Welcome to the

Pith   Vigor



the Book



Hey There! I’m Rochelle Greayer. I’m a garden designer on TV and IRL. I’m also an author and entrepreneur who thinks she can save the world by teaching everyone a little something about landscape design.



REgister now!

A Free Master Class




Join the Course Today!

Mix & match plants like a pro!

Marvelous New Hardy Hibiscus – A Tropical plant for anyone, anywhere

Filed In:

midnight marvel hardy hibiscus

Which plant is literally on fire in our Coastal Maine garden right now? Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel.’ I admittedly ordered this hardy hibiscus on a whim when we needed to add some more late season color to our new planting beds. It is not a strictly tropical plant (in fact it is hardy to zone 4), but with its huge bright flowers – it looks like one.

Designing with Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’

After looking through the availability listings, this one sounded like it would go with our new plantings which included dark-leaved Phormium, ‘Black Madras’ (‘Jack Spratt’ is a similar dark leaved phormium that would work too), bright red kangaroo paws , and stop-light red Coreopsis. (the phormium and the kangaroo paws are both plants you would more commonly find in a tropical garden – but we have successfully grown them in our temperate Maine coastal garden)

When we got the plants, midnight marvel immediately caught our guests attention. This hibiscus has a dark red leaf color like that of some of the non-hardy Hibiscus acetosella cultivars. Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’ differs from H. acetosella in that it does not have dissected leaves. The leaves are over 6″ wide and a deep, wine-red.

Planting Hardy Hibiscus

As with most red leaved plants, be sure to site this plant in full sun so it captures as many of the ultraviolet rays as are available. Too much shade will cause the foliage to look pale, weak, and exhibit spotty orange colors. Hardy hibiscus is triggered to bloom by warm weather and a long growing season – so in the north it typically starts flowering in August.

midnight marvel hibiscus tropical garden plant

As summer went on, our plants continued to grow and are now over 4 feet tall. Various reports state that these plants will ultimately reach 6 feet tall so we will monitor its growth over the coming years.

The real show is once it starts to flower. Gorgeous, 8″ wide hibiscus flowers emerge from various spots on the plant. The flowers are a bright red that stops our guests in their tracks.

The best thing about this Hibiscus…

Whenever I am talking with folks about these plants, I always throw in the fact that they are perennials. No one can believe that they are a cold hardy hibiscus to at least USDA zone 5. (but they are!) The flowers are reminiscent of the Chinese hibiscus which only grows in tropical areas.

This cold hardy hibiscus is a nativar in much of the USA. These giant blooms and tropical flowers grow natively in wetlands, along streams and in boggy areas where they get plenty of water. If you have a sunny but soggy part of your garden, they would be a great choice. If they actual tropics appeal to you, but you can’t get there often enough, making your garden feel a bit more like a tropical getaway is a nice alternative. Hardy hibiscus, combined with some other large leafed plants (cannas, elephant ear, palms, etc) can help to create a tropical garden anywhere.

There are, BTW, a wide range of other colors in the hardy hibiscus world – the flowers all generally huge, and in shades and combinations of pinks, whites, reds, purples and burgundy.

Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’ is a hybrid between H. ‘Cranberry Crush’ and H. ‘Summer Storm.’ From these two plants, the ‘Midnight Marvel’ gets its dark foliage and big, bright-red flowers. The combination is amazing and this may well be one of the top perennial introductions in years.


Images: Wayside Gardens, Lost In The Flowers

Other Hibiscus and Tropical Garden Style Post You Might Enjoy:

REgister now!

A Free Master Class



  1. Chandru says:

    WOW Great Post..!! Hibiscus is always awesome flower which everyone likes as always good info for every garden & landscape Lovers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Does Your Garden Need a Makeover?

Learn my 7-step system to design and build a stunning garden anywhere in the world.

Understand The 5 mistakes EVERYONE makes when creating a garden.
(save yourself time, money, & headaches and get much better results!)

See How to work directly with me (but at a DIY price!) to
design and create YOUR own gorgeous garden. 


Join my Free Class!

join the FrEE 10-day garden Design challenge

Your Garden will look waaayyy better in less than 2 weeks - Promise!

in the weeds?

Sign me up