Plant of the Week: SUGAR TIP® Rose of Sharon

We have some really nice plantings around our office (go figure), and each week it’s fun to take a stroll to see what’s looking especially good.

Right now, one of the stars is a Hibiscus syriacus, which is a little odd for mid-June in Michigan. These plants are still foliage-only at this time, with flowers to come a bit later in the summer. I appreciate green foliage and nice branching as much as the next plant nerd, but to stand out amongst all of the roses and spirea in bloom right now, a plant needs some flash.

The variegated Sugar Tip® varieties do just that. While the original Sugar Tip® has been a favorite for many years, Sugar Tip® Gold is pretty nice, too.

Whereas the original Sugar Tip® has green and white variegated foliage and cotton candy pink blooms, Sugar Tip® Gold has green and yellow leaves. Its flowers are lavender rather than pink.

Flowers are pretty, but honestly the foliage right now is what is impressing me.

The Sugar Tip® varieties are a little smaller than typical rose of Sharon: Sugar Tip® is 5-6′ tall and Sugar Tip® Gold is 4-5′ tall. Both do well in full sun, although I’ve had one of the original Sugar Tip® plants in part shade for years and it’s been quite happy (and has become one of my favorite plants).

Both are hardy in USDA 5-9.

But wait! There’s more!

The Sugar Tip® varieties are sterile!

I’ve been busy with my annual project of digging up rose of Sharon seedlings from an ill-advised ‘Blue Bird’ and love – LOVE – that the Sugar Tip planted in another part of the yard does not seed.

Other sterile options are Azurri Blue Satin®, Orchid Satin® and Purple Satin®.

Want to read more about hardy Hibiscus and its handsome family? Take a look at my article on GardenSMART.

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