12 Rose of Sharon Hibiscus Varieties for Your Great Garden

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Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

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 easier 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 at the moment 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 own area in the garden. One rose of Sharon collection I saw had each shrub its own area in a Hollywood yard.

Rose of Sharon can be grown against a building, in a hedge, or with restricted airflow. This makes it highly 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 scented 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 attract 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.

12 popular rose of Sharon varieties for your landscape.

  • 01of 12

    Blue Chiffon (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Blue Chiffon’)

    Blue Chiffon

    Because of their unique colors, blue flowers are highly valued. True 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, which surround the stamen and give it a frilly appearance, are what make it so special.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 8–12 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial
  • 02of 12

    ‘Sugar Tip’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Sugar Tip’)

    Sugar Tip Hibiscus

     

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

    The foliage is also attractive: Variegated leaves with creamy-white edging inspired the name. 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. 

    Such foliage plants, like this one, 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
  • 03of 12

    ‘Red Heart’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘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 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
  • 04of 12

    ‘White Chiffon’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘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 an excellent choice. 

    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
  • 05of 12

    ‘Aphrodite’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Aphrodite’)

     Aphrodite hybiscus

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

    It is less sensitive to shade than other Rose of Sharon 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
  • 06of 12

    ‘Blue Satin’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Blue Satin’)

    Blue Satin Hibiscus

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

     This plant is fairly 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
  • 07of 12

    ‘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 Rose of Sharon varieties.

    Make sure you plant it where you can enjoy it. From midsummer through fall, you’ll be surrounded by a stunning floral display.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 6–8 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial
  • 08of 12

    ‘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
  • 09of 12

    ‘Lil Kim’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Lil Kim’)

    Lil Kim hibiscus

      

    “Lil Kim” is a dwarf cultivar that has 3-inch-wide, white flowers, and magenta throats. Because of its small size, it is a great 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 start to wilt. 

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

    This rose of Sharon 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
  • 10of 12

    ‘Lucy’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘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
  • 11of 12

    ‘Minerva’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Minerva’)

    Minerva hibiscus 

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

    The foliage is punctuated by an ivory stamen. The full growth habit of this variety is ideal for hedge applications.

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

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Growing Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 6–9 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, Partial
  • 12of 12

    ‘Purple Pillar’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘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 great 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