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Rose-of-Sharon

The Rose-of-Sharon, treasured by Thomas Jefferson, has been a staple in the American garden since the 1700's and rightfully so, as it is one of the most prolific blooming plants you can choose for the landscape. Botanically speaking it is known as Hibiscus syriacus and native to-much of Asia. In fact it is the National Flower of the Republic of Korea.

This hibiscus can be grown over much of the country and is cold hardy to zone 5. It is amazing to think that flowers only last a day because every time you look at it during the warm growing season it has more than one can count. This blooming season is also long reaching into September. Typically the flowers range from 3 to 5 inches in width and are borne on a woody shrub that reaches 4 to 10 feet. The United States National Arboretum has made several crosses or hybrids that have become popular in the garden trade.

Choose a site with plenty of sunlight and good fertile well-drained soil. Morning sun and filtered afternoon light are just about perfect. The hibiscus blooms on new growth, so it is important to keep it growing vigorously throughout the season. Early spring pruning plays an important role, at least in my style where they are kept more shrub-like. Keep them well fed and watered during droughty periods. A balanced fertilizer or one with a 1-2-1 ratio fertilizer will do superbly.  Thanks to the Kansis City Star.