Great Red Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus), a perennial native to the coastal swamps of Georgia and Florida, was adopted as an ornamental in American gardens by the end of the 18th century, when George Washington ordered a plant for Mount Vernon. The species bears palmately-lobed leaves and bright scarlet blossoms that are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.
Start seeds indoors 8-12 weeks before last frost date at 70 degrees F. Scarify seeds before sowing. Transplant seedlings to 1 gallon pots, then harden off and plant outdoors after last frost to rich soil with moderate to abundant moisture. From seed, plants will flower in their second season from mid-summer until cold weather. Approximately 8 seeds per packet.
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