National Garden Bureau and the Shrub of 2021

Tue. Jan. 12, 2021

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: National Garden Bureau and the Shrub of 2021

One of the good things the year 2020 brought, is a huge increase in gardeners. According to The Garden Center Group, garden center sales have been up 30.3% during COVID-19, creating an opportunity to capture interest in gardening for today and years to come. Many folks devoted their “down” time to this wonderful hobby, creating beauty, enjoying nature, spending time together with family in a healthy way.    

My daisies and coneflowers

The National Garden Bureau has been around for over 100 years to inspire, connect and educate home gardeners and are a marketing arm for seed companies, breeders and nurseries. Each year they choose a shrub, a vegetable, an annual, a perennial and a bulb of the year.

For 2021 they selected the shrub Hardy Hibiscus. Fast-growing and fabulous, these plants explode with pinwheel-like flowers the size of dinner plates in late summer.

Hardy Hibiscus ‘Fireball’ 2008

Often confused with their tropical cousins, these plants are actually capable of surviving temps as low as -30° F. Yeah for us!

Hibiscus ‘Strawberry cheesecake’ 2017

Hardy Hibiscus are hybrids of a native species that can be found growing naturally in wetlands and along riverbanks throughout the Midwest. They are true perennials, tend to have the largest flowers, and die back to the ground each year.

Hibiscus Summerific ‘Spinderella’

Admittedly they are REALLY slow to come back in spring. I’ve stood over mine willing it to come up. BUT, that said, they start up in June and don’t stop! Simply gorgeous and there are so many offerings now. Walters Gardens introduces Summerific French Vanilla.

Hibiscus ‘French Vanilla’

A new color for the collection and a breakthrough for yellow Hardy Hibiscus. Soft yellow flower buds open to 7-8″ creamy custard yellow, ruffled flowers with a prominent red eye.

Hibiscus ‘French Vanilla’ closeup