15 Rose of Sharon Varieties for Your Landscape

Choose late-blooming flowers to extend your garden's colors through fall

Rose of Sharon flower with white petals with deep red centers and yellow pistil closeup

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is a flowering shrub that provides long-lasting color in the landscape. It blooms in the summertime after many plants are through with flowering, and its bloom period can stretch all the way until cool weather hits in the fall. There are many different kinds of rose of Sharon bushes that range in appearance. Rose of Sharon colors include white, pink, blue, purple, lavender, and red. Some of the prettiest rose of Sharon varieties are bicolored with darker throats.

While rose of Sharon is technically a bush, not a tree, you can train rose of Sharon as a tree by pruning to one main trunk (leader). How big rose of Sharon gets depends on the variety; most grow to between 8 and 12 feet high with a spread of 6 to 10 feet. But there are dwarf rose of Sharon varieties as well, including 'Lil' Kim.' Plants grouped together can make a lovely blooming hedge. However, because they aren't evergreen and drop their leaves in the fall, they won't provide privacy during the winter.

Many rose of Sharon varieties readily self-seed, and the seedlings can become a nuisance. However, there are seedless rose of Sharon varieties available, including 'Orchid Satin' and 'Sugar Tip'. Plant rose of Sharon in the spring or fall. Its needs are fairly simple: Situate it in full sun with rich, well-draining soil that's acidic to slightly alkaline, and keep the soil evenly moist.

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7 Helpful Tips on Growing the Rose of Sharon

Here are 15 popular rose of Sharon varieties to consider for your landscape.

  • 01 of 15

    Blue Chiffon (Hibiscus syriacus 'Blue Chiffon')

    'Blue Chiffon' rose of Sharon flower with pale lavender petals

    The Spruce / David Beaulieu

    Blue flowers are highly prized for their unusual color. Plant developers have put a great deal of energy into expanding the horticultural blue palette, yet true blues remain somewhat rare. The 'Blue Chiffon'® rose of Sharon is an example of a flower that pushes the violet hue in the direction of blue. It combines well both with orange flowers, such as torch lilies (Kniphofia spp.), and so-called "black" plants (those with dark foliage), such as 'Chocolate Drop' stonecrop (Sedum 'Chocolate Drop'). This cultivar blooms from midsummer into autumn. What makes it especially beautiful are inner petals that surround the stamen, providing a frilly look.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 8–12 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • 02 of 15

    'Sugar Tip' (Hibiscus syriacus 'Sugar Tip')

    'Sugar Tip' rose of Sharon with pink blooms

    The Spruce / David Beaulieu

    Like 'Blue Chiffon,' 'Sugar Tip' bears double flowers—pink in this case. But it's not just about flowers with this rose of Sharon cultivar. The foliage is also attractive with brightly variegated creamy-white and bluish-green coloring. Most rose of Sharon varieties are valued mainly for their flowers, but don't underestimate the importance of attractive foliage. Such foliage plants like this one offer continuing appeal even after many garden blooms have wilted. Another benefit is that it is one of the seedless rose of Sharon varieties.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–8
    • Height: 5-6 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • 03 of 15

    'Red Heart' (Hibiscus syriacus 'Red Heart')

    'Red Heart' rose of Sharon with white petals and red center

    matricul / Getty Images

    Many rose of Sharon varieties with white flowers are technically bicolored: Most of the petal is white, but the part near the center that forms the throat is a darker color. For example, in the case of 'Red Heart,' the throat is red. Those who consider white too plain will prefer such bicolored varieties. 'Red Heart' blooms from July into fall, with each blossom lasting just a single day. Like all rose of Sharon shrubs, deer usually avoid it.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 8–10 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • 04 of 15

    'White Chiffon' (Hibiscus syriacus 'White Chiffon')

    'White Chiffon' rose of Sharon being visited by a hummingbird

    Donna Braswell / Getty Images 

    Some gardeners find white flowers too plain, while others value their clean look. 'White Chiffon' is a solid option if you seek a summer-flowering bush with pure white blossoms. Shrubs with solid-white flowers are ideal for gardeners designing moon gardens and those who wish to be purists in their plant selection. Unlike most rose of Sharon varieties, there's no contrasting throat to these flowers.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 8–12 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    'Aphrodite' (Hibiscus syriacus 'Aphrodite')

    Hibiscus Aphrodite variety

    july7th / Getty Images

    'Aphrodite' has delicate pink flowers, measuring 4 inches across, with a deep red throat. It's a very bushy, full plant, nearly as wide as it is tall, though it can be pruned to keep it a manageable size. It's less tolerant of shade than other roses of Sharon cultivars. In some regions of the United States, especially the Midwest, some rose of Sharon varieties can be invasive if allowed to escape garden cultivation. If you live in such a region, make sure to buy a sterile variety, such as 'Aphrodite,' which won't spread through self-seeding.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–8
    • Height: 6–10 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full
  • 06 of 15

    'Blue Satin' (Hibiscus syriacus 'Blue Satin')

    Macro of Flawless Blue Rose of Sharon with red eye
    Kbytes / Getty Images

    'Blue Satin'® is one of the most striking of all rose of Sharon cultivars, featuring intense blue-violet flowers with deep magenta throats and yellow stamens. And as one of the rose of Sharon seedless varieties, it produces few to no viable seed pods. This plant is fairly tolerant of salty soils and drought. But like all hibiscus, it prefers regular, even moisture. This is a relatively easy variety to propagate through stem cuttings. It's sometimes sold under the trade name 'Azurri Blue Satin.'

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 8–12 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • 07 of 15

    'Blueberry Smoothie' (Hibiscus syriacus 'Blueberry Smoothie')

    Blueberry Smoothie Hibiscus closeup

    Garden.org

    This cultivar has fully double flowers, 4 inches across, which approach a genuine blue in color, as well as an upright, spreading growth habit with multiple stems. It requires quite a bit of pruning to train it as a small tree. 'Blueberry Smoothie' has some of the most spectacular flowers of all rose of Sharon varieties, so make sure to plant it where it can be appreciated. You'll be graced with a striking floral display from midsummer into fall.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–8
    • Height: 4–5 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • 08 of 15

    'Lavender Chiffon' (Hibiscus syriacus 'Lavender Chiffon')

    Hibiscus syriacus Lavender Chiffon or Rose of Sharon. Pink flower in bloom
    ANGHI / Getty Images

    'Lavender Chiffon' produces semi-double flowers with subtle red veins that radiate into the light purple petals. It has a nicely rounded, multi-stemmed growth habit. But you can easily grow this rose of Sharon as a tree by pruning out all but one central leader. Left unpruned, it's a very full plant that's best suited for large shrub borders or screens. 'Lavender Chiffon,' like most rose of Sharon types, is known for having good tolerance for difficult conditions, such as high humidity, salty air, and urban pollution. It produces few to no seeds.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 8-12 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    ''Lil Kim' (Hibiscus syriacus ''Lil Kim')

    Lil Kim Hibiscus

    Flickr / Estabrooks

    ''Lil Kim' is a well-behaved dwarf rose of Sharon variety that produces 3-inch-wide white flowers with magenta throats. Its small size makes it an excellent container specimen, blooming from midsummer into autumn. While most rose of Sharon varieties produce flowers that last only a day, this cultivar's blooms typically last as long as three days before wilting. When grown in a container, prune ''Lil Kim' in spring to maintain its shape. Like most rose of Sharon plants, this one is fairly easy to propagate from stem cuttings. It is heat, drought, and salt tolerant.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 3–4 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • 10 of 15

    'Lucy' (Hibiscus syriacus 'Lucy')

    Hibiscus syriacus 'Lucy' Double Flowered, Pink
    MasterChefNobu / Getty Images

    'Lucy' is a fully double-petaled cultivar with large, 3- to 5-inch reddish-fuchsia blossoms. It's a very full-bodied shrub, but you can readily grow this rose of Sharon as a tree by removing the lower branches. Left unpruned, it makes a good screening hedge. One of the most dependable rose of Sharon cultivars, 'Lucy' will tolerate some shade, but its flowers will be most profuse if it receives full sun.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–8
    • Height: 6–8 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • 11 of 15

    'Minerva' (Hibiscus syriacus 'Minerva')

    Minerva hibiscus

    National Gardening Association

    A large, bushy cultivar growing 5 to 8 feet wide, 'Minerva' features glossy green foliage as well as pinkish-lavender blooms with a dark red throat punctuated by an ivory stamen. This variety benefits from some pruning, which creates a full growth habit for hedge applications. Pruning back to two or three buds in late winter will produce larger blooms the following summer and fall. This rose of Sharon cultivar is relatively easy to propagate through stem cuttings. It is one of the seedless rose of Sharon varieties, producing very few, if any, viable seed pods.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–8
    • Height: 5-8 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
  • 12 of 15

    'Purple Pillar' (Hibiscus syriacus 'Purple Pillar')

    Purple Pillar hibiscus

    Garden.org

    As the name suggests, this cultivar grows quite tall but remains relatively narrow (2 to 3 feet). 'Purple Pillar' flowers have a bicolor appearance: The semi-double purple blooms have a large red throat. This rose of Sharon variety, which blooms from July into September, is excellent as a screening wall or a vertical accent in a mixed perennial garden. Like most hibiscus, it attracts bees and other pollinators. 'Purple Pillar' has a better-than-average tolerance for drought.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 10–16 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full, partial
    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    'Orchid Satin' (Hibiscus syriacus 'Orchid Satin')

    Pink 'Orchid Satin' hibiscus with bright magenta accents that splatter toward outer edges of petals

    F. D. Richards / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    'Orchid Satin' is a seedless rose of Sharon variety, so it will be noninvasive in the garden. It produces large lavender-pink flowers with notable red centers that can be seen from a distance. This type of rose of Sharon has particularly good heat and salt tolerance. It also features an appealing upright growth habit.  

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 8–12 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full
  • 14 of 15

    'Purple Satin' (Hibiscus syriacus 'Purple Satin')

    Hibiscus syriacus 'Purple Satin'

    Manuela Schewe-Behnisch / EyeEm / Getty Images

    The blooms on 'Purple Satin' will add luxurious richness to your garden. Its deep purple flowers feature a dark red accent at their center. This shrub is long-blooming and has good tolerance for heat and drought. Plus, it’s another seedless rose of Sharon variety, so you won’t have to worry about invasive spread.

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 8–12 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full
  • 15 of 15

    'Sugar Tip Gold' (Hibiscus syriacus 'Sugar Tip Gold')

    sugar tip gold rose of sharon

    Kansas Garden Musings

    'Sugar Tip Gold' is another type of rose of Sharon that's grown not only for its blooms but also its variegated foliage. Its medium green leaves sport bright gold edging. And when it’s in bloom, its purple double flowers wonderfully contrast with the gold. What’s more, this is one of the seedless rose of Sharon varieties, producing few to no pods. So it won’t become a nuisance with spreading in your garden. 

    • Native Area: China, India
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5–9
    • Height: 4–5 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full

Tip

The most serious pest problem common to all rose of Sharon varieties is infestation by Japanese beetles, which often attack the shrubs while ignoring other plants. Left unchecked, they can completely defoliate these plants. The best control method is to pick off the beetles by hand, but pyrethroid-based insecticides will also kill them.

Article Sources
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  1. Japanese Beetle. Colorado State Extension.

  2. Beetles on Ornamental Plants [Fact Sheet]. University of New Hampshire Extension.