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Hibiscus Show and Plant Sale set for Sunday

By Staff | Jun 1, 2017

Hibiscus growers and lovers will want to make a stop in Fort Myers this weekend.

The 66th annual Hibiscus Show and Plant Sale will take place on Sunday, June 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Araba Shriners. Hosted by the James E. Hendry Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society, the event will feature hundreds of hybrid hibiscus blooms, along with an assortment of the plants for sale.

The show and sale are open to the public; admission and parking are free.

“We need to promote growing hibiscus,” Wanda Schmoyer, past president of the chapter, said.

“It’s the queen of the tropics,” she added.

In the past, up to 800 blooms have been on display for the show.

“We’re talking hundreds,” Schmoyer said.

“We would love to get at least 300 blooms brought in from all over the state,” she added.

A panel of judges will review each entry and judge them in several classes, including amateur, collector, open collector, commercial and seedlings. The blooms will also be broken down based on categories, like single, double and miniature. First, second and third place ribbons are awarded.

Cape Coral residents Jimmie and Mary Sanner are hoping to enter their blooms.

“We’ll go out the morning of the show and, if we have any viable good blooms, we’ll take them,” Mary Sanner said. “Hibiscus only last for one day.”

Marking their second year in the chapter, the couple had never heard about hibiscus before buying their home at 1909 N.E. 44th Terrace. They moved down from the Annapolis area in Maryland.

“When we bought the house, we had about 30 in the yard,” Jimmie Sanner said.

“We have like 60 different hibiscus bushes,” he added of their current count.

Mary Sanner noted that her husband collects the blooms every day from the yard for her.

“I have little vases all around,” she said. “It just looks beautiful. It’s such a nice presentation.”

While they hope to enter Sunday’s show, the couple do not expect to win big as amateurs.

“We’re going to enter, but we’re not too excited about winning,” Jimmie Sanner said.

Recently, they entered a show in Punta Gorda as amateurs – their first competition. The couple took home first place for three of their miniature blooms and best of show for one of their single blooms.

“Since we’re amateurs, we had an advantage because there was such few people,” he said.

They encouraged the public to explore the world of hibiscus and the chapter.

“The flowers are just so beautiful,” Mary Sanner said. “You can get so many varieties and so many colors.”

According to Schmoyer, a little over 600 people attended the event last year.

“We’re hoping for the same, if not more,” she said.

More than 600 hybrid hibiscus plants will be available for sale.

Schmoyer noted that the plants are coming from a nursery in Sarasota.

“Fifty different varieties,” she said. “Every shade, every color.”

“Doubles, singles and miniatures,” Schmoyer added.

The larger 3-gallon plants will be $25, while the smaller 4-inch plants will be $15.

Attendees can become chapter members onsite and receive $5 off per plant.

Door prizes will be given every 30 minutes for gift certificates.

“I have $2,500 in value for door prizes that vendors around town have donated,” she said.

“We have some nice prizes,” Schmoyer added.

The event serves as a fundraiser for the chapter, along with a plant sale in November.

“We probably made over $2,500,” she said of last year’s show and sale.

Organizers encouraged the public to come out.

“We’ve got some spectacular growers,” Schmoyer said. “They’re going to be blown away when they walk in the room to see all these blooms.”

For more information, visit online at: hendrychapterahs.com.

The Araba Shriners is at 2010 Hanson St., Fort Myers.