Rose of Sharon in Zone 5A Canada

northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)September 19, 2011

Our relatives sent us seeds of Rose of Sharon which are a deep red, almost black shade. I wintersowed them and planted out 5 seedlings in different areas of the yard. They look healthy, but they have hardly grown over the summer. They are still only about 4 inches tall. I live in Ottawa and have never seen ROS plants here and I wonder if it's worthwhile trying to overwinter them. Perhaps they are plants that sleep, creep, and leap. If anyone has experience with this plant, your advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Northerner.

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gardenweed_z6a

I've grown ROS from seed a couple of times. They're super easy and many folks complain about all the reseeds they get when the seeds just fall to the ground under their mature ROS. If yours were WS, I'd say that should give them a better chance at surviving the winter than nursery-grown plants would have. I'd mulch them with pine branches or straw for a little extra protection their first winter. I wintered a few over inside my unheated garage in gallon pots and they broke dormancy in the spring along with all the others.

The ones I WS grew to about 8" the first year and about double that the second year.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 4:00PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

they are extremely hardy in zone 5, but it does take a few years for them to get going.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 11:01AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

they should be finishing up blooming right now in z5 ... keep your eyes peeled ... [what does that mean literally???]

i find it hard to believe they are not around ... i think you just havent noticed ...

the only problem i had with small ones.. were bunnies .... in late winter.. so you might want to figure out how to protect them in that regard ...

ken

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 11:05AM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Althea hibiscus syriacus, aka rose of sharon.
I looked them up and are said to be hardy in zone 5.

Since they are so small, I think I would put half in pots and keep them inside until spring.
We have very mild winters in central TX.
When I moved to this house almost 4 years ago mine was in a gallon pot and about 15 inches tall. It is now about 9 ft. tall. They are a large shrub and will take a few years to gain in height.

This picture was taken in June of 2009.

I hope this has helped.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 4:26PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I WS'd some for the first time and they are pretty small this year, but no smaller than the seedlings that have popped up near the mother plant. I've had the ROS in for years and have never had a seedling. Figures when I finally WS some seeds I get seelings in the garden! Timing is everything.

Ken, to your question: keep your eyes peeled ... [what does that mean literally???]
I was just recently in Ireland and was told that the photo below is of a peel tower with the slits for windows. They called them peel windows. People would watch through the windows for any approaching enemy and that is apparently how the expression "keep your eyes peeled" came about.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 9:50PM
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sunnytop

Seedlings I failed to pull out last spring are 4 inches tall in my garden now. The bunnies will finish off the ones I missed this winter. They grow faster each year. They are late to break dormancy in the spring so don't give up if it is sometime in May before you see any life.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 12:16AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Amazing the things you learn on the perennials forum!!! I don't think I ever thought of the literal meaning of that term. Lovely photo!!
Well thank you everyone for your input. I guess I will keep them and mulch them well overwinter.
Plantmaven, what a beautiful shot. I have seen these shrubs in Toronto, but have never seen one this beautiful - perhaps yours is a double bloom. Thanks for the suggestion of bringing one plant indoors, but I don't have room and I have been trying to avoid bringing anything in that grows because I always get an infestation of something on my houseplants. What I may do is pot one up and sink it in the ground overwinter. That may give it better protection.
It's already getting cold up here so lots to do in the next week or two. Thanks again.
Northerner.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 3:13AM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

Yes, it is a double. I have never noticed if it produces seed. They are very common here. so it is one of those plants I don't pay a lot of attention to.
If there are seed, do you want some?

Kathy

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 9:57AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

In 2007 I ws traded hibiscus seeds and got several ROS plants as well as perennial hibiscus. Since I did not realize that they were ROS the first year I mulched them for winter as perennial hibiscus and haven't had any problem with them surviving. They are slow growers for me and are frequently pruned by deer so I still haven't seen any bloom. This year they grew about 2 ft tall and 1 ft wide before the deer got them.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 12:06PM
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pamghatten(wny5)

I had a ROS that bloomed to late for my area ... it would get frost right after bloom. So I dug that one out and gave it to my sister who is in 5b, and she is loving it.

I put in a couple of regular ROS that are just finshing bloom. Thanks for the reminder to burlap the smallest one this winter to keep from the deer.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 12:41PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Northerner, that RoS you received seeds for sounds SWEET! I'd love to see & grow one that color!

My sis has one with pure white flowers & my parents' RoS has pink flowers with a red bullseye.

I would worry about rodents somewhat. They can really do a number on young trees/shrubs over the winter. Perhaps placing a plastic pot over the littles ones once the snow starts to fly would be a useful precaution?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 11:39AM
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gardenweed_z6a

I grow the pure white one and it's loaded with seedpods if anyone would like to try winter sowing them. Just send me an email and I'll make it a point to harvest seeds. I wasn't going to bother because I have all the ROS shrubs I want but I'd be happy to gather seeds for anyone who'd like them. I also have the pink ones with the dark center as well as white with the dark red center.

northerner_on & plantmaven - my daughter has several of the double flowered ones and none of them produce seed.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 4:29PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

You are so right about doubles not producing seeds. I went out to check. Not only are there no seeds, but are covered with mealbugs. Very unusual, so I think it must have to do with the drought.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 6:25PM
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ninamarie(4Ont.)

I think they are more tender in the north and can be difficult to overwinter. If you are not seeing them in Ottawa, I would guess that's an indication they don't grow well there.
I suspect the time they are planted also makes a difference to their survival. I am guessing that early is better than late.
Where I live, the shrub did not even break dormancy until late in June, so it did not show well in a well-travelled area. It never reseeded, which is very common south of where I live, though it did survive and did flower.
Eventually I removed it, because I just didn't think it paid for its space.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 12:46PM
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