Orchid Satin® Rose Of SharonHibiscus syriacus 'ILVO347' (PP# 27,285)
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Hibiscus syriacus 'ILVO347' (PP# 27,285)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Orchid Satin® Rose of Sharon begins to flower in mid-summer, and it’s still going when frost arrives. This rounded bush grows rapidly to nearly 12 feet tall, with a gentle, more rounded look that the stiff form of older varieties. The dark-green leaves make a great backdrop to the large bowl-shaped blooms. These are gorgeous orchid pink, with a large central blotch of deep red radiating out. It’s great for shrub beds, on a small lawn, or for growing in a tub or planter. It’s sterile, so now messy seedlings, no dead-heading, and many more blooms.
The Orchid Satin® Rose of Sharon loves sun, but in warm zones it will tolerate a little afternoon shade. Any well-drained soil is perfect, and once established it is very drought resistant. Just give it a deep soak occasionally in summer. Pests, diseases and deer leave it alone, and it’s very easy to grow. Prune in spring to shorten back the branches a bit, and that’s it.
You might call them ‘Hardy Hibiscus’, but whatever the name we choose, Rose of Sharon are great shrubs for later color in the garden, often right up to the first hard frost. They were once hugely popular, but fell out of favor – my hunch is that they lost popularity because of their rather stiff, upright form, with limited branching – they just looked ‘old-fashioned’. Well, we have something great for you, if that is how you too feel. The Orchid Satin® Rose of Sharon has been bred to be a whole lot more freely branching, making a much more rounded, graceful and softer look – right up to date. It keeps the classic coloring, with an exceptionally bright red eye surrounded by soft orchid pink, on a flower that is exceptionally large, over 3 inches across. Plus, there is another bonus too. This variety doesn’t set seeds, which means first it keeps blooming and blooming without needing any dead-heading. Secondly, no seeds equals no seedlings sprouting up everywhere and being a nuisance in your beds and paths. So it’s much less work, and much more grace and charm. What’s not to love?
The Orchid Satin® Rose of Sharon grows rapidly, adding 2 feet of height every year, so soon becoming an upright, rounded shrub of 10 or 12 feet tall and about 8 feet wide. In colder zones it will probably remain smaller, about 6 feet tall. This deciduous shrub has many branches growing from the base, and these also branch out freely, giving it a much more rounded and gentle look compared to older varieties that often look stiff and upright, with long, unbranched stems. The leaves are slightly leathery, with an attractive glossy surface and a dark green color. They are about 4½ inches long and 2½ inches across, divided into 3 distinct lobes, with jagged edges.
By mid-summer, typically in July, your bush will be in full bloom. Each branch can carry a dozen or more blossoms, and each blossom lasts 2 or 3 days, with more constantly opening. The blooms are large, almost 3½ inches across, with 5 broad petals flaring out. They are colored a gorgeous orchid pink and at the base of each petal is a large blotch of deep cherry red, with many long strands of color flowing upwards into the petals – simply gorgeous. Because this flower is sterile and doesn’t make any seeds it simply closes and quickly falls – no need to do tedious dead-heading. This also means all the energy of your plant is put into blooms, not seeds. So it keeps on blooming and blooming right through summer and well into fall.
This is a striking shrub, bursting into bloom just when all your spring and early summer shrubs have come to an end. Use it to extend interest in your garden beds, or plant it as a specimen on a lawn. Grow it near a door or gate, to enjoy coming or going, or plant it in a large tub or planter box for a patio, deck or terrace. It can be kept bushy, or pruned up into a small tree with a central trunk.
The Orchid Satin® Rose of Sharon is an incredibly hardy shrub, and thrives almost anywhere. It is hardy in zone 5, although some stems may be nipped back in winter, keeping it smaller. Everywhere else it thrives, and even with the thermometer well over 40, it keeps on going and going. If you grow it in a tub, it will overwinter in zone 7 or warmer zones. In zones 5 and 6 it is safer to remove it from the tub once it has lost all its leaves, and plant it in a garden bed. Dig it up in spring and re-pot.
It is best to plant the Orchid Satin® Rose of Sharon in full sun, especially in cooler zones. It grows best in rich but well-drained soils, so add some organic material when planting, but it does well in any soil that isn’t wet.
Pests and diseases are rare on the Orchid Satin® Rose of Sharon, and deer don’t normally eat it, so it’s pretty close to ‘pest free’ status. If you see the leaves yellowing in summer, that actually means you are over-watering, so cut back. Once established it is drought resistant, but benefits from a deep soaking every couple of weeks in dry summers, not from frequent sprinkles of water.
This bush can be grown without pruning, but for best results it is worth doing some in early spring. Shorten back the stems that formed last year to about 12 inches long. On older plants remove about one-third of the oldest branches low down at a side branch. This keeps it open and encourages lots of new growth. Don’t trim at all in summer – it flowers on new branches. In pots prune harder, back to 2 or 3 buds if you want. That will guarantee big flowers on a smaller bush.
Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus, is a species of hibiscus, related to the tropical hibiscus often grown as a houseplant. Rose of Sharon has a long history in our gardens, because it travelled along the ancient Silk Road from China and India to Syria. From there it arrived in Europe before 1600. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was hugely popular in America, and grown in every garden. Last century it fell out of favor, but today it is back in fashion again.
Johan Van Huylenbroeck breeds ornamental plants at the Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in Melle, Belgium. In 2000 he took pollen from a Rose of Sharon called ‘Red Heart’ and used it to pollinate a seedling plant he had previously raised. In 2003, among the seedlings that grew, he found one that was exactly what he wanted. He named it ‘ILVO347’, and was granted a patent in 2016, handing it over to Spring Meadows Nurseries, Grand Haven, Michigan. They released it as ORCHID in their trademarked range of Rose of Sharon varieties called Satin®, one of their Proven Winners® exciting new shrubs.
This great new variety is turning heads everywhere, and no wonder. With its new, more gentle look and huge classic flowers it’s going to be a winner in your garden. You will also love not having to dead-head, and how prolific it is as a bloomer. Order now, the demand for Rose of Sharon is sky-high, and our plants always sell out fast, especially reliable beauties like this one.