Rose of Sharon, or shrub Althea, belongs to the Mallow family. Scientifically known as Hibiscus syriacus, the shrub comes from India and China. Uses of the ornamental shrub comprise of hedges, foundation, specimen tree or border planting.
Rose of Sharon's large flowers bloom from July through September in a range of colors, including white, purple, red and bicolor. The green leaves provide little autumn color. Thin, grey bark covers the multiple trunks.
Though often propagated through cuttings, it also grows well from seed. Established plants self-sow easily.
Mature Althea reaches heights up to 12 feet with widths reaching 10 feet. The upright growth creates a vase-shape unless pruned into a tree form.
Rose of Sharon requires full sun to partial shade. While it performs best in fertile, moist and well-drained soil, the plant's adaptability allows it to grow in almost any soil. It survives in USDA zones 5 through 8.
Prune or trim in the early spring to shape the shrub. Amend the soil with compost and spread a 3-inch layer of mulch before the summer heat. Water the plant during extended dry spells.
- Arbor Day Foundation
- Ohio State University
- University of Illinois Extension
Rose of Sharon, Shrub Althea, Hibiscus Syriacus
About this Author
Kit Arbuckle is a freelance writer specializing in topics such as health, alternative medicine, beauty, senior care, pets and landscaping. She has training in landscaping and a certification in medicinal herbs from a botanical sanctuary.