Rose of Sharon

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Rose of Sharon, or Hibiscus syriacus, is a deciduous flowering shrub that has a few other common names. These are Rose of Althea and Shrub Althea. It is an ornamental shrub that is widely collected.

These are very valuable shrubs because of the fact that it has a late blooming period compared to other shrubs. It blooms around August, which means that your Rose of Sharon bush will offer you colour when many of your other shrubs have stopped blooming.

Appearance

These shrubs can grow to heights between eight and ten inches and have a spread of four to six inches. Some cultivars tend to stay shorter than that. Most bushes have small, deeply-lobed, light green leaves. It is vase-shaped and similar to other species of hibiscus, these bushes have flowers that come with a striking stamen.

Flowers

When this shrub blooms, it can give flowers that are white, lavender, light blue or red. Some even have double blooms. Lone flowers have a short life span, and generally last only a day. However, plenty of flower buds come up during the shrub�s new growth, so that there is prolific flowering over the long blooming period in summer between the months of July and September. This shrub blooms quite heavily, and one of the reasons so many people love it is because of its attractive flowers.

Popularity

Because of the plentiful and attractive blooms this plant produces, it is well capable of being a good specimen plant. Many people buy this plant because it is very easy to shape the shrub, which makes it one of the primary shrubs people think of when they want to create some hedges around their garden. It cannot act as an effective privacy hedge, though, because the shrub is deciduous and only in summer will it be filled with dense foliage.

The bloom it produces attracts many bees, some of which are needed by farmers and naturalist, and they use this shrub as an attractive lure for such insects. It can also attract unwanted bees, so you should be careful when having this in your garden. This shrub is a heat-loving plant, which makes it popular with many growers who live in the south-eastern parts of the United States because the shrubs can withstand the tremendous summer heat.

Care Tips

This shrub prefers being planted in well drained soil with full sun. Older Rose of Sharon bushes have the potential to be susceptible to fungal damage if they are grown in locations that don�t get full sun. It is able to tolerate wide ranges of soil pH and is also salt tolerant.

If you�re going to prune them into hedges, then you should do so in early spring before the new growth starts so as not to disrupt the blooming and growth cycles of the plant.

In very hot, dry locations, the Rose of Sharon is susceptible to spider mites. New growth also experiences a problem with aphids. Spraying every now and again with insecticide or water mixed with bleach should take care of these problems.

Gardening Articles: http://organicgardenarticles.com/

Author: Tammy Sons
www.dntnursery.com

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