Organic gardener growing food and flowers, lovin' pollinators and birds.

Patio Party Hibiscus Offers Outstanding Color, Variety

Want to make your neighbors envious of your entryway?

First to Arrive in direct sunlight.
(From my Instagram account.)
Then it's time to add the Patio Party Hibiscus line to your gardening repertoire.

But be prepared for that long, lingering gaze from across the fence. I know, because it happened to me. When my neighbor's flowers were succumbing to the heat, my two Patio Party Hibiscus just kept blooming.

Needless to say, I've been delighted with the two hibiscuses I was able to trial for J. Berry Nursery this growing season. I've grown tropical hibiscus in the past with average results. Usually I bring them home from the nursery and they look great, but then as the season goes on, they tend to peter out.

This photo was taken in the same day. On the left was the
flower in the morning. The right shows how the color
intensified during the day, and held up to a rain storm.
(From my Instagram account.)
The Patio Party line has been blooming consistently for me, even in the hottest temperatures with very humid conditions. I've shared photos of the blossoms through my Instagram account throughout the growing season (13 weeks, beginning in June). I noticed the plants also kept their flowers longer than my other hibiscus I regularly grow. (In fact, when my yellow hibiscus was already curling in its petals for the night, Patio Party Hibiscus First to Arrive was still wide open.)

The plants did not attract any pests in my garden: the leaves and flower petals remained unblemished. One of the best features was how the flower color intensified throughout the day (as seen in the photo of Party Crasher at right).

Of the several varieties in the Patio Party line, I was able to trial First to Arrive and Party Crasher.

I'm not usually a fan of orange flowers, but Party Crasher totally won me over. The plant tag that arrived with the plant even warned me of this: "Party Crasher is fun and vivacious: she may not have been invited but you couldn't imagine the party without her."

Patio Party Hibiscus Party Crasher loved the sun.

Multiple blooms in the setting sun.
(From my Instagram account.)
The bright clementine-hued flower - with a center that varies from white to pink - ranges in color intensity. The flowers shrugged off rain - even heavy rain. During the very dry late-summer weather we experienced in Central Connecticut, I did have to water the plant almost every day. It also bounced back more quickly than my other container plants. I included Party Crasher in my late-season fertilizing routine to increase blooms (I used Espoma's organic Flower Tone). The plant responded quickly to this nutrient boost and sent out even more flowers: sometimes there were three or four flowers blooming at once. My plant stayed fairly compact growing in a blue glazed ceramic pot in direct sun. I combined the plant with lantana, which turned into a pretty, colorful combination.

Patio Party Hibiscus First to Arrive. (From my Instagram account.)
First to Arrive has slightly larger
flowers than standard tropical hibiscus.
(From my Instagram account.)
The second variety I tried was First to Arrive, and honestly, photos do not do the plant justice. The red is so deep, so dark, that I have trouble replicating it in digital photography. It is a knockout flower when it blooms. Again, one of the features I was most impressed with was its ability to withstand heavy, torrential rain. When my plants (think dahlias) were pelted, First to Arrive merely shrugged at the rain: Is that all you've got? It also benefited from the late season addition of Flower Tone.

The flowers are slightly larger than my other standard tropical hibiscus I grow (as seen at left). The plant tag that arrived with First to Arrive stated that it "loves to see and be seen: she is confident, classic and prefers to lead, not follow." It even made my worn-out blue garage door look like the perfect backdrop for its brilliant petals.

First to Arrive glams up the garden.
The Patio Party plants are the result of five years of breeding by Jim Berry, co-owner and developer of the Patio Party line for J. Berry Nursery. With names like Hot Head, Queen Bee and Social Butterfly, a gardener would expect the flowers to be flashy and exciting. First to Arrive and Party Crasher provided color in my container garden area when my other plants began to fizzle and die back (for me, it was mainly petunias and salvias that fared the worst). I do plan on bringing the plants indoors for the winter, since the Patio Party line is only hardy to Zone 9 and I live in Zone 6b. After I overwinter them, I plan on transplanting them to larger containers to see if they will increase in size.

*J. Berry Nursery supplied me with two plants to trial this growing season: First to Arrive and Party Crasher.


  1. Gorgeous flower form and colors! I couldn't find any distributors on the west coast though.

    1. Hi Hannah! Thanks for your comment! I checked in with my contact at J. Berry and she said they are planning to expand their distribution in 2016 to nurseries on the East and West Coast, but if you have a specific retailer you shop at, they can contact them directly! Would you like me to pass any information along for you? Thanks!


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