Hibiscus forum: White Rose of Sharon killed by winter...maybe

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Name: David Tillyer
New York City
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BigAppleRoseGuy
May 27, 2018 10:04 AM CST
I've got a lovely Rose of Sharon that has been growing nicely in my Manhattan garden for about 15 years. It has wonderful white flowers and, true to form, puts out lots of flowers during the late summer and fall.

Suddenly this spring, it was not shooting out leaves and the upper branches are brittle. The branches lower down are less brittle and seem to have a little flow of juices (There's a correct term for those juices, I know, but I'm not a horticulturist!) in them...a little bit of green. Also there are a lot of suckers surrounding the plant.

Buoyed by this profusion of suckers, I've clipped most of the brittle top branches. The result is a rather ugly skeleton with lots of bushy little would-be trees below.

Have I done the right thing? Someone said on this website recently: There are not mistakes in gardening, only experiments. Well, this experiment may have been a mistake. I'd like to hear from the good people on this forum and I promise I will report progress.
David
PS. I've just added a picture with the shorn tree surrounded by the suckers.

Thumb of 2018-05-28/BigAppleRoseGuy/f3be13

[Last edited by BigAppleRoseGuy - May 28, 2018 9:14 AM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
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plantmanager
May 27, 2018 10:20 AM CST
I don't have them, but I think most things are late coming out this year. It's good that you have lots of suckers so it will probably be fine. Good luck! Update us with a pic when it's blooming again.
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awhite522
May 28, 2018 9:09 PM CST
It's been a pretty cold winter/spring in a lot of places so maybe it's just behind.

Well suckers mean that the roots are alive so that's a good thing. Can't tell from the pic are you sure those suckers are actually from it. Maybe those are just previous years seeds from it that sprouted?

I would have probably waited until everything sprouted and was growing before cutting anything, would have been easier to see what's dead vs alive and what you have to work with.
[Last edited by awhite522 - May 29, 2018 1:13 PM (+)]
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Name: David Tillyer
New York City
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BigAppleRoseGuy
Jun 2, 2018 2:00 PM CST
As I was snipping away (after thinking about it for a couple of weeks) I had all kinds of second the third thoughts. I haven't seen either seedlings or suckers from this tree since I've had it. That's confounding enough, but then the tree dies on me. You're probably right, awhite.

I think I'll just let the suckers or seedlings mature. It's not as if I don't have enough to do in the garden. David
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jul 22, 2018 9:46 PM CST
I think some are grafted which means if that is the case, the suckers you have coming up will be from the rootstock and not what you had. That may not be a bad thing, just saying they may be completely different.
Name: David Tillyer
New York City
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BigAppleRoseGuy
Aug 4, 2018 12:36 PM CST
I hadn't thought about that. I didn't know that rose of sharon were grown on different root stock --like roses. There's been no flowering so far. Maybe next year. The leaves are beautiful and green, and they do look like rose of sharon/hibiscus leaves. We'll see. It's one of the exciting parts about gardening.
Name: David Tillyer
New York City
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BigAppleRoseGuy
Sep 22, 2018 2:15 PM CST
Toward the end of the season, my beautiful white Rose of Sharon has turned into a rather ordinary pink-flowered bush. So Frillylily is right, the suckers are just the rootstock showing their colors. As Fillylily says..."That may not be a bad thing, just saying they may be completely different."
I love the stuff that grows in the ground. Always a thrill.
David
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Sep 22, 2018 8:50 PM CST
You may be able to root an offshoot and start a new plant of the root stock if you want a separate plant of that.

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