There is no mistaking the distinct look of Rose of Sharon, a beautiful flowering deciduous shrub found throughout the southeastern United States.
There are variations of this plant across the map, each displaying its own unique shoots and blooms.
Rose of Sharon is a member of the hibiscus family, cherished for their gorgeous flowers and simple greenery.
Some gardeners encounter the problem of having their Rose of Sharon plant lush and loaded with buds, but then suddenly, having their plant fail to flower at all.
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Why Is my Rose of Sharon Not Blooming?
If your Rose of Sharon fails to flower, it could be due to over- or underwatering and too much shade. Soil not enriched with a fertilizer high in phosphorus also causes your Rose of Sharon not to bloom. Other reasons include inappropriate pruning and the presence of fungus and pests.
Rose of Sharon Failure to Bloom Reasons
Did you know that Rose of Sharon is a member of the hibiscus family?
This is not surprising when you see the unique and trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in the hottest part of summer.
The flowers are typically two to four inches wide, typically in shades of purple, pink, and lavender.
The Rose of Sharon sprouts new growth in mid-spring, which is later than other deciduous shrubs, and starts forming shoots in early summer, which blossom into the familiar flower in July and August- and sometimes lasting until the first frost.
It is not uncommon for a Rose of Sharon that is covered with shoots to not bloom at all, despite having blossomed the previous year or years before.
If you find yourself in the disappointing position of having a Rose of Sharon that refuses to bloom, there are a few things that you can do.
Most often the underlying causes for a plant that fails to bloom have to with the amount of shade and water that the Rose of Sharon is receiving.
Too much Shade
Rose of Sharon does best in a location with at least six hours of full sun each day. It is fine with afternoon shade and requires this respite in hot climates or extreme temperatures.
This makes choosing the right spot for your Rose of Sharon imperative to its growth, hardiness, and longevity.
If your spot is too shady, consider trimming back trees or foliage to improve the conditions and increase sun exposure for your plant.
Never use a sprinkler or spray to water your Rose of Sharon. The water remaining on the leaves can become burnt, brown spots that jeopardize the life of your plant.
Instead, water directly into the ground around the main trunk of your plant.
Getting the flower buds saturated when watering the Rose of Sharon also opens the door for rot- which nobody wants.
The right amount of water for the soil around the plant depends on where you live.
The best way to figure out a formula for ideal soil and watering is to check the ground every day for a week.
How quickly does the soil dry out?
The earth should be moist, but not wet, at least six inches deep around your plant. When plants become too dry, they will fail to flower properly.
By checking the soil regularly, you should find the perfect balance when watering your Rose of Sharon.
Wrong Fertilizer Used
Check the phosphorus content of your soil with a test to determine why your Rose of Sharon is not flowering.
If it is low, provide it with a high-phosphorus fertilizer every couple of weeks, but be light-handed.
Too much phosphorus can curb the development and growth of your Rose of Sharon, too, so be careful when applying high-phosphorus fertilizers.
Have you pruned your Rose of Sharon since the last flowering? It’s possible that they can be pruned improperly which can affect how it blossoms later on.
The key is in when you choose to prune and to not try and trim the Rose of Sharon too closely to when it naturally blooms.
Instead, prune as soon as the plant is done flowering in early to mid-autumn for best results the next year.
Look at the underside of leaves on your Rose of Sharon to see if pests could be a problem.
Aphids are the most common pest found around Rose of Sharon and other hibiscus plants and you can typically see them on the foliage.
You may also see the destruction of pests on the flower buds, as the inside can show damage and signs of rot.
One of the reasons why air circulation is important is to prevent fungi and fungal diseases from impacting your plants.
Fungus is most likely to be an issue if you water from above (getting the foliage wet) or from overcrowding.
When you crowd your gardens or plants, you are not providing enough room for air to freely flow in and around the plants.
Thin out your foliage and trim back the shrub to aid in airflow and prevent fungal problems.
Frequently Asked Questions about Why Rose of Sharon is not Blooming
What is killing my Rose of Sharon?
Moisture on your Rose of Sharon’s foliage is one of the most reasons why your plant dies or damaged. Fungus preys on the moisture present on the leaves, turning the foliage brown and eventually killing the Rose of Sharon. This can occur if you water the plant haphazardly, rather than at the base of the trunk, directly into the soil.
When does my Rose of Sharon bloom?
The Rose of Sharon produces shoots in early summer that later will later bloom into the flowers that we all know and love. The trumpet-shaped flowers on a Rose of Sharon typically blossom in mid-summer, usually July and August.
What’s the right amount of sun for my Rose of Sharon?
Rose of Sharon does well in full sun but also can thrive in part-shade conditions. It merits mention that if you live in a particularly hot climate, your Rose of Sharon will do better when balanced with some afternoon shade.
Wondering why your Rose of Sharon stopped blooming?
Consider these tips and tactics to protect and preserve your plant, while also encouraging new growth and plenty of glorious blooms!
Talk to a landscape or gardening professional to learn more about maintaining Rose of Sharon in your distinct climate.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.