Flowers transform your home instantly, whether you have them in your garden or just a few stems in a vase on your dining table. When it comes to choosing the flower you want, the many species available may make settling on a specific one difficult. However, until you have considered the Rose of Sharon, you are yet to exhaust your options. The Rose of Sharon isn’t a rose as the name suggest but instead falls in the Hibiscus family. It has many colors including purple, white, pink, blue and red making it an excellent option for adding that pop of color to your fence. Rose of Sharon offers you some versatility in that you can grow its bush in groups, singularly or in a hedgerow. For it to be as beautiful as you intend it be, taking care if it is not an option, so here are a few tips to help you.
1. Keep the soil well-nourished
For the Rose of Sharon to do well, you should make sure that you nourish the soil by adding some composted manure every spring. Although you can add fertilizer as well, compost is better in that it is organic and gives the plant more nutrition. However, too much fertilizer or compost results in overfeeding your plant which causes it to grow without producing flowers. When applying the compost ensure that the layer extends till it is in line with the branch tip edges where the rain drips onto the soil.
2. Mulch the plant
To ensure that your bush does not dry up, adding some mulch onto the compost layer will prevent too much water from evaporating thereby keeping the moisture in the soil. Mulching also prevents weeds from growing which enhances the soil nutrition but check that the mulch does not cover the trunk. The plant is drought resistant and can survive in full sun but if you cannot find some mulch, grow your bush in a partially shaded area and during hot weather, water it regularly. Further, if you notice that your plant is dropping buds prematurely, it means you are not watering it correctly; you are either giving it too much or too little water. When autumn comes, you should apply a new layer of mulch in preparation for the winter since the cold temperatures can cause branches above the ground to die.
3. Prune according to your preferences
If you want your bush to have plenty of large flowers, then you should prune severely before winter as the autumn season ends so that when spring comes, the flowers will bloom. However, if small flowers are your preference, then you can wait until springtime and prune lightly. Also, the size you want your bush to grow into dictates the time you should prune. If you want your plant to reach the size of a tree, then you should cut the lower branches in early spring or late winter after it attains a height of 4 feet. On the other hand, if you desire a shorter shrub, then you should prune around three of the largest and oldest branches till they are only a few inches from the ground. Still, whatever size of shrub or quantity of flowers you want, whenever you notice damaged branches, you should remove them regardless of the time of the year. Pruning allows sunlight to reach the entire plant and encourages air circulation.
4. Protect your shrub from diseases and pests
The Rose of Sharon shrubs are usually pest and disease resistant, but that does not stop them from getting infections. Overwatering the plant can lead to aphids, but you can quickly get rid of them by spraying them with water from the hose pipe. Japanese beetles can also feast on the flowers, but you can eliminate them by spraying them with water too or removing them with your hands. Fungus, leaf spots and other diseases will harm your plant but not kill it, so remove any infected parts on the flowers or leaves. Also, check to see if any leaves or flowers on the ground are infected and cut them off to prevent the spread of the disease. Other signs of infection include red bumps on the bark of your shrub’s branches, and you should remove such parts. Insects and diseases spread quickly therefore after cutting off any infected branches, remember to sterilize your pruning tools with rubbing alcohol. You should also burn the infected parts or dispose of them properly; taking care not to mix them up with the compost leaves.