10 Companion Plants for Summerific Hibiscus
Summerific® Hibiscus are showstoppers in the landscape, especially when they are in bloom, but every headliner needs backup singers. Here are 10 plants that make great companions for these robust perennials.
How do you design with a plant that wants to steal all of the attention? Does such a rockstar plant like late summer to fall blooming Summerific® Hibiscus even need companions? These enormous perennials act like the “thriller” in our design, much like elephant ears would in a container recipe. So, let’s take a look at some “fillers” and “spillers” that can be used to complement them in landscape designs.
Summerific® Hibiscus grows outdoors as a hardy perennial in zones 4-9. It will bloom and develop its best coloration in full sun but will tolerate light shade. Consistent moisture is key. Varieties in this series range from 3 to 4 1/2' tall and typically grow a bit wider than tall.
Proven Accents® Sweet Caroline Kiwi™ Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea)
Sweet potato vines are a favorite spiller in containers and hanging baskets, but have you ever considered planting them like a groundcover? Sweet Caroline Kiwi™ makes a full, spreading mound of uniquely textured, chartreuse foliage that will fill in around the feet of your Summerific Hibiscus. It will help to keep the weeds from growing in those hidden spaces under the perennial’s skirt.
Why a perfect pairing? Its chartreuse foliage makes a dynamic contrast to dark purple-leafed Hibiscus like ‘Perfect Storm’ and ‘Holy Grail'. Also, both plants are very heat tolerant.
Snow Princess® Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia)
Draw people in for a closer look at your Summerific Hibiscus with the heady scent of sweet alyssum. It exudes its characteristic scent on warm, sunny days and lasts long into the season, just like hibiscus. This large scale annual is a good size match for your large scale perennial Hibiscus. Each plant spreads 2-4’, so you won’t need many to form a groundcover around the base. Its white flower color would complement the creamy white flowers of ‘French Vanilla’ hibiscus beautifully.
Why a perfect pairing? Both plants thrive in sunny spaces and moist soil. Snow Princess will still be in its prime when your Summerific Hibiscus is in full bloom in late summer.
Heart to Heart™ 'Flatter Me' Sun or Shade Caladium
Both caladiums and hibiscus share a tropical vibe and when paired together, they create a rainforest-like atmosphere. You will look like an absolute ace at growing plants when you pair these two beauties together! ‘Flatter Me’ caladium can grow in sun or shade, which means it can handle being planted in front of your hibiscus in full sun or on the shadier side of the plant. Pick up a bag of Heart to Heart caladium bulbs from our online store and plant them all around the feet of your Summerific Hibiscus like a groundcover.
Why a perfect pairing? Both of these tropical looking plants share similar cultural requirements. The red centers of the caladium leaves will accent the hibiscus flowers.
'Pardon My Purple' Bee Balm (Monarda)
The fuchsia purple flowers of this bee balm look spectacular when planted against the dark foliage of a hibiscus like ‘Cherry Choco Latte’ or ‘Evening Rose’. And since the plants stand just 10-12” tall, they won’t block the view of the amazing hibiscus flowers. Plant several close together around the skirt of the hibiscus to form a purple carpet.
Why a perfect pairing? Both plants share a love of sun and moist soil. Since this variety of bee balm is not an aggressive spreader, it won’t compete for space with your hibiscus.
Fall in Love™ 'Sweetly' Japanese Anemone (Anemone)
This taller perennial is in its prime right around the same time as Summerific Hibiscus, from late summer into fall. Bright rose pink flowers bloom prolifically on 2’ tall stems, so this you’ll want to plant it next to your hibiscus rather than in front of it. Its strong pink color will bring out the more subtle pink tones in ‘Ballet Slippers’ or ‘Perfect Storm’ hibiscus. Create a blooming bonanza in your garden with this perfect pairing.
Why a perfect pairing? Since both plants bloom around the same time, you’ll maximize the flower power with this pairing. Both enjoy full sun and moist soil.
Rainbow Rhythm® 'Going Bananas' Daylily (Hemerocallis)
Daylilies are versatile perennials that thrive in the same climates as hibiscus. Their strappy foliage contrasts nicely with the broad leaves of hibiscus, adding interest to the design even when the plants aren’t in bloom. ‘Going Bananas’ is a prolific bloomer, flowering in waves from early summer to frost. Count on seeing its lemon yellow flowers at the same time your Summerific hibiscus is in bloom.
Why a perfect pairing? Both plants are easy to grow in full sun and moist soil, and won’t outcompete each other for space. Their contrasting textures bring added interest to the pairing.
Prairie Winds® 'Cheyenne Sky' Red Switch Grass (Panicum)
Panicum is a super versatile native grass that tolerates wet, dry, rocky, clay and sandy soils. All it really needs is abundant sunshine, a requirement it shares with hibiscus. ‘Cheyenne Sky’ is an extra-special variety because of the way its foliage deepens to wine red as the season progresses. It complements the dark purple foliage and pink or red flowers of hibiscus beautifully, as does its fine texture.
Why a perfect pairing? Flank your ‘Cranberry Crush’ hibiscus with a few clumps of ‘Cheyenne Sky’ to complement its red flowers, and to bring movement to the design.
Let's Dance® Rave® Reblooming Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
This reliably reblooming bigleaf hydrangea produces showy mophead flowers in colors that range from rich violet purple in acidic soil to intense pink in alkaline soil. While some hydrangeas of this type would be finished flowering by the time Summerific hibiscus come into bloom, Let’s Dance Rave will be reblooming right alongside its perennial companion. At 2-3’ tall, it should be planted beside your Summerific Hibiscus rather than in front of it.
Why a perfect pairing? Both plants enjoy abundant sunshine and moisture, and should be mulched well in the garden. Enjoy big mophead hydrangea blooms in unison with your dinner plate hibiscus flowers.
Lo & Behold® 'Pink Micro Chip' Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
This low growing, 18-24” tall, dwarf butterfly bush is the perfect size for massing around the front of your Summerific hibiscus where it will see plenty of sunshine. Its pink flower panicles will start to appear in early summer, bringing interest to the space while your hibiscus is just getting going for the season. Then, it will continue to rebloom through high summer and into fall right along with its perennial companion.
Role: Filler or spiller/groundcover
Why a perfect pairing? Both plants enjoy abundant sunshine and won’t outcompete one another. The butterfly bush will bring color to the space before your hibiscus starts to bloom but will also continue to rebloom until fall.
Infinitini® Magenta Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia)
In warmer climates where Summerific hibiscus thrive, this crapemyrtle shrub will make a beautiful garden companion. Since it grows 2-4’ tall and wide, it will take up a similar amount of space as your hibiscus and bloom around the same time from high summer into fall. Its magenta flowers will complement your ‘Candy Crush’ or ‘Berry Awesome’ hibiscus perfectly.
Why a perfect pairing? Both plants are sun and heat loving, each coming into their prime around the same time in late summer with complementary flower colors.