Rose of Sharon, a fast growing flowering shrub

Rose of Sharon, also known as Althea, is a is blooming and self-seeding shrub of the hibiscus family. The trumpet shaped blooms of Rose of Sharon are about six inches across and can be blue, lavender, pink, red or white. Rose of Sharon starts blooming in July and continues to bloom into September. Rose of Sharon is hardy from USDA planting zones 5a to 9a, likes full sun, and grows several feet tall a year while sprouting lots of new limbs. 

Potted Rose of Shaorn, pruned to
 fit in narrow space

Rose of Sharon needs no special care—no need for fertilizers or extra watering (except immediately after planting). Because of its rapid-growth, self-seeding capability and no help from humans to survive, Rose of Sharon can become invasive. Use Rose of Sharon to create a tall privacy hedge-fence. Rose of Sharon can reach a height of 12 feet and a width of 10 feet.

Pruning and containment

Rose of Sharon does not need pruning unless you are trying to control its width or height. In that case, prune in the spring. Pruning encourages side branching and will create larger blooms. This shrub is so hardy, you can prune back to about three feet above ground. Control the invasive nature of Rose of Sharon by pulling new shoots; they are short rooted. Better yet, dig up the shoot and pot it or give it away.

Another option for pruning a Rose of Sharon is to remove about one-fifth to one-third of the lower branches, giving it a tree-like appearance.