October 21st, 2019

Hibiscus plants aren’t only for the tropics! Although they do belong to the same family as their tender tropical cousins, Rose Mallow and Rose of Sharon offer the same gorgeous exotic blooms, but are hardy enough to easily withstand our Oregon Winters!

 

The Rose of Sharon, (Hibiscus syriacus), also known as Chinese hibiscus or shrub althea, is an upright deciduous, shrub or small tree with multiple trunks. This easy-to-grow, undemanding plant, is happiest in full sun, prefers moist, well-drained soil, but is tolerant of many growing conditions, including periods of drought and exposure to pollution, making it an excellent option for urban gardens.

A single Rose of Sharon can add interest to a corner of the garden or create a sense of height in a flowerbed.  To train it as a small tree, prune the canopy to about one foot above the ground.

While shaping or pruning can be done at any time, pruning in late Winter or early Spring minimizes the loss of emerging flower buds on the new growth.

Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), also known as perennial hibiscus or swamp hibiscus, is a fast-growing, cold-hardy perennial. The rose mallow plants grow as a single branched stalk that emerge from the ground in Spring. The plants can grow several inches a day, reaching heights of six to eight feet, where blooms, sometimes as large as dinner plates, form at the tip of each upright cane toward the end of Summer.

And as they tend to be very tall and narrow, they work well for narrow spaces, against a fence or wall, or in the back of a perennial border where it can rise up and put on its show in late Summer when most other perennial flowers are fading.

Though rose mallows are perennials that can take Winter temperatures down to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit, the upper growth of rose hibiscus plants tends to die back to the ground over the winter even in the mildest climates.

We have a fantastic selection of Rose of Sharon and Rose Mallow in right now! While some varieties of the Rose of Sharon are beginning to bud out & bloom, the Rose Mallow (shown above) is just at the beginning of their growth cycle, putting all their energy into foliage and height.