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Hibiscus syriacus - Rose of Sharon

Hibiscus syriacus - Rose of Sharon

If you are looking for a cold tolerant hibiscus, this is the one. Hibiscus syriacus is a deciduous hibiscus that will grow 6 - 12' depending on conditions. This is a fairly upright shrub with a tidy habit, easy to prune and long flowering.

Commonly called the Rose of Sharon is a bushy flowering shrub, we look at pruning and growing tips. Also known as the "althaea" or "althea,”the botanical name is Hibiscus syriacus

The species itself is Native to China, pink flowering with a red centre, flowering will begin in early summer and continue through until fall.

This is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the Malvaceae family and is not related to the rose family. It does have very attractive flowers and although the shrub itself can reach 12 ft in height it is very easy to prune to around half of that height. It is the named cultivars that are the varieties most often grown, and many of these are smaller growing the the species itself.

When in bloom you will find flower colours from the lilac blues, through to reds and whites. Both single and double flowering types are available. One of the popular cultivars that are available include 'Red Ensigne', (see picture right). In our mind one of the most attractive frost hardy hibiscus. White flowers with contrasting deep magenta red centres. Easily pruned and can be grown as a standard. Foliage is a mid to light green with the leaves deeply lobed.

Excellent as a 'stand alone shrub' or grown towards the rear of the garden border. As it prunes easily this is a plant that can also be used as a hedge.

Hibiscus syriacus varieties

Hibiscus syriacus cultivars include single or double flowering forms, single colors, bicolors and tricolors. Suitable for Zones 5-8.

Hibiscus syriacus cultivars include:

  • 'Jeanne d' Arc'
    Pure white - double flowers.
  • 'Helene'
    White with red centres.
  • 'Red Ensign'
    White flowers with deep magenta red centres.
  • 'Diana'
    Pure white single flowers, named after the Greek Goddess.
  • 'Bluebird'
    Mauve blue flowers with a magenta centre.
  • 'Ardens'
    Mauve blue flowers with 'streaked' magenta markings in the centre
  • 'White Chiffon'
    Pure white flowers.