The Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syiracus, is a deciduous shrub native to India. This bush is easy to care for and easily maintained. Its dark green leaves and blossoms appear later in the spring than most other plants and blossoms all summer long. It can grow 8 – 10 feet tall with a branch spread of 4 – 6 feet. It has white, light blue, red or lavender colored flowers that range from 2 – 5 inches in diameter. The Rose of Sharon flower attracts hummingbirds and bees.
Rose of Sharon Conditions
The Rose of Sharon plant is drought tolerant and loves heat and full sun. Don’t plant in an area that has direct heavy winds. The recommended USDA zones are 5 – 10. The temperature range for this plant is 40 degrees Fahrenheit to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. In warmer climates, it may be evergreen. Winter mulch if the temperature falls below zero.
Rose of Sharon Planting
Plant the Rose of Sharon bush in the full sun in spring or late fall. Dig the hole as deep as the root ball, and 2 to 3 times as wide as the ball. If the soil is poor, mix some compost in. If the soil is good, compost isn’t needed. Plant in a well drained area. If the soil doesn’t drain, it will develop yellow leaves. Plant them six to ten feet apart to use as a hedge
Rose of Sharon Pruning
Remove dead, diseased or broken branches anytime. Do heavy pruning in late winter or early spring. The first two seasons are the most important to train the Rose of Sharon tree. Train in late winter by trimming to one main trunk for an espalier that will grow along a wall, fence or trellis. Trim appropriately to keep the shape after the second year. The Rose of Sharon can be trimmed to be a bush or a small tree.
Care and Watering
Compost in the spring to the drip line and add a two-inch layer of mulch. If the leaves become yellow, it is receiving too much water. If the soil isn’t being drained enough, wait until it dries out to give more water. Don’t fertilize after July.
Rose of Sharon Seeds
Some regard the Rose of Sharon shrub to be a nuisance because it spreads and reproduces easily. It develops a seedpod that scatters seeds that will easily grow. Because of this feature, many consider this plant a weed. The best method to keep it from scattering is to prune the pods from the bush before they open and drop the seeds.