Content Detail

Rose-of-Sharon is an upright, narrow shrub or small tree valued for its mid-summer to late season prolific blooms. A wide range of flower colors vary by cultivar. Plants are late to leaf out in the spring.

  • Family (English) Mallow
  • Family (botanic) Malvaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet), Compact tree (10-15 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Clay soil, Road salt
  • Season of interest late spring, midsummer, late summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Blue, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Other
  • Shape or form Columnar, Multi-stemmed, Narrow, Upright, Vase-shaped
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Rose-of-Sharon is native to China and India.

Attracts birds and butterflies: 

Butterflies and hummingbirds appear at the flowers.

Bark color and texture:  

Stems are rounded and gray to tan in color.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

Leaves are alternately arranged, palmately veined, three-lobed, and medium green. They are up to 4 inches long. Plant is late to leaf out in the spring. 

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

Showy, 5-petaled flowers up to 3 inches in diameter appear on new seasons growth in early-summer and bloom into late fall. Each hollyhock-like flower has a prominent and showy center column of stamens. Flowers can be single or double in several shades of red, pink, rose, violet-blue, white and red-violet. 

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruit is a dehiscent capsule, turning brown and persistent through winter. Seed capsules can be removed after flowering to prevent reseeding.

Plant care:

A shrub with many cultivars resulting in a wide variety of heights and flower colors, rose-of-Sharon grows in most soil conditions. Best in moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. It will not tolerate extremely wet soils, but prefers one with plenty of organic matter. Prune back heavily in spring to promote the best summer flowers. One of the last shrubs to leaf out in the spring.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Leaf spots, stem cankers, rust and flower blights can all be problems for this plant. It is tolerant of salt and black walnut toxicity.

Blue Satin™ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Matilde’):

Single pink flowers have a soft blush and red eye.

Bali Rose (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Minifren’):

Semi-double white flowers have a purple-red center. This cultivar grows 6 to 8 feet high.

Helene (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Helene’):

Helene has a single white flower with reddish-purple blush in center and grows 8 to 10 feet high.

Lavender Chiffon (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Notwoodone’):

Single lavender flower with lacy center, 8 to 10 feet high.

Tahiti (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Mineru’):

Semi-double pink flower with red center, 6 to 8 feet high.

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