Gone (almost) But Not Forgotten

rose of sharon tallahassee

Gone (almost) But Not Forgotten

I have fallen in love all over again with a special lady by the name of Rose, Rose of Sharon. Alright, it’s more of a plant than a lady but I think you’ll personify this one as an elegant beauty too once you know learn about it.

I’ve recently been fortunate enough to move into a property that has some old fashioned hidden botanical treasures around the edges and in the overgrown weeds. One of the best surprises is a full grown 12 foot tall and 8 foot wide white flowered Rose of Sharon bush that is in full bloom right now! The flowers of this particular cultivar are absolutely pure white and open fresh daily. I make sure to take a look each morning at the freshly opened blossoms glowing in the dawn light.

white-angel-althea-tallahassee

Rose of Sharon (also called Althea) has been in southern gardens for a very long time but there are so few of them in front yard gardens nowadays I tend to forget all of their amazing attributes. Seeing one daily has got me all fired up and on a mission to bring this plant back to prominence.

•  Rose of Sharon is a type of Hibiscus

•  Blooms can be single like a tropical hibiscus or double like a giant ruffled carnation

•  Single flowered varieties attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds

•  Extremely drought tolerant once established (you can find specimens in old cemeteries that haven’t been watered in decades that still bloom every summer)

•  Long lived and trouble free

•  Flower colors include shades of pink, white, red, purple

•  Can be trimmed into a small tree if lower branches are removed yearly or left as a shrub

•  Sets seeds that can sprout easily to share with friends

•  Blooms for 2-3 months throughout summer’s heat

•  Grows in full sun to bright filtered shade under tall pines or oaks (plants will be fuller and produce more blooms in more sun)

As you can see Altheas are some pretty amazing plants. These old fashioned southern beauties should find a home in almost any garden here in North Florida. I genuinely think the only reason Rose of Sharon isn’t used more these days is because it isn’t new, and if being old fashioned is the only thing wrong with Altheas then I don’t want to be right. So don’t mind me if you see me sipping sweet tea in my rocking chair while I admire my Rose of Sharon for the next few months. I’m just being old fashioned and loving every minute of it, I think you will too.

-Jonathan Burns Outdoor Manager

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