Welcome to my Bird Blog!

Welcome to all my fellow bird lovers and gardeners! I'm so glad you stopped by.

Migratory bird populations have taken a nose dive in the past 40 years. But you can help bring their numbers back by creating beneficial, beautiful and fun habitats in your own backyard. Discover favorite plants and environments that shelter and feed colorful songbirds, as well as how to make them feel welcome by offering their preferred natural foods.

Grandma Pearl
(Connie Smith)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hummingbirds Love Rose of Sharon Bushes

Does this picture remind you of tropical hibiscus?
Deep Pink Rose of Sharon blossom
by Grandma Pearl

Rose of Sharon, also known as Althea, is a member of the hibiscus family (Hibiscus syriacus), originally from Southeast Asia, which explains why it loves the heat of August.  That's when my bushes begin to open their fancy blooms to the sunshine, which they also love.  Being drought tolerant, they grow best in Plant Hardiness Zones 5-9.

Be sure to give them good drainage--they don't like wet feet!  In fact, if you over water Rose of Sharon, its leaves will turn yellow.  I love the V-shape of this bush, which works well in a mixed hedge row.  It will be in bloom towards the end of the summer when most other hedge plants have finished flowering.

If you prefer to make your Rose of Sharon into a tree shape, you must do so when it is a year old.  Start by pruning the lower side branches to encourage the top growth.  This plant will reach a typical height of 8 to 10 feet.
I love the pure white of my double Rose of Sharon bush.
by Grandma Pearl

If you love hummingbirds, butterflies and beneficial pollinators, this is the plant for you!  I have several female ruby-throated hummingbirds fighting over this particular bush on a daily basis.  All kinds of insects are attracted to its nectar and pollen as well.

I think you'll love this plant, but don't despair if it does not have leaves on it right away.  It is very slow to produce leaves, and also to produce flowers.  It's the proverbial 'late bloomer', but it is definitely worth the wait.

By the way, if you have a deer problem, be sure to protect your Rose of Sharon bushes from their browsing habit!  
Can you see the 2 female ruby-throated hummingbirds in this picture?  They sort of blend into the bush, don't they.
There is one in the upper left, and just the blur of a fast-flying hummer on the lower right.  They do love the nectar!
                                                                                   by Grandma Pearl
My white-flowering Rose of Sharon bush is 10 feet tall, and has been growing here in the southern tier of New York State for about 15 years.  That shows you that even though it loves the heat, it is hardy enough to stand our cold, snowy winters!
Grandma Pearl

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