It’s old – rose of Sharon is a familiar plant.
It’s new – this isn’t your grandmother’s Hibiscus syriacus.
Borrowed? Not really. But it comes from an outside breeder, not our own program. See below.
Blue – yes.
It’s Blue Chiffon® rose of Sharon. This outstanding variety of H. syriacus is our 2020 Flowering Shrub of the Year.
The blue flowers are an unexpected color in the late summer garden, and contrast with other summer bloomers like Hypericum. Unlike older blue cultivars, Blue Chiffon® Hibiscus has graceful branching and a nice, full habit.
Like other rose of Sharon, it will do best in full sun and is hardy to USDA Zone 5. It grows 8-12′ tall and 6-10′ wide. A bit large for a foundation planting, but perfect for planting around a deck or patio for some privacy while you enjoy your summer evenings.
Reconsider rose of Sharon
It is an old-fashioned plant. Why is it still viable in our Instagram lives?
Because it’s good. Rose of Sharon will tolerate some tough conditions, including heat, drought, and clay soil. It’s not a favorite of deer in most places, and will thrive in really challenging places like parking lot plantings. Plus, it’s pretty, and hummingbirds love it!
Blue Chiffon® is just one of several outstanding varieties developed by Dr. Roderick Woods, a lovely man who is a favorite of ours both for his personality and his plants. You can get to know him a bit by reading this Plant Hunter blog post.