Wednesday’s Plant Pick – Rose of Sharon


The late summer and early fall often brings blooms of purples, pinks, whites, reds and even blues to the urban landscape. The Rose of Sharon or “Hibiscus sp.” is a common shrub found in zones five and higher, planted for its fantastic display of late colour blooms.

The Rose of Sharon is technically a shrub, growing upwards of 10′ high and at least half as wide, but is often trimmed or grafted into a tree form. It makes a fantastic specimen in the landscape!

These grubs prefer a sunny location , shadier locals tend to promote fungal diseases. Well drained soils are a must! Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring and removing the seed pods will help to ensure that your shrubs don’t over populate your garden beds!

Many new gardeners panic in the spring thinking their Rose of Sharon is dead – this is generally not the case. Rose of Sharon is very late to leaf out, so patience is necessary with these plants. I always remind my clients of this when they plant a Rose of Sharon, never panic in the spring! The late leaves just mean they will have blooms long past many other shrubs in the garden who will have ceased blooming much earlier in the season!

There are so many variations on the Rose of Sharon – from color of the bloom, to size of the bloom, to the bloom being a single or double. You can even get grafted standards that have more than one bloom color on them as well as seedless varieties!

But one thing is for sure, at least for me, the Rose of Sharon gives me a bit of a tropical feel long after my garden, and the weather feels “tropical”!


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