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Rose-of-Sharon are like other hibiscus in the appearance of their flowers, though they are a bit smaller than the dieback perennial types and don’t come in as many fruity colors as the tropical types. They make up for this in size and sheer quantity of blooms and length of the flowering season. The stems don’t die back in winter, though you can trim them if you want to. Many new varieties have appeared in recent years, offering seedless and shorter-growing options along with higher petal counts and richer colors. They mix well with larger perennials; try them with a short-growing Clematis that can ramble through the foliage and bloom at the same time to add different colors.

by Miri Talabac, Woody Plant Buyer

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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