Pollinators of all types can be found visiting the flowers. Even hummingbirds seek them out.
They do an excellent job of shading the back of the house, which receives afternoon sun. Plumbago, heart leaf asters, and white geraniums function as a shade loving ground cover beneath its branches. A pink rose and 'Laura' phlox grow near the rain barrel.
They reach almost to the second story.
A pink clematis grows along its branches.
Hundreds of double flowers will cover the shrub for the next several weeks.
With the red ring in the center, they look like little hibiscus.
Every fall after they've dropped their leaves, I dump an entire 40 lb bag of composted leaves (Leaf Gro) at the base of each shrub. If I remember, I also give them several cup fulls of Plant Tone, an organic fertilizer. When my worm bins are full and I still have extra kitchen scraps, I throw them behind the shrubs to decompose. One of my dogs occasionally liberates a funky apple and gives it a proper burial in the garden.
I only prune them if I find crossed branches or if the interior becomes too dense. Last winter I discovered a few branches had lifted the shingles on the fireplace bump out, so out they came.
Thinning out the interior every couple of years allows for more light to penetrate the heart of the shrub. It also helps create increased branching so that I don't end up with a shrub that's only leafy on the exterior but bare and twiggy on the interior. Right now the interior has a few open spots, but that's okay. The Rose of Sharon is a vigorous grower that will create new branches that will bloom next summer.
When I lay on my couch and look out the window, I feel like I'm in a tree house.
Growing Conditions: Morning shade and afternoon sun
- Thrives in peripheral reflected light from the surrounding patio.
- I think this must be a fairly moist spot because I rarely have to water the shrubs, although the surrounding plants get thirsty. The area directly under its branches is dry and shady. The soil is well draining.