Rose-of-Sharon (Althea bush)

June 22, 2016

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Add some summer and fall color to your shrub borders and mixed gardens with a traditional favorite the Rose of Sharon shrub.

You, the butterflies and the hummingbirds will enjoy the hibiscus type flowers from mid-summer into fall. The flowers can be single or double and white to red, purple, violet or blue. This vase shaped upright shrub is multi-stemmed and grows 8 to 12 feet tall and nearly as wide. This makes it a great shrub for hedging or screening. Or create a focal point by pruning it into a small-scale tree. Be patient in the spring as this shrub is late to leaf out.

Grow the Rose-of-Sharon in full sun to part shade. It prefers moist well-drained soil but is drought tolerant once established. It’s hardy in zones 5 to 9, tends to be deer resistant and tolerates the black walnut’s toxic juglone.

A bit more information: Rose-of-Sharon blooms on the current season’s growth. So pruning, if needed, during the dormant season will not interfere with flowering. They do tolerate heavy pruning. Cut plants back to 2 to 3 buds per branch if you want to encourage larger blooms.

For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit