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Rose of Sharon: Top 12 Varieties

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The pretty Rose of Sharon (scientifically known as Hibiscus syriacus) is botanically classified as a shrub. However, regular pruning can train it to the shape of a tree with a single trunk and emanating branches. This plant makes a prime choice for gardeners who seek a landscape full of colors. It blooms late in the growing season when all other trees and shrubs are preparing to say goodbye to their floral heyday. Different varieties of Rose of Sharon can be planted to complement the conventional trees in your landscape.

The seedlings of this plant can end up being a nuisance, but the tree itself makes up for it well. It has stunningly vibrant blossoms and nearly no maintenance needs. All it needs is generous sunlight, acidic, rich, well-drained soil, and fine moisture to grow well.

Rose of Sharon cultivars would generally grow up to a moderate height of 8 to 10 feet and will have a widespread of 4 to 5 feet. They would make an adorable hedge wall to your garden; but being deciduous species, they won’t be able to screen your garden during winters. You may also plant it as a late summer specimen. Different types of the Rose of Sharon cultivar bloom with pink, bluish, and white flowers. Grafting techniques may allow a single tree to have multi-colored flowers, too.

Below follows a comprehensive list of the 12 best Rose of Sharon varieties for your yard.

Caution:

Before you choose to plant a Rose of Sharon tree in your yard, must note that although most hibiscus varieties are non-toxic, Rose of Sharon may be different. The flowers of this tree can be slightly toxic and if consumed by cats or dogs in large proportions, the same can turn out to be hazardous causing nausea, puking, and diarrhea.

  1. Blue Chiffon (Hibiscus syriacus)

As is evidenced by the name, the ‘Blue Chiffon’ tree blooms with rich blue flowers. As blue-flowering trees are rare, the botanists and plant designers have put in considerable efforts to yield more and more real shades of blue. The Blue Chiffon tree blooms with flowers that come off as a blend of violets and blues. It makes a stunning show when combined with Orange flowers like the ‘Torch Lilies’. Try complementing this tree with plants having dark foliage (the black plants) such as the ‘Chocolate Drop’. The Blue Chiffon tree would bloom during the mid-summer and will continue blessing your yard with flowers until autumn. In addition to the enchanting blue color, these flowers have inner petals surrounding the stamen that offer a nice frilly look altogether.

  • Native to: China & India
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9
  • Height: 8 to 12 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  1. ‘Sugar Tip’ (Hibiscus syriacus)

The Sugar Tip bears two times more flowers than the Blue Chiffon – these flowers, however, are pink colored. Not only flowers, this variety also has attractive foliage; multi-colored leaves with a vanilla-white tip is what inspired its sugary name.

There’s no match to the Sugar Tip flowers but don’t underestimate the foliage of this tree. The extraordinary foliage of this tree will offer continuing appeal to your yard even after the flowers are long gone.

  • Native to: China & India
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9
  • Height: 6 to 8 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Partial, Full
  1. ‘Red Heart’ (Hibiscus syriacus)

For most of the Rose of Sharon varieties having white flowers – the flowers are bicolored. These flowers have white petals with a dark-colored bottom. Red Heart makes a prime example of such flowers; it has a deep red center. If you are one of those who find plain white flowers too boring, such bicolored varieties are for you.

Red Heart blooms during late summers up till early autumn where each blossom lasts only for a day.

  • Native to: China & India
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9
  • Height: 8 to 10 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full and partial
  1. ‘White Chiffon’ (Hibiscus syriacus)

In contradiction to Red heart lovers, some gardeners would love to have a clean bush with subtle white flowers. The White Chiffon makes an excellent option if you want your summer-bushes dressed in plain vanilla white. You are free to design a moon garden using them or make a pure plant selection. From all of the varieties of the Rose of Sharon, White Chiffon is a rare specimen with no throat to its petals – it has flowers white as milk.

Native to: China & India

USDA Zones: 5 to 9

Height: 6 to 8 feet

Sun Exposure: Full & Partial

  1. ‘Aphrodite’ (Hibiscus syriacus)

The Aphrodite blossoms with gentle pink flowers – these flowers measure around 4 inches and have a deep red throat to the center. This bushy specimen is nearly as wide as its height that makes it bushy and shaggy. However, the same can be pruned to a manageable size.

In the Midwest region of the United States, some rose of Sharon varieties turn out to be invasive if not well cultivated. Residing in a similar region, you must choose to buy a sterile variety like Aphrodite which won’t spread with the seeds.

  • Native to: China & India
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9
  • Height: 8 to 10 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  1. ‘Blue Satin’ (Hibiscus syriacus)

The Blue Satin is one of the most wondrous and stunning variety of all the Rose of Sharon cultivars – it blooms with striking bluish-violet flowers having a deep magenta throat, and yellowish-orange stamens. Seems like an artistic palette of colors!

The Blue Satin plant is well adapted to moist soils but would stand salty soils and seasons of drought too. This species can be easily propagated through stem cuttings and is traded in the market by the name ‘Azurri Blue Satin’.

  • Native to: China & India
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9
  • Height: 8 to 10 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Partial, Full
  1. ‘Blueberry Smoothie’ (Hibiscus syriacus)

This specimen of Rose of Sharon has fuller flowers that are 4 inches across, have a striking blue color, an upright spreading growth, and multiple stems. You may prune it into a small tree. The Blueberry Smoothie has one of the most stunning flowers of all Rose of Sharon varieties – make sure to plant it in the spot where it gets all the attention it deserves. You’d love the graceful show of flowers all the way from late summers till fall.

  • Native to: China & India
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9
  • Height: 6 to 8 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full & Partial
  1. ‘Lavender Chiffon’ (Hibiscus syriacus)

The Lavender Chiffon has special double flowers having mauve, purplish petals, and visibly red veins. It has a multi-stemmed growth that takes a nice round shape but can be trained it to a central leader. If you leave it unpruned, the lavender Chiffon is a fuller plant that is best suited to hedges, screens, and borders. It is well known for its tolerance to humidity, pollution, salty soil, and drought.

Native to: China & India

USDA Zones: 5 to 9

Height: 8 to 10 feet

Sun Exposure: Full & Partial

  1. ‘Lil Kim’ (Hibiscus syriacus)

Lil Kim is an easy-to-train dwarf cultivar with 3-inches-wide, clean, white flowers having magenta throats. The small size of this tree makes it the choice of all gardeners – it blooms from midsummer until late autumn. Unlike other varieties of the Rose of Sharon, the flowers of this cultivar last for up to three days.

Lil Kim is relatively easy to propagate and can be grown in containers to maintain shape.

  • Native To: China & India
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9
  • Height: 3 to 4 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full & Partial
  1. ‘Lucy’ (Hibiscus syriacus)

This Rose of Sharon cultivar has delicate, pink, double-petaled flowers that are 4-inches across. Lucy is a full-bodied shaggy shrub that can be pruned down to the shape of a small tree by cutting off its lower branches. Even if left unpruned, these shrubs make excellent choices for hedges. Lucy is tolerant to shade but is likely to bloom better if offered full sunlight.

  • Native to: China & India
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9
  • Height: 8 to 12 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full & Partial
  1. Minerva’ (Hibiscus syriacus)

The Minerva is a huge, bushy cultivar that grows 5 to 7 feet wide and has a green glossy foliage. In addition to verdant foliage, this cultivar blooms with pinkish-purplish flowers that have a red throat and an ivory stamen. Pruning this variety helps it grow fully for hedge applications. Prune back two to three buds during the late winters to enjoy fuller blooms in the following summer. You can easily propagate this cultivar through stem cuttings.

  • Native to: China & India
  • USDA Zones: 5–9
  • Height: 6 to 9 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full & Partial
  1. ‘Purple Pillar’ (Hibiscus syriacus)

True to its name, a Purple Pillar is quite tall and relatively narrow. It looks like a precise pillar (2-3 feet wide) and blooms with semi-double purple flowers that are bicolored and have a red throat. This Rose of Sharon cultivar excellently serves as a screening wall in a mixed perennial garden. It blooms from July to September and is the favorite spot of many bees and other pollinators. It stands drought and other planting problems well.

  • Native to: China & India
  • USDA Zones: 5 to 9
  • Height: 10 to 15 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full & Partial

Did you know?

The most serious gardening problem all Rose of Sharon varieties are exposed to is infestation by Japanese beetles. These beetles, if left unnoticed, can defoliate these shrubs in entirely. The easiest way to control these beetles is to pick them off by hand. Or you could use pyrethroid-based pesticides to kill them. If you go with the latter option, make sure to re-apply these pesticides every two to three weeks.

 

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