The beautiful Rose of Sharon bush, is favored by gardeners everywhere. This deciduous shrub, grows to a height of 8-10 feet, with a spread of 4-6 feet, depending on the variety.
Colors range from white, blue, red, pink, and lavendar. They are also available in both single( tropical looking) Hibiscus flower types, as well as the double varietys, that remind me of some of the old fashioned roses. They are very late to leaf out in the spring. You start to wonder if it made it through the winter, when you finally see the leaf buds pop out! The bloom period of the rose of sharon bush, is also late, August in Northeastern U.S.
By pruning rose of Sharon bush, you can make it form a lovely formal hedge, or a small tree. For a hedge, little pruning is needed, other that keeping it shapely.
You can turn it into a tree,by permitting a single branch to grow, and trimming off all side shoots. I've also seen them as a braided tree, which is very nice. Pretty easy to do even,here's how:
First, you need some rooted cuttings, then simply put three together, and, holding them together, plant as one, in the pot. Braid the three stems together,as close as you can to the top. As it takes root, and grows, keep trimming off any side shoots that appear.
When planted in your garden, the Rose of Sharon Bush, provides structure and height to the garden, that perennial flowers can not. It also provides homes, and food for the birds and butterflies. Both hummingbirds, and butterflies love this bush. Being very drought, and heat tolerant, they do well in southern gardens, as well.
It is a good idea if you feed the shrub a nice dose of compost, scratched into the soil in mid summer. (Be careful not to scratch to deep, the roots are prety shallow,)
The shrub should be mulched with a 2 inch layer of mulch, to help conserve moisture.
I like to protect the shrub the first couple years,by mounding some soil around it before winter.
This double pink variety, grows in the back of my rose garden. The Rose of Sharon is very easy to propagate. This one was a cutting, given to me by my mom. It grows quickly, with little effort on my part.
I ocassionally have a problem with deer nibbling the buds and flowers, and japanese beetles find it a tasty place to snack also!
The flower power of this shrub, seems limitless. Once blooming begins, the bush is literally covered in continious buds and blooms until frost!
Blooming starts in August for me, when other flowering shrubs are done flowering.
If you plant different varietys of shrubs, you can have the blooms timed so that you always have a flowering shrub displaying their glorious blooms!
Beginning in Spring, I have shrubs that bloom all season long, and my final burst of color is the beautiful Rose of Sharon!