH C - pH 6.0 - 6.5
EC (2:1 Extraction Method) 1 - 1.5
Fertilization 100 - 200
Light Requirements High
Water Requirements Moderate to Moist
Rooting Out Temperature 65 - 72° Fahrenheit
Growing On Temperature 70 - 75° Fahrenheit
Holding Temperature 65 - 72° Fahrenheit
Planting and Timing Information
Plant in spring for Summer Finish. 1 ppp.
Pinching and Growth Regulators
With liner grown plants, to encourage branching, soft pinch when the shoots are 2-3 inches long leaving 4-6 leaves on each branch. Allow at least 6 weeks from pinching until the desired bloom date. If using liners in larger pot sizes, additional pinches may be necessary.
With bare root grown plants, pinch when new growth is 4-8 inches tall, leaving 4 to 6 leaves below the pinch. Allow at least 6 weeks from pinching until the desired bloom date.
Plants grown outdoors should not need growth regulator applications.
When grown in greenhouses, spray multiple applications of the tank mixture of B-Nine at 3750 ppm and Cycocel at 1000 ppm or Sumagic alone at 7.5 ppm.
It is best to begin PGR applications about 3-5 days following a pinch and apply them at 7 day intervals, if additional control is necessary.
Pest and Disease Management
Standard pest and disease practices as stated in the notes.
Aphids, spider mites and whiteflies may be problematic, scout and treat as necessary.
-Plant the crown (where the roots meet the stem) just below the media surface. Bare root plants will have woody stems that can be several inches long, these will be above the ground.
-These are heat loving plants and they can be grown up to 80 degrees, just be sure the plants do not dry out.
-High light produces better branching, more flowers per plant and shorter plants.
-Never allow the plants to wilt or lower leaf yellowing, bud abortion and lower quality will result.
-These are vigorous plants and proper plant spacing is necessary for high quality plants, do not overcrowd.
-Summer Storm is a dark foliaged plant, however, the foliage color only develops with direct sunlight.
-Bare root plants can usually be potted and grown directly outdoors in late spring. Protect the plants from extreme cold as needed.
-Bare root plants should be used only in 2 and 3 gallon containers.
-Liners can be grown in gallon or larger containers. If using liners in 3 gallon containers you may want to use 2 to 3 liners.
-In climates with very mild winters, plants may be very late to emerge from dormancy.