The beautiful Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), classified as an althea, is a deciduous flowering shrub that blooms mid to late summer and attracts humming birds. The humming birds go for the nectar but they also eat tiny insects that are also attracted to the blooms.
The large, flat blossoms of the Rose of Sharon come in a variety of colors, including red, pink, purple, white and white with a reddish center. The plant is deciduous, which means that it drops its leaves during the winter months and is slow about putting them back on during the spring. The blooms come even later in June and July and continue through the summer.
Native to India and East Asia and is the national flower of Korea. It is zoned 5-9 so it is safe to plant in Indiana. Rose of Sharon prefers a well drain soil and can be planted in full sun to partial shade. The plant can be cut back any time of year as the blossoms develop on new growth, but I recommend pruning in late winter or early spring.
Rose of Sharon plants can grow to 8′-10′ tall with a spread of 4′-6′ wide but you do have the final say in its height by keeping it pruned to what ever size you wish. Also, if you desire more of a tree look to your Rose of Sharon, then you would need to trim off all of the side branches in order to train just a single stem into a tree style plant. This form of pruning and shaping would need to be done for at least 2 to 3 years. You can buy a Rose of Sharon tree, but they are usually very expensive.
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