University of Maryland Extension: Plant of the Week
Hibiscus syriacus ‘Helene’
Text and photo by Ellen Nibali
Though you don’t think of rose-of-Sharon as a fall bloomer, this champ of the summer garden blooms its head off well into autumn.
‘Helene’ is one of four triploids named for Greek goddesses developed by the U.S. National Arboretum.
These varieties are virtually sterile, unlike the old rose-of-Sharons whose unwanted volunteers always made them such a nuisance. The flowers are huge and dramatic compared to the old varieties, too.
Not fussy about soils, rose-of-Sharon grows in sun to part shade. ‘Helene’ reaches 8 to 10 feet in height. Others are of similar size.
While no maintenance pruning is necessary, they may be pruned back heavily in early spring. Rose-of-Sharon foliage is shunned by deer.