A Passion for Hibiscus

The hibiscus-filled Larchmont Heights front yard of Darren Eminian

It all started with one plant seven years ago.  Darren Eminian and his wife wanted to add plants to their front yard garden that would flower and attract hummingbirds. After a recent trip to Hawaii, they decided to plant a hibiscus…and one thing led to another.

Now, there are more than 300 hibiscus plants in their yard, featuring an incredible array of colorful flowers throughout the year..though the blooms are the largest and most abundant in October, according to Eminian, who gave the Buzz a tour of his yard in Larchmont Heights last week.

“These plants are drought tolerant and provide flowers continuously throughout the year, who wouldn’t want that?” explained Eminian.

Eminian became so smitten with these colorful bloomers that he quit his job as a banker and started his own landscaping company, Colorlicious Hibiscus Gardens, whose bold mission is to “change the face of landscaping on the Southern California Coastal Plain.

Eminian has partnered with hybridizer Charles Black, of Hidden Valley Hibiscus, who developed a new gene pool of hibiscus bushes with abundant deep green leaves that that produce huge blooms with colors and patterns.  He’s happy to share details on the growing system he developed for his own yard that encourages the plants to flourish year round.

Darren Eminian grows hibiscus even in the back of his garage

Using a drip irrigation system, Eminian feeds the plants as he waters them. The “fertigation” system uses a non-electric tank that relies on water pressure alone. The plants require well-draining, aerated soils, so Eminian removed the top 12 inches of our naturally occurring clay soil from his planting beds to get the amazing hedges of flowers all around his front and back yard. The plants also grow in pots, a necessity for Eminian, who has run out of planting space. In fact, he’s taken to planting some in the narrow walkway in the back of his garage, but the plants don’t seem to mind!

If you’re wondering what goes with hibiscus, Eminian recommends planting hibiscus with citrus since both love lots of potassium.

 

 

 

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About Patricia Lombard

Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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