Sunday, March 8, 2009

Altheas.... Why to LOVE them!




I thought I'd post today about an old favorite in the garden, Altheas. I'm sure your grandmother had one in her garden or just down the road, but they are slowly disappearing in the new "landscape plan" books, and I think that is a shame. I have several in my garden and let me just say, I love mine. They bloom for every bit of 4 months and are bright beautiful color from a long distance away. So I thought I'd "dig up the dirt" on these plants........


Rose of Sharon, Shrub Althea, Hibiscus syriacus


Hardiness Zone:
5 - 8
Mature Height:
9-12 Feet
Mature Width:
6-10 Feet






Features:
Large flowers in late summer (flowers may be single or double; white, red, purple or pink).


Culture:
Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil; tolerant of alkaline soils.





Cultivars:
Numerous cultivars including:







'Aphrodite' - Dark pink flowers with a dark red center. (I have about 5 of these down by my fire pit, they we're all free starts from a friend and they all lived and even bloomed the first summer)




'Ardens' - Double rosy purple flowers.






'Blue Bird' - Sky blue flowers with a small red center.







'Diana' - Pure white flowers.







'Jeanne d'Arc' - Double white or red flowers.







'Lucy' - Double red/ magenta pink flowers. (I have 2 of these and they are stunning!)



Here is a shot of one of mine from last summer, it is a young plant, 1st yr.


'Red Heart' - White flowers with red center. (I have two of these on opposite corners of the front of our house with the fairy landscape roses under them. They are first year plants and doing great. Picture from my garden last summer.)





Mature Form:
Upright to slightly spreading





Native To:
China, India





Here is some pictures I found on the web of Altheas used in the landscape....





Here is an espalier Rose of Sharon....wow, that would be stunning! And the branches are easily bent, so I think this would be an easy plant to try this with.





It also makes a great hedge planting.... Around here (Indiana) I can find them for about $5.00 for the shrub and $25.00 for the standards (or tree form). But you can also find starts in gardens because the older varieties set seed and you'll have plants to give away each spring. But I do not think they are a bothersome seeder. Just an added bonus! I love to find any "babies" I can in my garden...lol.

With the cost of most everything sky-high now a days I thought it would be nice to see some beautiful things we can add this year that won;t break the bank. You might even get one for free. Check your local county garden club, I'm sure they can help you out!

Happy Gardening!

9 comments :

  1. I do love them. We have one that is a light lavender color. It's grafted to be a tree form. Mine is always one of the last things to leaf out, but the flowers are worth it. Great post!

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  2. Wow, you have some beautiful ones. I have three in my yard and love them too but I have to fight over them with the Japanese beetles every summer. I love the ones you have with double blooms, just gorgeous.
    Lona

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  3. Very pretty flowers. I don't grow them here in my florida garden but I sure enjoyed looking at the great photos of them in your garden. Saw you over at Blotanical, too, and wanted to welcome you there.

    Hope you have fun visiting some great gardens.
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

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  4. Wow, they're beautiful! 'Blue Bird' is lovely and the bee trying to climb out of it is doubly cute:)

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  5. Hello...Beautiful altheas..My favorite Is Diana...that pure white is delightful. I'll take the espaliared Rose of Sharon and that wall! Now where do I order it... Have a delightful day...is it warming up where you garden?

    Gail

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  6. I love this plant. I planted a tiny baby one in my new island bed last fall. I really hope it comes back. We are a pretty solid zone 4 here in this part of Idaho, but I tried it anyway. Wish me luck. Yours are beautiful!
    -Heather

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  7. Hi Brooke, wonderful photos..I love the espaliered one! I have a pretty white one with a purple eye that I'm trying to limb up to look like a small tree. They are great in that they bloom late and long.
    Lynn

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  8. Very nice photos. We used to have two Rose of Sharon bushes in Ohio, they were huge and baby plants popped up everywhere. Have you tried lilacs, too warm for them here in eastern NC. The aroma of a good lilac is to die for.

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  9. My sister gave me three rose of sharon shoots they are the white with pink centers single and a neighbor gave me the single pink with red center. They grew huge in three years! The red I just got the other day!The neighbor gave me at least 30 or so shoots of the pink! Now to figure out where to plant them all!

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