Rose of the Sharon Tree

Gardenerdy Staff Nov 8, 2018
The rose of the Sharon tree is actually not a rose, but a deciduous flowering shrub. This plant belongs to the hibiscus family and is well-known for its large blooming flowers.
The rose of the Sharon tree is primarily valued for beautiful double blooms that appear in August and September, when very few other shrubs bloom. The flowers are a blaze of red, pink, white, or blue, and are two to four inches in diameter.
They can be single, double, or semi-double, and bloom in late summer. Scientifically known as Hibiscus syriacus, it comes from the family Malvaceae and is commonly used as a garden accent for its colorful, cup-shaped flowers. The flowers remain open during the day and close at the night.

Characteristics

  • The height of this tree varies from 8 - 10 feet and has a width ranging from 4 - 10 feet.
  • The branches grow upright and do not droop until they bloom.
  • The foliage emerges late in spring and is usually medium to dark green in color.
  • The roots are located just below the soil surface.
  • Moist and well-drained soil with medium to full sunlight work extremely well.
  • In fact, the shrubs are tolerant to different soil textures, moisture conditions, and acid to alkaline pH, if kept under full or nearly full sunlight.

Pruning

A multi-stemmed shrub, this flower can be groomed through pruning to have simply one main trunk. Since the shrub keeps its upright form, as the tree grows, a little bit of pruning is required.
The best time for pruning is in late winter or early spring, as this minimizes the loss of emerging flower buds on the new growth. However, pruning heavily at this time may produce fewer, but larger flowers. The tree spreads after pruning and so, if you are planning to plant multiple trees, make sure to plant them at a good distance apart.

Transplanting

For transplanting a tree without damaging the roots, you will need to dig around the tree, a foot away from the trunk. This will enable you to scoop the tree from the ground without damaging the roots.
Now, lift the tree from the base and dig a two feet deep hole at the site where you want to relocate the tree. Now, place the tree in the ground and cover the roots with dirt. Finally, water the freshly replanted tree to ensure the soil around it is properly moist.

Possible Problems

One of the most common problems associated with this tree is the presence of bacterial spots on the foliage that can damage the leaves completely. Canker, a fungal disease that damages the bark of the trees, can actually kill or destroy the entire tree.
Presence of bright reddish-orange fruiting bodies on the bark due to some fungal infections may also destroy the tree. Excessive or minimal water and fertilization can actually cause bud drop in the tree.

Tree Care

Although the tree has good soil and weather adapting abilities, applying a layer of compost under the tree and outermost branches and adding a 2 inch layer of mulch will help in retaining moisture and controlling weed growth.
Make sure to remove dead, diseased, and injured branches to improve the growth aspects of the tree.
This tree is well suited to any kind of gardening and a little pruning and care makes it an attractive part of your flower garden. Growing it can be an amazing experience, and if done well, you will be rewarded with beautiful and elegant looking blossoms for your garden.