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How to Care for a Rose of Sharon Bush


No matter where you live, you can probably find a rose of Sharon variety that will thrive in your yard. Different cultivars are hardy in Sunset’s zones 1 through 21—from the coldest to the hottest climates in North America.

Rose of Sharon varieties produce single, double and semi-double blossoms. Some single-flowering cultivars produce fruits that can germinate, leaving you with a bunch of little seedlings all around the bush. If you aren’t interested in picking up the fruits or pulling up the seedlings every year, look for a double or semi-double flowering rose of Sharon bush.

The rose of Sharon is an extremely easy-to-grow bush that blooms from mid summer until frost. Different varieties bloom red, pink, purple or white. You can shape rose of Sharon bushes into hedges, trim off the lower branches to produce tree-like forms or leave them to grow into their natural, oval shape.

Plant the rose of Sharon bush in either full sun or partial shade. Because its natural inclination is to grow up to 12 feet high and just as wide, don’t plant it too close to a building.

Dig a hole that’s at least six inches wider than the root ball of the bush. If the soil is very heavy and wet, mix in some compost to give the bush extra drainage. Rose of Sharon bushes will grow cheerfully almost anywhere except in soil that stays wet all the time.

Put the bush into the hole and push dirt in around its roots, so that you end up with a layer of dirt a couple of inches deep over the roots.

Water the plant well. Once it is established, the rose of Sharon appreciates regular water, but it also tolerates extreme heat and drought.

If you want to trim the bush into a neater shape, do it in the spring before it starts to bloom. Depending on where you live, this might be anytime between the end of March and the end of May.

To encourage the bush’s natural shape while keeping it refined, take off shoots at different levels all around the bush.

If your rose of Sharon really gets out of control, you can cut it back to a mere two to three feet high and let it regenerate from there. (see reference 2)

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