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Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

Posted by melvalena North Texas 7/8 (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 27, 13 at 15:47

I know they are 2 different plants. Both are shrubs about the same size, right?

The Confederate Rose gets cut back in the fall/winter/early spring (depending on who is talking) and it springs forth in the spring.

But Rose of Sharon, you don't cut back. Right?

What are the differences besides what the flowers look like?

I think the Rose of Sharon needs full sun but the Confederate Rose can take a little shade, right?

I've always wondered about this and why someone would chose one over the other. What other considerations might there be in choosing between them?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

My understanding is that Confederate Rose dies back during the winter here because it's from a warmer zone. Rose of Sharon/Althea is cold-hardy much further north than Texas ever gets, so it doesn't need to be cut back.

I do know that Althea will grow in part shade, we had one between the house and a tree when I was growing up. It may not have bloomed as well as the other one we had in full sun, but it did bloom.

While I'd like a Confederate Rose, the fact that it dies back (and has to be cut back) due to the cold and the possibility of losing it entirely to cold, has kept me from planting it. I don't need any more plants that do that. I planted a blue/purple Althea because we had one when I was a kid.


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

Rose of Sharon can be trimmed into small tree or shrub form. Ours (both double and single flower varieties) did better in n. Texas with a bit of shade. In fact, they will bloom wonderfully even in the heavy dappled shade loved by Cardinal Flower and Columbine, but it becomes tougher to maintain an attractive shape. Better to be where they can get several hours of sunlight.

Only problem we ever encountered with Rose of Sharon was its sensitivity to root rot (probably CRR), so there were some spots on the property where they just could not survive. A consideration if you have any places you know these nasties to be present in you soil.


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

Confederate Rose is Hibiscus Mutablis.

Rose of Sharon is Hibiscus syriacus.

My CR is like the large pink double in the link. It goes from light pink to dark rose.
I once had one that went from white to pink during the day.

The hibiscus is of the cotton family. Cotton blooms one day and goes from a creamy white to pink.
So would be susceptible to cotton root rot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Confederate Rose


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

This is a two year old plant, they can get very tall this far south. If there is no freeze they lose their leaves but may not die back. Mine only seems to bloom from October until it starts to get too cool then it produces seed pods. Now I have seen Rose-of-Sharon's In Michigan and West Virginia so there are various varieties that can stand much colder weather but they do lose their leaves also.


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

The varieties developed by the National Arboretum, bearing the names of Greek and Roman Goddesses, are sterile, which spares you the hassle of pulling up volunteers. I set out a Minerva and a Helene, in 3 gallon containers, 3 years ago. They are getting about 5 hours of midday/early afternoon sun. They're now 6' tall and 3 wide, very bushy and loaded with buds.


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

I lost my Confederate Rose to frost ~ sigh. I have never lost a Rose of Sharon to weather, to dogs, well that's a different story.


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

Chicadee, your Confederate Rose didn't come back from the roots?

So.. reading some more and trying to figure this out,
I think one more difference is that the ROS will bloom from spring to fall but the Confederate Rose only blooms in the fall. Is that correct?


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

Correct. RoS is a work horse.


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

Yes Confederate Rose Hibiscus will sometimes bloom a little in the spring but not often. Mostly here in the Houston area mine bloom from about October as our weather starts to cool down until it gets cooler. So I get about 2 months where I have lots of blooms in the fall.


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

My CF bloomed every spring and every fall. Always covered in white fly. wood is very soft and breaks easily so here on the coast, always broken limbs. It is a short-lived, small tree. Maximum height 10-12`. Full sun, easy from seeds or cuttings. Can be cut back to ground as desired. Starts white ends up pink, white, pink and double varieties available. Also prone to mealy bugs and root rot. Hybrids less hardy. NOT salt tolerant! Lost to Ike.

Rose of Sharon, much smaller, longer lived, shorter. Easy from cuttings or seeds. In the south prefers more shade, even full shade but will thrive and bloom in full sun if enough water. Full sun in the north, they live in Delaware. More choices in colors, red, pink, white, purple, w/eye, double varieties. Mealy bugs can be a problem.

Tally HO!


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

Melvalena, I have three althea: Helene, Aphrodite, and Diana. All three I have trained tree form. They make lovely long-lived small trees. One is in part shade and the others in full sun. The Aphrodite in part shade may be a little more slow-growing, but still flowers beautifully. Lou


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

I have two Rose-a-sharns and I don't like them. But they are very healthy and happy on the southern side of my house against the brick. So I know they can take all the heat you can throw at them. I just think they are ugly in the winter. Or actually any time they aren't flowering. Plan to replace mine with - something?


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

That's funny.. my hubby says they are ugly too. :)


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RE: Rose of Sharon vs Confederate Rose???

I have never seen an ugly Rose-of-Sharon plant and once established they can bloom for a very long time. When I lived down near the coast they were like weeds sprouting up anywhere a seed fell. But here near Houston they seem to be much slower growing.


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