Minerva Rose of Sharon
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Incoming! Look out for the hummingbirds as they come zooming in on your Minerva Tree Form Rose of Sharon. The ruby-throated wonders love this little everblooming patio tree, and you will,too, when you see how magnificently it performs through the hottest, stickiest days of summer. Its pinkish lavender blossoms, each kissed with a maroon center, just keep coming, no matter how high the mercury rises. Use Minerva to enliven an outdoor sitting area or a view from inside your (air-conditioned) home. This perky tree also makes a cheerful, long-lasting pop of color among your foundation plantings, by the pool, or even in a large pot on the deck.
- Hardiness Zone: 5
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Rose of Sharon has been enjoyed by gardeners for centuries, but one thing that has always been a bit troublesome about it is the way it reseeds. Horticulturists at the U.S. National Arboretum set out to change that in the early 1970s by breeding some new varieties. They treated the seedlings with colchicine, a natural substance that causes some plants to become triploids. Triploids have extra chromosomes, and they generally flower for extended periods, have larger flowers and fruit, and make little or no seed. Seedless watermelon, for example, is a triploid. The first Rose of Sharon triploid was named after the Roman goddess of the hunt, Diana, so the National Arboretum researchers continued that theme and named this new plant after the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva.
When you think of Hibiscus, you may think of the tropical Hibiscus plant. That one can only be grown as a houseplant in cold climates. The Minerva Hardy Hibiscus Tree, a.k.a. Rose of Sharon, a.k.a. Althea, on the other hand, is cold-hardy to -15°F. There is also a cold-hardy perennial Hibiscus that you can grow. It is native to the Southeast and dies back to the ground each year.
How to Grow
The Minerva Rose of Sharon is easy and satisfying to grow even for novice gardeners. Choose a site with all-day sun for your tree. Minerva will also grow in part shade, but will put out fewerblooms there. This tree likes light soils and needs good drainage, but it doesn’t want to dry out completely. Irrigate with the Bower & Branch Elements™ Watering System to supply just the right amount of water and get your tree off to a great start. Minerva will also respond favorably to an annual application of our Elements™ Fertilizer. This is one of the slowest trees to leaf out in the spring, so be patient! Pruning can be accomplished at any time of the year.
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Size B Trees:
5-6' tall grown as single stem small tree form. Limbed up 3-4' and then braching allowed. Grown in our #15 tree container. Full and flowering.
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