It’s now later July, and my Asiatic and Oriental lilies are beginning to fade, but my Gladiolas have not yet bloomed, so what is the DIY gardener to do? Enter: Rose-of-Sharon. (pictured here is “Purple Sky Single Lavender” )
If you’ve every been to Florida and noticed the beautiful, tropical Hibiscus flowers, then you’ll love the Rose of Sharon who’s large hibiscus-like blooms are showy in the mid-to-late summer in zone 5 and early summer in southerly zones. So if you live in the Midwest, this is your key to late July and August perennial flower power!
Sharon grows in sun or partial shade and in any soil. If you grow her in Chicago’s nasty gray, clay soil, be sure to amend with some mushroom compost and a little manure to increase the blooms!
With regular, weekly watering, Sharon will grow quickly, requiring regular pruning. If you have her planted in an open area, you can let her go and she’ll grow around 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide. If you have Rose of Sharon in your regular landscape beds like I do, keep her trimmed regularly using hand pruners;… Just keep the “run-away” limbs in check. Fast growth is not bad thing, however, because you can prune Rose of Sharon into the later spring with no flower loss. Keep her shaped so she doesn’t get away from you.
Rose of Sharon blooms are found in single or double flowers in shades of red, pink, white and purple/lavender, depending on the cultivar. Peak bloom takes place in early August in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana area.
Rose of Sharon have very few problems from insects or fungus, however, in recent years I have found Japanese Beetles feeding on the flowers when no other host plants are near. Other than that, Sharon is low maintenance and does not require dead heading. Some gardeners do panic in early spring as they are unaware that Rose of Sharon is one of the later deciduous shrubs to push out leaves. Trust me, she’s not dead, she’s just sleeping in!
Here are a few names to look for when buying Rose of Sharon:
‘Amplissimus’ – Double, red flowers.
‘Aphrodite’ – Dark pink flowers with a dark red eye.
‘Ardens’ – Double, rose-purple flowers with a maroon blotch.
‘Banner’ – Red and white flowers.
‘Blue Bird’ – Single, sky-blue flowers
‘Blushing Bride’ – Double, rich pink flowers
‘Bulls Eye’ – Large, single, rose-red flowers with a red eye.
‘Candy Stripe’ – Single flowers that are white and pink with red stripes.
‘Coelestris’ – Single, blue flowers.
‘Collie Mullens’ – Double, purple-lavender blooms.
‘Diana’ – Single, pure white flowers
‘Freedom’ – Semi-double, rose pink flowers
‘Hamabo’ – Single pink or pinkish lavender flowers with a crimson eye
‘Helene’ – Large, single white flowers with a dark red eye
‘Jeanne D’Arc’ – Double white flowers
‘Lady Stanley’ – Double, pink flowers.
‘Lucy’ – Double, dark red flowers
‘Minerva’ – Single, lavender flowers are overcast with pink and have a dark red eye
‘Morning Star’ – Double, red and white striped flowers.
‘Paeoniflorus’ – Double, violet-pink flowers
‘Purple Sky’ – Single purple flowers with a red star eye.____________________________________________________________
Wondering "what to" put on your lawn and "when to" put it down? Get my $7 Step By Step ebook and learn it! I am really proud of the results my readers are getting using this easy to follow lawn treatment schedule.
You can start at ANY time during the year... I wrote the book so it is easy to get into lawn care no matter what time it is... Just start NOW! Lawn Care, Step By Step