University of Maryland Extension

Rose of Sharon ‘Helene’

Ellen Nibali
Hibiscus syriacus ‘Helene’   Photo by Ellen Nibali

Rose of Sharon has been beloved for centuries for its prolific bloom during summer doldrums when most flowering shrubs grind to a halt. However, due to nuisance seedlings, it was banished from many gardens. Thanks to the U.S. National Arboretum, we have new improved Rose of Sharon varieties which deserve a second chance.  ‘Helene’ is one of the Greek goddess series of triploid hybrids which set virtually no seed.  Helene’s pure white, red-eyed flowers are huge compared to the old Rose of Sharon. Its dark green foliage is shunned by deer. Not fussy about soils, Rose of Sharon grows in sun to part shade. It requires zero maintenance, but may be pruned back in early spring.


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