Growing a rose of Sharon bush is the easiest way to fill your yard with season-long color. Care for rose of Sharon trees. Hibiscus syriacus pruning and pictures. Althea plant growing information.
This rose of Sharon bush has been strategically placed to hide a water hose outside a Cape May, NJ Bed and Breakfast Inn.
The rose of Sharon tree is a cold hardy hibiscus commonly grown in USDA zones 5-8. Many references claim that it will grow in zone 9 but it really does not perform well this far south. Its tropical cousin Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is a better choice for zones 9-11.
This is the only rose of Sharon bush I have ever seen growing in Florida.
It is planted outside an historic church in Ormond Beach. It is mature and appears to be thriving.
I planted a few of these in my yard when we first moved down here. My neighbors warned me that they would not survive. They had tried this and failed long before I did.
My neighbors were right.
I consider this beautiful specimen to be the exception that proves the rule.
The flowers of Hibiscus syriacus closely resemble those of the heat loving tropical hibiscus. They are a bit smaller and appear in blue, pink, purple, red, and white.
The showy, five-petaled blooms arrive in late summer and last through September.
They are produced on new growth.
There are single and double-flowered cultivars.
The doubles are generally not as hardy so the singles maintain greater popularity.
This picture shows how lovely the double rose of Sharon bush looks in the landscape.
Gardeners in all but the coldest end of this plant's hardiness range will enjoy great success with the double-flowered cultivars.
The toothed green leaves are deciduous in the winter but pack the plant densely throughout the summer. They reappear, slowly, in early summer. Some cultivars have leaves edged or mottled in yellow or white.
This low maintenance shrub requires pruning only to shape it or remove damaged or crossing wood. It is drought tolerant once established and also salt tolerant. A sunny site in any well-drained soil will suit it.
Rose of Sharon bush will grow into a vase-shaped shrub 10 feet high by 6 feet wide. It is often limbed up into a small tree. My mother used to grow a row of them in this fashion in her yard in Connecticut.
*Althea bush has been escaping from gardens in Connecticut and naturalizing in woodlands and open spaces. I'm not really surprised at this as it has been so heavily planted there.