Rose of Sharon

An erect, deciduous shrub, Rose of Sharon produces colorful, cup-shaped flowers in summer and fall. Other common names include shrub althea and Chinese hibiscus.

About This Plant

Rose of Sharon flowers in late summer to fall when few other shrubs are in bloom. Flower colors include blue, pink, red, lavender, purple, and white, depending on the variety. Most varieties grow 8 to 12 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide. The plant shows good pollution tolerance, making it appropriate for urban gardens.

Special Features

Easy care/low maintenance

Site Selection

Select a site with full sun to light shade and moist, well-drained soil.

Planting Instructions

Plant in spring or fall. Space plants 6 to 10 feet apart, depending on the expected mature size of the plant. Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide. If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you've removed from the hole with a small amount of compost. Otherwise don't amend it at all. Carefully remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole. Fill the hole half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Let the water drain, then fill the remainder of hole with soil and water thoroughly.

Care

Apply a layer of compost under the tree each spring, spreading it out to the dripline (the area under the outermost branches). Add a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Flowers are produced on new wood, so prune in early spring to shape and reduce size. Pruning the shrub back to 2 to 3 buds per branch in spring encourages larger flowers. Remove dead, diseased, and injured branches any time.

Other Plant Care Guides in Trees, Shrubs and Vines
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Crape Myrtle
Dianthus
Dogwood
Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Gardenia
Heavenly Bamboo
Hibiscus
Holly
Honeysuckle
Hydrangea
Lilac
Mockorange
Ninebark
Oleander
Plumeria
Rhododendron
Rose
Rose of Sharon
Smoketree / Smokebush
Spirea
Viburnum
Wisteria

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Article published on May 10, 2005.

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