Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hibiscus syriacus - Doubles

When I first discovered Rose of Sharon, I had no idea of the variety that were available. I just dug up some seedlings from my down the road neighbor Elaine's garden. The doubles have been around for quite awhile, I expect, but I have only grown them for about 10 years. There are named ones out there, but these, except for the last which is my own seedling, were just bought by color.
The first is a double lavender which is growning next to our outhouse. It is in quite a bit of shade so it probably doesn't bloom as much as it might otherwise.

This one is a dark pink or mauve, depending on the light. It has gotten quite tall, probably about 12 feet and will be pruned heavily this year. You can see that the flowers are all near the top this year because to take one the only thing behind it is the sky.
This pink grows in a small row of shrubs in front of a large stand of bamboo.

This is a lighter pink. Most of these doubles seem to have a splotch of color at the center of the back petals. The previous ones were more like true doubles while this one and the next are more like singles with a 'puff' in the center.

This last is my own seedling which I call 'Raspberry Fluff'. It grows at the back of the gardens near the bog. I expect it grows so well because it gets plenty of moisture from seeps and springs in all but the most extreme dry weather. Rose of Sharon seem to grow in almost any conditions from shady to sunny and wet to dry, but will give the best flowering show in full sun. Don't be afraid to prune them heavily - just be sure to do it right after flowering so you don't cut back on flowering for the next season.
One more day of Rose of Sharon tomorrow - those with variegated leaves.

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