Rose of Sharon Tree, is also known as, Rose of Sharon Shrub, Rose of Sharon, and Althea. Hibiscus syriacus is the botanical name for this plant.. It is a late blooming deciduous shrubor small tree used in shrub borders, as a tall flowering hedge, or as a specimen tree. Find facts and information on growing hibiscus syriacus and a listing of rose of sharon varieties.
Rose of Sharon Tree Facts
Rose of Sharon belongs to the mallow family, Malvaceae and grows well in Zones 5-8. It will reach heights of 12’ and may grow 6-10’ wide. It requires full sun and prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soil that is high in organic matter but adapts well to many pH levels.
This versatile tree or shrub gives a tropical appearance to your garden. The flowers resemble small hibiscus flowers which appear in late summer when most flowering shrubs have already bloomed. The flowers are trumpet-like and very similar to flowers on a hollyhock plant. They come in colors of white, pink, red, purple, or violet with some having deeper colors along the throat of the flower. They tend to bloom more after a hot summer.
The rose of sharon tree has large tropical, funnel shaped blooms. It has leaves 2-4” leaves that are a mid-green color with alternate and simple leaves with 3 lobes and toothed edges. The bark will appear grayish and is not particularly showy. As a rose of sharon shrub, it has an upright oval shape. The fruit capsules are only ornamental and when ripened may become annoying as the create seedlings everywhere. The seedling that are self sown will not become true cultivars of the parent plant.
Rose of sharon trees or shrubs will blend beautifully into the back portions of shrub borders or flower borders. They bloom late in the season, so plant them grouped with plants where they are not the focal point of the border. Your focal point should be on plants with flowers blooming throughout the season, not just the end of the season.
Rose of Sharon Care
Container grown specimens can be planted anytime during the regulat growing season. They should be watered deeply when planted. You can remove ripe seedheads to keep down on the self-sowing of seeds around your yard. Mulch the trees or shrubs in colder climates with at least 4” of mulch.
Rose of Sharon Pruning
This plant is on the list of plants to prune when dormant. They can be cut back in spring to shape the plant, to remove winter killed stems, and to encourage plentiful large flowers. If you want, you can train the shrub into a tree by pruning off any stems that are not wanted and where the stems do not cross or rub together. Later, lower branching shoots and suckers can be taken off. It is always a good rule to try to keep the interior of the plant open so that it gets good air circulation.
Rose of Sharon Varieties
Hybrids with few or no viable seedlings: ‘Aphrodite, ‘Diana’, ‘Helene’, and ‘Minerva’.
Hibiscus syriacus ‘Satin Rose’ has rose pink flowers, and yellow-green fall foliage. Grows in zones 5-9. Height 8-12’ and 3-5’ wide.
H. syriacus ‘Diana’ big, flat, bright white, growing 12’ h x 6-10’ w.
H. syriacus ‘Freedom’ single and double reds growing 12’ x 6-10’w.
H. syriacus ‘Helene’ is pink tinged white with dark maroon centers. H and w same as previous.
H syriacus ‘Marina’ (Blue Satin) single, blue bloomswith dark red-purple throats. 5-8’ x 5-6’w.
H. syriacus ‘Notwoodone’ (Lavender Chiffon) Single flowers with lacy centers.
H. syriacus ‘Notwoodtwo’ (white Chiffon) single with 4-5” white blooms, lacy centers, same height as previous.
Hibiscus syriacus ‘Lil’ Kim’ grows 3 to 4’ and has mixed colored flowers. Zone 5-8.
Hibiscus syriacus ‘Mathilde’ pink with red eye growing 8-12’ in zones 5-9.