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Hibiscus Society’s annual plant sale set for Saturday

By Staff | Oct 12, 2017

If you go to a big box store to try to find some of these “Queens of the Tropics,” you will probably be out of luck.

The James E. Hendry Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society will hold its fourth-annual hybrid hibiscus plant sale on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. (or until they are all sold) at the Salvation Army Building, 10291 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.

The sale will feature beautiful tropical hibiscus in every bright color under the sun that you’ve always wanted but could not find.

Wanda Schmoyer, a member of the society, said this event is different from the Hibiscus Show in June, which they have held for 65 years at the Araba Temple.

She said they wanted to find a way to sell plants in the fall so members can work with them and enter them in the show and so winter residents can get take part.

“People want plants and they don’t want to wait a whole year to buy them, especially the snowbirds who are not here in June,” Schmoyer said. “We decided to do a fall sale so these people can buy hybrids and enter them in the show.”

Schmoyer added that many snowbirds just take them back north with them for their enjoyment and to show them off.

The sale has been a great success, with lines outside the building an hour before the opening, since there are few plants to buy such hybrids.

“You might have to wait if you get there early, but it’s good to get there a little early because it’s first come first served. There are a lot of people who want plants for their gardens or patios,” said Charlotte Harff, of Cape Coral. She is the secretary of the society chapter and her husband, Jack Bernatz, is a plant specialist.

Around 480 hybrid plants will be available, with small plants are $15 and large for $25, with special pricing for members. Hibiscus enthusiasts can join and take advantage of the sale at member rates.

The plants are being provided by Big Bad Flower from Sarasota. Expert growing advice will be available courtesy of the chapter members who are experts on growing hibiscus.

There will be information available on how to care for hibiscus, plus books, pruning shears and fertilizer for sale.

The plants are grown on their own roots and easy to maintain. Some of these plants will grow blooms more than eight inches and come in every color, with some featuring up to five colors.

You might even want to come just to see the unusual names of these plants.

Plants that will be available include African Safari, Bayou Rose, Big Easy, Blackberry Jam and Orange Cappuccino, to Candid Camera, TyeDye and Space Oddity to Sgt. Seth Trahan to Marianne Charlton.

This is a good opportunity to add to their hybrid hibiscus collection and to replace the ones lost during Hurricane Irma, organizers said.

If interested in joining, the society meets at Berne Davis Gardens, 2166 Virginia Ave., Fort Myers on the second Sunday of each month at 1:30 p.m. The next meeting is Nov. 12.

Admission and parking are free. For more information, visit hendrychapterahs.com or call 848-7090.