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HELP PLEASE! Cottage Farms "Hibiscus Tree Rose of Sharon"

Started 1271193851.33 in In the Garden | Last reply 1271444587.49 by islandergirl

Anyone else have this shock and share what you did?

The 3-piece Rose of Sharon SHRUB set turns out to really be TREES! Mine arrived today looking very healthy, but the three places I had readied to plant them are ideal for shrubs - not trees!

One customer has commented on this in the review section. I watched the on-air presentation and ordered what I thought were shrubs. If they didn't look so healthy, I would contact CS. Should I keep them, and if so, what do I plant instead in the places I needed shrubs? That last question is just my frustration over the money it will cost to find other plants for those areas - one being smack against the front of the house!

Thanks in advance for your help. 


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JustJazzmom1271206698.77729835 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007My garden, of course!!

I am assuming that the area where you want to plant shrubs is a sunny area. I would like to recommend 3 shrubs-- most are deciduous and will lose their leaves once the fall ends. 

The first one is weigela, there are new hybrids that either get 2-3 feet high and wide to those that get about 4' wide and high. Recommended cultivars which are on my property are Weigela 'Minuet' with rose pink tubular flowers and Weigela 'Midnight Wine'.

The second shrub which is highly underused in the landscape is dwarf fothergilla and some cultivars get to be about 3-4' wide and high and the straight species gets about 5' wide and high. A member of the witchhazel family, it gets small bottle brush white blooms on it about now and then the leaves which have nice veining come out. The show gets even better in the fall with colors of reds, oranges and yellows on the leaves before they fall off. I have 2 varieties in my garden. One is Dwarf fothergilla 'Beaver Creek', a smaller version of the species dwarf fothergilla (fall color). Click on the links to see the various colors and flowers this plant does throughout the year.

I want to mention one more sun loving shrub that blooms in the summer months and again another underused shrub in the modern landscape-- glossy abelia. This shrub gets about 4-5' wide and tall and is also deciduous. It gets small tubular shaped whitish flowers in the summer. It can withstand pruning to shape but do not prune them into squares and balls as they look better free form mounding. I also have in my front landscape a smaller hybrid called 'Edward Goucher' that gets light pink flowers on it in the summertime.

Finally a third shrub also not used as often is viburnum. The ones I have in my backyard are Viburnum burkwoodii 'Conoy'. If you are in a warmer climate than mine say around the DC/VA area, they will get red berries after the white clumped flowers are pollinated. This is an evergreen viburnum with glossy leaves. Most viburnums are deciduous. A taller version and wider is Viburnum burkwoodii 'Mohawk'.

Last edited on 4/14/2010

Last edited on 4/14/2010

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼

MadamAnne1271246289.763555 PostsRegistered 9/15/2007

Thanks so much for the suggestions!

I had completely forgotten about weigela although I had been thinking about buying these plants earlier this year. Thanks again for your response.

gardenman1271251189.1217972 PostsRegistered 6/30/2005Southern New Jersey

I'm guessing what you bought was a Rose of Sharon trained into a tree form. There's a decent chance you could convert the tree forms of Rose of Sharon back into shrubs. To make them into a tree form the grower trains a central leader upright and then punes off all the side shoot and suckers. When that central leader gets to a certain height they then pinch out the growing tip and encourage side shoots to form that are then trimmed into a tree-like shape.

As scary as this is going to sound, there's a decent chance that if you cut the stem off six to twelve inches from the ground, you'd force the plant to make new shoots lower and return it to shrub form. There's potential for this to go badly if the Rose of Sharon on the top of the tree form was a graft and they used a different root stock. Instead of the getting the flowers you're expecting from the grafted part, you'd get whatever flowers came from the rootstock. I suspect this wasn't a graft, but I'm giving you the heads up on that in case it was.

Rose of Sharon's are remarkably resilient and respond well (typically anyway) to even harsh pruning. Pruning it this harshly as you plant it might be pushing things a tad, but they are really tough plants and I suspect it would survive and thrive next year.

Fly! Eagles! Fly!
In Chip We Trust!

MadamAnne1271273978.34555 PostsRegistered 9/15/2007

Thanks so much for the replies.

I called Cottage Farms and they are sending me the correct product (shrubs). I'll plant one of the trees in a container, but I have other plants coming and I'll run out of steam attempting to dig areas and spend the money on soil, etc. to accommodate the other two. I hate wasting potentially good plants, but truly, I would need a gardener to help me with the physical labor! As it is, I have 50 lily bulbs to plant.{#emotions_dlg.laugh}

islandergi­rl1271444587.49399 PostsRegistered 7/22/2009

Be careful w/ Rose of Sharon.  They spread like wildfire! 

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