12 Rose Of Sharon Hibiscus Varieties for Your Great Garden


Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

The Rose of Sharon belongs among the most beautiful hot-weather plants. We don’t see enough of the rose of Sharon because we have a deep prejudice against deciduous plants.

Los Angeles residents tend to ignore species that aren’t in season for several months when deciding which plants to plant.

You may not be familiar with Hibiscus syriacus, the summer-blooming Sharon rose (Hibiscus siriacus). However, you might be familiar with Martha Washington’s geranium (Geranium domesticum). These two flowers are very similar in their quality.

These flowers are more matte than glossy and more accessible to see than the more lustrous, showy ones. While the common Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rose-Sinensis) and the ivy Geranium (Geranium peatum) are beautiful, they won’t have the same charm as their less extravagant cousins.

Rose of Sharon flowers can be white, mauve, or rose, depending on their variety. There are hundreds of flowers visible on the rose of Sharon plants. They grow into vase-shaped shrubs that measure 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide.

Each shrub should have its area in the garden. One rose of Sharon collection I saw had each shrub its location in a Hollywood yard.

Rose of Sharon can be grown against a building, in a hedge, or with restricted airflow. This makes it susceptible to mildew, mealy bugs, and other pests.

Rose of Sharon is known for its ability to withstand cold. It can be grown in any desert or mountain region, from Lake Arrowhead to Lake Los Angeles.

The hibiscus family also includes the different treemallows (Lavatera varieties) of Mediterranean and Californian origin.

These plants can put on an incredible amount of annual growth, and they can be drastically cut back each year without any adverse effects.

The African hibiscus (Anisodonteahypomandarum) has demure pinkish flowers, only about an inch across. It is most wisely placed close to entrances and walkways where its understated beauty can be best appreciated.

Greg Truesdell, Chatsworth, looks for plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds but only a few bees. He likes flowers with fragrant scents.

Because bees love to pollinate flowers, it will be hard to find scented flowers that don’t attract them. Star jasmine (Trachelospermum Jasminoides) would be my recommendation if I had to choose a scented flower that didn’t draw an excessive number of bees.

The same goes for plants of the Salvia species family that attract hummingbirds. They are also beautiful to bees. Hummingbirds love to visit Trumpet vines. Avoid rosemary and lantana, which are popular ground covers that attract bees.

Tip of the Week: Avoid the red-flowered varieties if you’re considering planting hibiscus.

These plants are magnets to the giant whitefly, which covers host plants with a fluffy substance that looks like laundry lint.

What is the Rose of Sharon, and what does it look like?

The Rose of Sharon is a flowering shrub that belongs to the Hibiscus family. It is known for its large, showy flowers in various colors, such as white, pink, and purple. The flowers have five petals and a prominent pistil in the center, making them look eye-catching.

12 popular rose of Sharon varieties for your landscape

1. Blue Chiffon (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Blue Chiffon’)

Blue Chiffon

Because of their unique colors, blue flowers are highly valued. Authentic blues are rare, even though plant developers have invested a lot of effort in expanding the horticultural Blue palette. 

One example is the ‘Blue Chiffon” rose of Sharon, which pushes violet in the direction of being blue. 

It can be mixed with orange flowers such as torch lilies (Kniphofia species) and “black” plants such as chocolate drop stonecrop (Sedum ‘Chocolate Drop’). 

This cultivar flowers from mid-summer through autumn. Its inner petals surround the stamen and give it a frilly appearance, making it unique.

  • Native Area: China, India
  • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
  • Height: 8–12 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial

    2. ‘Sugar Tip’

    Sugar Tip Hibiscus


    Like ‘Blue Chiffon,’ ‘Sugar Tip” bears double flowers, in this case, pink. This rose cultivar isn’t just for flowers. 

    The foliage is also attractive: The name was inspired by variegated leaves with creamy-white edging. Pink Chiffon has the same flowers, but it lacks bicolored leaves.

     While roses of Sharon are valued for their flowers, don’t forget the importance of beautiful foliage. 

    Like this one, such foliage plants offer continuing appeal even after many garden blooms have wilted.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 6–8 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial

      3. ‘Red Heart’

      Red Heart Hibiscus

      Technically, many roses of Sharon varieties that have white flowers are bicolored. Most of the petals are white, but the portion near the center, which forms the “throat,” is darker. 

      In the case of “Red Heart,” the throat is red. These bi-colored varieties are best for those who find white too bland. 

      The ‘Red Heart” blooms in July through fall, and each flower lasts only one day. Deer can avoid this flowering shrub, as with all roses of Sharon shrubs.

      • Native Area: China, India
      • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
      • Height: 8–10 feet
      • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial
        4. ‘White Chiffon’

        White Chiffon Hibiscus


        White flowers can be too simple for some gardeners, but others love their crisp appearance. If you are looking for a bush that blooms white flowers in the summer, ‘White Chiffon” is excellent. 

        Shrubs with solid white flowers are great for gardeners who want to create moon gardens or prefer to be strict in their plant selections. These flowers have completely white petals, unlike most roses of Sharon.

        • Native Area: China, India
        • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
        • Height: 6– 8 feet
        • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial
        5. ‘Aphrodite’
         Aphrodite hybiscus

        The delicate pink flowers of ‘Aphrodite” measure 4 inches in diameter and have a deep red throat. Although it’s pretty bushy and complete, it can be pruned to maintain a manageable size. 

        It is less sensitive to shade than other Rose cultivars. Some roses of Sharon varieties can become invasive in certain regions, particularly the Midwest. 

        You should ensure that you buy sterile varieties, such as “Aphrodite,” if you live in such an area. These won’t spread via seeds.

        • Native Area: China, India
        • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
        • Height: 8–10 feet
        • Sun Exposure: Full

          6. ‘Blue Satin’

          Blue Satin Hibiscus

          Blue Satin is one of the most striking roses of Sharon cultivars. It features intense blue-violet blooms, deep magenta throats, yellow stamens, and vivid magenta flowers.

           This plant is relatively tolerant of salty soils and drought, though, like all hibiscus, it prefers regular, even moisture. 

          This variety is easy to propagate by stem cuttings. Sometimes it’s sold under the tradename Azurri Blue Satin.

          • Native Area: China, India
          • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
          • Height: 8–10 feet
          • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial

            7. ‘Blueberry Smoothie’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Blueberry Smoothie’)

             Blueberry Smoothie Hibiscus

            This cultivar produces fully double flowers that measure 4 inches in diameter. They also have a spreading, upright growth habit with multiple stems. 

            To train it to be a small tree requires a lot of pruning. Blueberry Smoothie has some of the most beautiful roses of all varieties.

            Make sure you plant it where you can enjoy it. A stunning floral display from midsummer surrounds you through fall.

            • Native Area: China, India
            • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
            • Height: 6–8 feet
            • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial

              8. ‘Lavender Chiffon’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Lavender Chiffon’)

              Lavender Chiffon hibiscus

              Semi-double flowers are a hallmark of ‘Lavender Chiffon. They have subtle red veins and radiate into light purple petals.

               It has a nicely rounded, multistemmed growth habit but can easily be trained as a small tree by pruning away all but one central leader.

              It’s a large plant, so it should not be pruned. Like most roses of Sharon, ‘Lavender Chiffon’ is known for its tolerance to extreme conditions like high humidity, salty air, and urban pollution.

              • Native Area: China, India
              • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
              • Height: 8–10 feet
              • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial
              9. ‘Lil Kim’

              Lil Kim hibiscus


              “Lil Kim” is a dwarf cultivar with 3-inch-wide white flowers and magenta throats. Because of its small size, it is an excellent container specimen. It blooms from midsummer through autumn.

              Although most roses of Sharon varieties last for a few days, this cultivar blooms up to three days before they wilt. 

              To maintain the ‘Lil Kim’ shape, you can prune it in spring if it is grown in a container. 

              This rose plant is easy to propagate using stem cuttings, as it is with most roses.

              • Native Area: China, India
              • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
              • Height: 3–4 feet
              • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial
                10. ‘Lucy’ 
                Lucy hibiscus 

                “Lucy” is a fully double-petaled cultivar that bears large, 4-inch-long pink blossoms. Although it is a large-bodied shrub, you can easily prune it into a smaller tree by removing lower branches. Left unpruned, it makes a good screening hedge. 

                Although it is one of the most reliable roses of Sharon, ‘Lucy” will tolerate some shade but will bloom best when given full sun.

                • Native Area: China, India
                • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
                • Height: 8–12 feet
                • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial

                  11. ‘Minerva’ 

                  Minerva hibiscus 

                  Minerva is a sizeable bushy cultivar that grows 5-7 feet wide. It has glossy green leaves and pinkish-lavender flowers with a reddish throat.

                  An ivory stamen punctuates the foliage. The whole growth habit of this variety is ideal for hedge applications.

                   The following summer and fall will be more significant if you prune back only two to three buds in the late winter. It is easy to propagate this rose of Sharon cultivar using stem cuttings.

                  • Native Area: China, India
                  • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
                  • Height: 6–9 feet
                  • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial

                    12. ‘Purple Pillar’

                    Purple Pillar Hibiscus

                    This cultivar is quite tall, but it’s still relatively narrow (2-3 feet). ‘Purple Pillar’ flowers have a bicolor appearance: The semi-double purple blooms have a large red throat.

                    This rose of Sharon variety blooms from July to September and is excellent for a screening wall or vertical accent in a mixed perennial yard.

                    It attracts bees and other pollinators, just like most hibiscus. The tolerance to drought is higher than average for ‘Purple Pillar.

                    • Native Area: China, India
                    • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
                    • Height: 10–15 feet
                    • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial


    Common Pests

    The Japanese beetle is the leading pest problem for this shrub. Because of their large size, Japanese beetles are somewhat easier to control than many other insect pests.

    That means you’ll probably notice them before they cause significant damage to your plant.

    Picking or shaking them off the plant by hand and dropping them into a container filled with soapy water is the simplest way to kill them.

    Because the insect breathes through its skin, a layer of soap applied to its body effectively suffocates it.

    Rose of Sharon’s Common Issues

    In its preferred environment, this shrub is generally hardy. On the other hand, inadequate conditions can lead to some common problems.

    Yellowing of the Leaves

    When your shrub’s leaves turn yellow, it’s usually due to overwatering. Please make sure that your shrub is planted in well-drained soil and never soggy. If your shrub is in a poorly drained area, you may need to relocate it.

    Blooming Problems

    Several factors can cause a shrub that isn’t blooming well. It’s possible that you pruned too late in the spring and accidentally removed flower buds.

    Drought can also reduce blooming, giving your shrub some extra water during extremely hot and dry spells.

    Furthermore, phosphorus-deficient soil can result in low flower production and smaller blooms.

    Perform a soil test to see if you have any deficiencies, and apply fertilizer as needed.


    This adaptable shrub can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some suggestions:

    • Highlight as a lovely stand-alone specimen.
    • Combine with other shrubs in foundation planting.
    • Grow in the back of a blended border and shear into a hedge for an even more formal appearance.
    • Use to distinguish between different garden rooms.
    • In a sunny courtyard, train along a fence or trellis.
    • Grow against the side of your house or an outbuilding’s wall.
    • Planting smaller specimens in containers is an option.


    Q: Is full sun required for the rose of Sharon?

    A: Plants will flower best in full sun position but tolerate some light shade. Ensure that plants get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

    Q: How big can a rose of Sharon grow?

    A: Mature size ranges from 6 to 16 feet tall and 2 to 10 feet wide. This fast grower can add up to 2 feet of growth in a single season. If you need something limited in size, try a dwarf variety like Lil’ Kim or Pollypetite.

    Q: What is the best location to plant a rose of Sharon?

    A: Choose a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day and leaves enough space for plants to mature.

    Q: When is the optimal time to plant a Sharon rose?

    A: Plant it in the spring or early fall when the weather is cooler.

    Q: Is hibiscus the same as the rose of Sharon?

    A: Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is distinguished by its ability to grow in much colder climates than tropical hibiscus.

    Furthermore, unlike perennial hibiscus, they are woody shrubs that survive the winter above ground, with new growth emerging on the same branches in the spring.

    Q: Is the rose of Sharon a weed?

    A: While they are not considered invasive in any state or province, they can spread by seed in urban areas.

    To avoid this problem, these have been bred to be “low to no seed”:

    Gold Pollypetite® Sugar Tip® Azurri Blue Satin® Orchid Satin® Purple Satin®

    Final Words

    The Rose of Sharon, commonly known as the shrub althea, is an emblematic gardening favorite, originating from Asia, particularly East Asia and South Korea, where it’s honored as the national flower. A member of the Malvaceae family, this deciduous shrub is closely related to the hardy hibiscus and mallow.

    It is occasionally mistaken for the hibiscus rosa-sinensis due to its showy flowers. From the magenta chiffon to the coveted double blooms, the Rose of Sharon blooms predominantly on new wood in the latter part of summer. Often found in nursery pots, this upright-form shrub thrives in areas with good drainage and a pH that caters to its nutrient needs, including the essential potassium.

    It’s advisable to mulch its base come early spring, ensuring the top of the root ball remains visible. Though it can withstand neglect, this isn’t recommended as aphids might become unwelcome visitors, leading to bud drop. Partial shade is its friend, yet a sunny spot combined with a slow-release fertilizer can enhance its growth for the best results.

    It’s no wonder that many are taken aback by its beauty, with some even likening it to the hypericum calycinum. However, Rose of Sharon shrubs differ as their seedlings emerge vigorously, and while they can endure frost, the best time to plant them is when the risk is minimal.

    Remember to watch for common challenges such as improper watering or poor soil quality, which could affect its grandeur. To conclude, whether you’re a novice in gardening or a seasoned horticulturist, the Rose of Sharon bush remains a resilient and captivating choice, echoing the beauty and traditions of places like South Korea.