The Littlest Hibiscus Flower
Posted on December 5, 2020 Posted by John Scalzi 9 Comments
Slow day here at the Scalzi Compound, so, here, have a picture of our hibiscus plant, which we potted and placed in the garage for the winter, so it wouldn’t die in the cold. The hibiscus is determined to keep doing its thing and is throwing out flowers — tiny flowers, relative to the ones it has in the summer, but even so. I admire its tenacity and endurance, and feel there’s probably a metaphor for all of us, trying to get through the waning days of 2020. Keep at it and find beauty where you can.
I can use pretty today.
We moved to our current house in 2014. I bought a tiny hibiscus that Spring for the deck. When Winter hit, I brought it inside knowing they don’t really like being houseplants but I figured it was going to die outside anyway, so why not? It survived, goes out on the deck every Spring, comes in when it gets cold, and is now the size of a small tree.
Survive.It’s the best we can do sometimes.
Does your family make tea with the hibiscus? I like it best iced with lots of sugar.
Thank you for this. Sounds like it should be the title of an inspiring holiday story.
Yeeeeeears ago, my mom wanted me to be in our local amateur theater play of The Littlest Angel, but when I had to sing as part of the tryout – ALL BY MYSELF – I balked. No role for little me! Your littlest hibiscus also reminds me of the hibiscus plants we had in my backyard. At least once a year I would cut one flower and wear it in my hair :) Happy holidays!
I grew up in South Florida, and we had a year-round hibiscus hedge line across our back property boundary. It was short enough that 8 year old me could easily jump over it to go play with the kids who lived behind us.
But in S. Fla. there are these tiny caterpillars that like to chomp on hibiscus leaves. They are green and blend in with the leaves. They also have little spines on the back that sting if you touch them.
Well, living in Florida means wearing shorts almost all the time. You see where this is going, don’t you? Yep, welts from caterpillar stings all down the back of my legs. I learned really quickly that it was easier to walk around the block to go play with my friends.
I still love hibiscus flowers, and have had potted hibiscus plants on my patio.* I have never tried bringing them in over winter, though. You have inspired me to do so.
*Living in North Alabama brings a whole new pest problem – black widow spiders. That’s a story for another day.
That’s the plant’s middle finger to 2020.