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Althea, 'Rose of Sharon'

Growing a 'Rose of Sharon' bush (Althea) is the easiest way to fill your yard with season-long color. Hummingbirds & butterflies are drawn to its superb display; an added benefit of having this exceptional shrub for your yard. These lovely double, pastel-pink blooms are 3-5" in diameter, plus they flower in late summer to fall when few other shrubs are in bloom. This bush is a cold hardy hibiscus commonly grown in Zones 5-9. It is a substantial garden plant growing to 10-12 feet tall and about 6 feet wide. Best to give it plenty of room to grow, as it looks the best when growing to its natural size.

When the bush is young, it's more upright and compact, but spreads and opens as it ages. An Althea bush makes an excellent single specimen in the landscape or grouped together in a mass planting. Since an Althea bush blooms on new wood, prune it each year before new growth begins in the late winter or early spring to keep the shrub tidy and blooming well. This is a very rugged, maintenance-free plant that will do well in poor soil, extreme heat, and drought. It is a deciduous shrub.

Plant Details +

Botanical Hibiscus syriacus
Common Name Shrub Althea (Rose-of-Sharon)
Family Malvaceae
Height 10-12'
Spacing 6-7'
Hardiness Zones 5-9
Exposure Full sun
Foliage Rich Green
Flower 3-5" light pink
Bloomtime Late Summer-Fall

General Information +

General Characteristics: The flowers only last one day and are 3-5 inches across. They are very showy. The plants are not fussy about soil type. Plants are semi-drought tolerant here. With long periods of drought, it is best to give some supplemental water through the summer months. Fertilize monthly with a 10-20-10 fertilizer and try to do this before it rains. If no rain is in the forecast, then we have to water the fertilizer in. This is one of my favorite shrubs for Oklahoma and with its showy flowers and long blooming season it is a great plant for the landscape. Remove seed pods after flowering, since they burst and scatter seeds that germinate and invade the low hedges. Remove these seed pods by cutting the branches to 1' from the junction of departure.

Planting/Care Instructions +

Planting Instructions: Easily grown in average, well-drained soil. Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. Set the plant in place so the crown (part of the plant where the root meets the stem) is about 1-2 inches below the soil surface. Cover with soil to the original soil surface and water thoroughly.