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Confederate Rose

April 2010

QuestionI would like to try a hardy oleander in Hot Springs Village. I have heard of Hines Hardy. Is there one you would recommend? Does the Confederate rose grow here? Will trailing Thyme do around stepping stones. I need something that stays alive all winter.


AnswerPrior to this winter, even the common oleander varieties were overwintering in central Arkansas without any damage. This winter some did take a hit, but they should be coming back from the root system even if they were frozen back. Confederate rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) is winter hardy from central Arkansas south--it dies completely to the ground each year and is slow to recover in the spring, but it will come back. Creeping thyme is a wonderful ground cover around rocky sites. It doesn't like rich, wet areas, so should do well around stepping stones and you get the added benefit of it being culinary as well as ornamental. There are actually several varieties of thyme with green, yellow or variegated foliage.

November 2006

QuestionI have a flower that was given to me as a cutting last spring. I planted it and it now is six feet tall and blooming very beautifully here in my garden in Arkadelphia. The lady called it a Federal or Federate Rose. Can you give me any info on this plant? It has large leaves and no stickers as does a regular rose.


AnswerIt is actually a type of hardy hibiscus--Hibiscus mutabalis, commonly called the Confederate Rose. It does grow quite tall in one season, blooms typically in October and dies completely back to the ground in the fall/winter after a killing frost. I was recently given some cuttings of a single flowering form that is supposed to bloom earlier in the season.


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