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Rose-of-SharonHibiscus syriacus

  • Rose of Sharon bush - Hibiscus syriacus
The Rose-of-Sharon is an deciduous, upright, occasionally spreading shrub or small tree with multiple trunks. The branches grow upright and wlll not droop except when in flower. The leaves emerge late in the spring.Leaves are medium to dark green in summer with no or poor yellow fall color. The bark is light brown and thin, and the wood itself is weak.The trumpet shaped flowers are 2-4" across in colors of white, pink, red, violet or purple. They stay open for one day and close at night. Single-flowered varieties are hardier than the double-flowered types. The roots are located just below the soil surface. This shrub is tolerant of many soil textures, moisture conditions, and acid to alkaline pH if it is in full or nearly full sun. However, it requires ample moisture and some protection from midday to afteroon sun to flower at it's best. The shrub will keep its upright form as it grows, so little pruning is required. While shaping or pruning can be done at any time, pruning in late winter or early spring will minimize the loss of the emerging flower buds on the new growth. Pruning heavily in early spring or pruning back to 2-3 buds will produce fewer but larger flowers. It can be pruned to to create a single trunk small specimen tree. Transplanting should be done in the spring as the shrub takes some time to get established. Plant about 2'-3' apart for a single row hedge.

Hardiness Zones

The rose-of-sharon can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 5–9. View Map

Tree Type

Mature Size

The rose-of-sharon grows to a height of 8–12' and a spread of 6–10' at maturity.

Growth Speed Medium Growth Rate

This shrub grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this shrub, meaning it prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The rose-of-sharon grows in acidic, moist and well-drained soils.

Attributes

This shrub:
  • Is hardy and easy to grow.
  • Produces 5-petaled, trumpet-shaped, single or double flowers that are white, pink, red, purple or violet.
  • Blooms late spring through early fall.
  • Can be pruned to create a single-trunked, small specimen tree.
  • Features medium to dark green leaves, often with a coarsely toothed margin.
  • Grows in a vase shape.
  • Tolerates aerosol salt and occasional wet or drought periods.
  • Requires little pruning.
  • Needs ample moisture and protection from midday/afternoon sun to flower at its best.
  • Can be planted 2–3' apart to create a single row hedge.

Wildlife Value

Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers.

History/Lore

The rose-of-sharon is native to China and India. The name hibiscus is from an ancient Greek name for "mallow," for this plant was thought to resemble the mallow blossom. Many cultivars of this species have been introduced.