Hibiscus syriacus, commonly called rose of Sharon or shrub althea, is a vigorous, upright, vase-shaped, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub that typically grows 8-12’ tall. It may be trained as a small tree or espalier. Showy, hollyhock-like, 5-petaled flowers (to 3” diameter) appear over a long, early-summer to fall bloom period. Each flower has a prominent and showy center staminal column. Palmately-veined, coarsely-toothed, three-lobed, medium green leaves (to 4” long) are attractive during the growing season. Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best flowering occurs in full sun. Prefers moist, organically rich soils, but tolerates poor soils and some drought. Very tolerant of summer heat and humidity. Generally tolerant of urban conditions. It is an excellent flowering shrub that may be massed, planted in groups or used as a specimen. Good for foundations and shrub borders. Also can be effective as a hedge or screen.
1. Soak the seed in water for 12 hours.
2. The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
3. Put the seeds on the soil.
4. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
5. Water the seeds.
6. Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade. The seeds start to germinate in 7-10 days.
7. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.