The Q&A Archives: planting rose of sharon (hibiscus)

Question: I live in Indiana near Chicago, Illinois. I just saw a tree/bush that was called a blushing bush, also tagged with the hibiscus name. I am inquiring about the climate i live in. Will the shrub/tree do well during winter season.

Answer: Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is hardy to zone 5. According to your zip code you are in gardening zone 5A. To make sure your plant survives the winter, wait until frost kills the tops of the plant then cut them down and mulch over the top of the soil with several inches of mulch or straw or pine boughs to protect the roots over the winter months. Each spring new stems and flowers will appear. As your plant matures you can leave the stems alone rather than cut them down. They will become woody and should be able to survive the winter weather.

Generally speaking, rose of sharon bushes can get 8'-10' tall and have a spread of 4'-6'. However, some cultivars stay shorter (e.g., Hibiscus syriacus 'Minerva' reaches only 5'-8'). Blooms on rose of sharon can be white, red, lavender or light blue; some have double blooms. Most rose of sharon bushes bear small, deeply-lobed, light-green leaves (may vary according to cultivar).

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