The 2nd summer it came back about 1/3 larger with more stems. I began securing the brittle branches with small ropes as soon as it started growing. But many of the ones I didn't tie broke. It doesn't bloom until around just before mid July.
This summer it had even more stems and I added 4 large re-enforced stakes around it, and tied small rope about every 12-18" around all the stakes like ladder rungs. I did this as soon as I saw new shoots coming up. I even cut a half doz stems because they were too spread out. When a branch wants to droop, I tuck it under the "rungs". I didn't lose any branches this summer. This year that Hibiscus is tight and tall and looks much neater. And doesn't block the views of nearby plants so much.
Photo from today, its 3rd summer. I just measured it and it's 7 1/2 feet tall. No blooms yet but plenty of flower buds. You can see a few of the ropes holding the branches:
Photo of it blooming last summer. It was not as tall or compact as this year. Look closely and you'll see the small rope on some of the branches. Every morning I picked off about 5 withered inflorescences. This was a hassle I didn't like but made it look well kept:
Oh, Japanese Beetles love eating the new growth and flowers. I had to spray it daily the first 2 years but this year I put up a bag-a-bug trap. I only spray 1-2x per week. Now I only have 0-2 beetles at a time eating it...and my Musa Basjoos.
I was recently told about Rose Mallow hibiscus. It gets 12" wide flowers. Does anyone know of a place in DC/Baltimore area or suburbs that sells them? I can't find any.
This is the planting view I don't want it to block: 6 Caladium varieties, 2 Alocasia varieties, and 2 Colocasia varieties. I'll post more on my successes with these some other time:
Note the burgundy double claw-like tuber tip on the rock. The Colocasia Esculenta 'Black Magic' is sending that out.
This is the Brandywine Caladium leaf that only shows from the side in the above pic. It is 15 1/2 inches long and 16 inches tall. Quite a striking color and size for being in MD and not FL in my opinion. It gets better...more red as the leaf ages. Could that be the reason for the name? Below it are 2 Heart's Delight Caladiums.