Growing Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) in Zone 4


“I received a plant called the Rose of Sharon as a memorial for my Mom who passed away this past spring. I planted it in my flower garden.I do not know if it is a perennial or if I should pot it again and bring it inside for the winter. This plant is 36 inches tall, it had fragrent white flowers, and it has a single stem/trunk which is 19 inches tall before it branches out with leaves.I would appreciate any information regarding this plant and how to care for it. Your response will be appreciated.

Gini”

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Hi Gini,

Thank you for the email regarding your Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus).  I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.

Rose of SharonBased on your email address, I’m guessing you live over by Boaz and Gays Mills (lovely area, go through both places this time of year to go get apples) and are a Zone 4.  Rose of Sharons like it just a bit warmer, as they are hardy to Zones 5-9.  Depending on the location you have it in, you may be able to overwinter without problems.  However, this is something I don’t want you to take a chance with, so I recommend taking any and every precaution.

The success often depends on the severity of any single winter, but with proper protection, the roots and crown are preserved to grow anew. The plant should be heavily mulched to ensure the roots are going to stay warm through the winter. In regions that drop below -38 degrees (which has been known to happen around here), further protection is advised by mounding several inches of soil at the base of the plant, and mulch heavily.

Next, you have to protect the branches of the plant.  The plant should be covered with mulch right up to the tips of the branches. The easiest way to do that is usually by forming a chicken wire cage around the plant. Make the ring of wire large enough that it has a couple inches of room beyond the tops of the branches and a few inches taller than the top of the plant. Then fill it to entirely caged area with leaves or other mulching material. According to most gardeners, the leaves will stay in there just fine.  But, if you are like me, the top ones will blow out and pretty soon the types of your plant is exposed. I like to cover the top of the cage and leaf mulch with burlap and tie it down.  If you do not have chicken wire, you can use stakes to mark the area around the plant and wrap burlap around the exterior of the stakes to make the cage.

I hope this information helps you out.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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