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Hibiscus Show and Sale set for Sunday

By Staff | Jun 3, 2016

They haven’t been growing hibiscus plants for very long, but Philly and Vic Christopherson have grown to love the plant and the people who grow them along with them.

The couple joined the James E. Hendry Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society in Fort Myers just a few months ago, and have become not only the most involved people in the group, but also the most promising growers of the plant.

They had a big hand in helping to put together hold its 65th annual Hibiscus Show and Plant Sale on Sunday, June 5, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Araba Temple, 2010 Hanson St., Fort Myers.

The show is the oldest, largest and best attended of all Florida’s hibiscus shows, attracting several hundred people annually.

Philly has always enjoyed plants, but the Michigan climate makes it impossible to grow year round.

The Christophersons got interested in February when Philly, after reading about the society in the paper, decided to go to a meeting. She enjoyed it so much she became a member and brought her husband along soon after.

Not only have they learned about hibiscus plants, but have made many new friends, which is an even greater reward.

“She wanted to learn more about the plant, so she joined the society. We’ve had a very nice time with the people. They’re very sociable and we’ve learned a lot about the hibiscus,” Vic said, “They’re a very beautiful plant.”

The Christophersons have become fast learners, planting several varieties of their own hibiscuses outside their Cape Coral home. They have learned about grafting to try to create new varieties and proper care for the plant.

Wanda Schmoyer, society president, said it was rare for people to be this excited. They have attended every event and meeting since the day they joined, and have been heavily involved in the upcoming Hibiscus Show, though they won’t be able to attend because are returning to Michigan to attend the high school graduation of their grandson.

Every year, the show gets better and better. Schmoyer said this year will be no different.

“The event will showcase hundreds of different hybrid hibiscus blooms in a variety of colors and forms which will be judged in several different classes, including amateur, collector, open collector, commercial and seedlings,” Schmoyer said.

More than 650 hybrid hibiscus plants will be for sale, including Angel’s Wings, Bayou Rose, Blackberry Jam, Bienvenue, Black Dragon, Storm Front, Vermillion Queen, Voodoo Queen and much more. This is the best opportunity Southwest Floridians have to add to their hybrid hibiscus collection.

There will also be giveaways every 30 minutes for gift certificates from Baskets by Patricia, Bennett’s Coffee, Edison/Ford Estates, Edison Restaurant, Gavins Ace Hardware, Hooters, The Imaginarium, Oasis Restaurant, Outback Steakhouse, PGA Golf, Wisteria Tea Room and much more.

Hibiscus grow abundantly in Florida’s tropical climate. The more veteran members of the society who are experts will be available to provide advice.

Should anyone have questions regarding how the blooms are judged, there will also be several senior American Hibiscus Society judges present.

The show is the climax of the year for the society as the group will not meet again until October.

The society meets at The Salvation Army Building, 10291 McGregor Blvd., on the second Sunday of each month.

Parking and admission to the is free. For more, go to www.hendrychapterahs.com.