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Rose of Sharon

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June 5, 2018

Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist


Some call this plant althea, I call it Rose of Sharon today on Southern Gardening. 

Rose of Sharon is sometimes mistakenly called hollyhock as the flowers are similar, but to me there’s no comparison. Big and bold in the landscape; I’ve seen many planted in the wrong location and locking window, doors, porches, etc.

I’ve recently become fascinated with some of the newer selections from Proven Winners: Orchid Satin, Purple Pillar and Pollypetite.

Orchid Satin have large beautiful single orchid pink blooms with a dramatic red eye accent. This plant has the potential for a mature height greater than 10 feet and a four to six foot spread. I really like the fact that Orchid Satin is a sterile seedless selection; this means not having to “weed” seedlings every year.

If you have a more narrow space then Purple Pillar is the rose of sharon for you. It has a naturally columnar growing habit. Purple Pillar will grow 10 feet or more tall, but only three foot wide. I’ve noticed is each stem is covered along its entire length with bright purple blooms each having a dark purple red eye.

I’ve got one more option to consider for a small space, Pollypetite.The dwarf habit is fantastic only growing about three to four feet tall and wide with large lavender pink flowers. And Pollypetite is nearly seedless so “weeding” will not be necessary.

I have all three in my eclectic collection of colorful containers and plants in my home landscape.

I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I hope you join me next time on Southern Gardening.

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