Looking for a touch of the tropics in your landscape? Then look no further than this Southern Living Plant Collection favorite! The Panama Red Hibiscus features beautiful burgundy red foliage that can handle even the hottest dog days of summer. This deciduous shrub is generally grown for its maple-like foliage, but it does periodically produce brilliant red flowers. Enjoy fantastic leaf texture and color that naturally crafts a unique scene, especially when planted with contrasting colors and textures. For example, try planting this hibiscus with Lydia Tecoma or agapanthus, such as the Queen Mum Agapanthus. The contrasting colors will pop in your garden and have a distinctly tropical appearance.
Furthermore, there’s another aspect of the Panama Red that deserves mentioning. Both the leaves and flowers on this Hibiscus are edible! The leaves are tart and lemon-like and can be eaten cooked or raw. Throw them in a salad, steep them in tea, or mix them in a stir-fry a few minutes before you’re ready to serve. They’re sure to add some extra flavor and color that may just take your dish to the next level.
This Southern Living plant reaches around 4′ H x 2′ W. It fits right at home in a container planting, or as an accent plant. As an added bonus, this shrub is also somewhat deer-resistant.
Plant the Panama Red in Full sun, and in well-draining, slightly acidic garden soil.
Water regularly when first planted until established (at least a few months). This will encourage roots to extend deeper, which will help to ensure your plant’s success.
Fertilize in spring with a slow-release balanced fertilizer to keep this Hibiscus thriving. For organic gardeners, fertilize with a balanced organic fertilizer every two months or so in spring.
Plant Your Panama Red Hibiscus 2-2.5 feet apart for a solid hedge. Otherwise, plant them 5+ feet apart for space between shrubs.