The Q&A Archives: Rose of Sharon

Question: I have a rose of sharon that always gets buds, but they drop off before ever opening. What's the problem?

Answer: Premature flower drop can be caused by overwatering. Some plants (like camellias) just naturally develop more buds than they can possibly support and the plant drops them before they open. But a Rose of Sharon should be able to support all the buds it develops. Overfertilization might also be a factor; too much nitrogen results in luxuriant growth at the expense of flowers. This spring try fertilizing with a low-nitrogen, high phosphorus (bloom enhancing) fertilizer. Established plants require infrequent, but deep soakings during the growing season. This winter you can prune your plant back, removing all but two buds on each stem. These buds will produce new flowering wood in the spring. Hope the above measures help your Rose of Sharon shape up and bloom prolifically!

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