Hibiscus syriacus “Coelestris” – Rose of Sharon
Large mauve flowers with a crimson blotch that radiates in to the petals, born over a long period through mid- to late-summer.
An upright, hardy, deciduous shrub growing to about 3M. Hibiscus are renowned for their drought tolerance and will tolerate a range of conditions. They do not grow well in pots, so do not be discouraged if a specimen in the garden centre looks unhappy – they come away enthusiastically once on the ground.
Hibiscus come from a broad swathe of territory from the Middle East to China. I believe the epithet “syriacus” was given to the plant because the early samples brought back to the UK came from Syria. however, Hibiscus is more associated with South Korea, where it has been grown since time immeorial. H. syriacus is the national flower of South Korea.
Soil / Aspect:
They do not particularly favour an acid soil, but seem to grow well in the conditions found in Karin’s Garden. They will not survive in wet soil over winter, and need to be in something approaching full sun to flower properly. Cold winds over winter will kill newer shoots and delay flowering.
This plant does best when the stems are not allowed to become too old. If pruned “around the edges” it will tend to become a bit sparse in leaf and flower. Much better to cut out 3-4 year old stems at the base. New stems reach 2M in a single season, so you will always have a substantial bush to enjoy. If the plant has been hit by cold winds over winter, some tidying up in the spring is inevitable.