Rose of Sharon flowers resemble a wide hibiscus flower. These ornamental shrubs bloom late in the summer and offer gardeners a beautiful tree-like shrub with blooms in pink, white or lilac. Some varieties include double blooms. This shrub offers the gardener one of the easiest plants to grow in the home landscape. Mature shrubs can reach 10 feet tall. Rose of Sharon frequently self-seeds to produce plenty of seedlings in the vicinity of the parent plant.
How to Grow Rose of Sharon
Pick a good location with partial to full sun for planting your Rose of Sharon. This plant is extremely tolerant of neglect as well as dry conditions. It can handle heat after it's been established for a few months. Remember this plant may reach a height of over 10 feet so give it plenty of room to grow. You can place it near other plants; in fact, Rose of Sharon looks best that way. Just leave about 2 to 3 feet around the plant to allow for expansion.
Dig a hole about 2 times the width and 1 1/2 times the size of the plant's root ball. Remove all dirt from the hole and create a pile next to the hole.
Mix soil conditioner, using a trowel or your hands, into the dirt. Sprinkle a few cups of conditioner into the hole as well, to line the side and bottom.
Tip the Rose of Sharon onto its side and press against the plastic-planting container. Shrubs can become rootbound at nurseries and this movement will free the roots. Spin the container, pressing firmly on each side all the way around. Then grasp the plant where the main stem meets the root, and wiggle it. If it doesn't budge, carefully cut open the planting container to remove the plant.
Turn on your water supply and place the plant on its side away from the hole. Direct a gentle stream of water at the root ball to loosen impacted dirt from the roots. Freeing the roots encourages outward growth instead of the inward root growth caused by the plastic container from the nursery. Don't wash the roots completely clean; but instead, use the water spray to loosen the outside soil.
Lift the plant and place it into its new home. The point where the stem joins the root ball should be about 1 inch below the ground surface. Add or remove additional dirt from the hole as needed and re-position the plant.
Fill in with the soil mixture around the entire circumference of the Rose of Sharon. Press down to compact the soil and continue filling until you reach ground level.
Water the plant thoroughly but don't completely soak the ground. Rose of Sharon sometimes suffers through a round of leaf shedding after transplant. A green, flexible stalk indicates the plant still lives and will throw out new leaves after adjusting to its new home.
Things You Will Need
- Soil conditioner/compost
- Pruning clippers
- Garden hose
- Prune Rose of Sharon in the spring to remove old wood and dead patches as well as to control growth. This plant blooms in the later summer on new growth, so pruning should never occur late in summer.
- Rose of Sharon performs well in planting zones 5 to 8. See Resources for specific zone planting information.