Purple Satin® Rose Of SharonHibiscus syriacus 'ILVOPS' (PP# 28,839)
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Hibiscus syriacus 'ILVOPS' (PP# 28,839)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Purple Satin® Rose of Sharon is a deciduous shrub that is in bloom from mid-summer until the first frost. Always smothered in blooms, thanks to its inability to create seeds, it’s a valuable shrub for garden beds or for planters and pots. The flowers are deep purple, with a satiny gleam, and the heart of the flower is a deep red star. It grows rapidly, and because it has been bred to be sterile, seed-production doesn’t block flowering, which keeps on coming and coming without a pause.
Planted in full sun the Purple Satin® Rose of Sharon will perform at its best, but in hotter zones it can handle a little shade. Any well-drained soil is suitable, but avoid areas that are wet, especially in winter, and soak established plants from time to time in dry summer conditions. Your plants won’t be troubled by serious pests or diseases, and they are very low-care, needing no dead-heading. A spring prune is valuable once your bushes have been growing for a few years.
Rose of Sharon has been having a big comeback, and no wonder. Everyone is re-discovering what your grandparents knew well – that this heirloom shrub really is one of the very best ways to enjoy endless blossoms in your garden from mid-summer right up to the first frost. Because of this interest, breeders have been hard at work taking out the faults of older types. The worst is the way you have to dead-head older blooms every few days, or they start to develop seeds. In a while this reduces flowering, and the seedlings that sprout the next year can mean lots of weeding! This is why we love the Purple Satin® Rose of Sharon – this shrub just blooms its heart out, never stopping until the first frost strikes. The profusion of colorful blooms makes this one of the very best summer-bloomers, and a great choice for a tub or planter where you can enjoy it close up. The rich purple blooms have a deep-red heart, but it’s your heart it will win over, making you a big fan.
The Purple Satin® Rose of Sharon is a deciduous shrub that grows 2 feet a year to become an upright shrub 10 or 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide in warmer zones, and closer to 6 or 8 feet tall in cooler ones, or in a tub. It can be grown as a bushy shrub, or pruned up into a tree-like form. The leaves are divided into 3 lobes, with jagged edges, and they are slightly leathery, glossy, deep green and 3½ inches long. It’s a handsome shrub even before blooming gets going.
Flowers start to appear in mid-summer, and they keep going well into fall, not slowing down even if you don’t dead-head, because this is a sterile variety that produces no seeds. Flowers just close naturally after about 3 days and drop to the ground. The blooms are 2 inches across, with a prominent central column of white stamens. The 5 broad petals flare outwards, and they are deep purple-pink, with a flaring blotch of dark red at the base of each one, forming a star pattern. Blooming is profuse and continuous, making a great show in your garden.
Wherever you want summer color, that is where to grow the Purple Satin® Rose of Sharon. Plant it in sunny shrub beds, or out on a small lawn. Grow it by a door or gate, or in a tub or planter box to brighten a porch, terrace or patio.
The Purple Satin® Rose of Sharon is hardy in zone 5, yet it is just as reliable in zone 9. It loves sun and heat, so plant in a sheltered spot in cooler zones. It thrives in hot weather, and grows well in all the hottest zones. In a tub, it can be left out all winter from zone 7 – in colder zones take it out of the pot and plant it in a bed for the winter, then re-pot in spring.
Full sun is best for the Purple Satin® Rose of Sharon, it will bloom profusely. In hot zones, it will still be happy with an hour or two of shade in the afternoon. It grows easily in almost any soil, enjoying heat and dryness once established. Don’t plant in areas that are wet, especially if that is in winter, and especially not in cold zones.
It might look delicate, but the Purple Satin® Rose of Sharon isn’t bothered by any serious pests or diseases, and deer leave it alone (usually). Yellow leaves in summer mean you are overwatering, so cut back. In hot zones, a long, deep soak every week or so will really keep those flowers coming, but it will grow well even in dryer conditions. It is a good idea to prune in early spring once it has been growing for a few years, but it’s not essential. Trim back the stems that grew the previous year to 12 inches long, or to 2 or 3 buds on plants in pots. Avoid trimming in summer, as this reduces flowering.
Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus, is sometimes called hardy hibiscus because it is a relative of the tropical hibiscus. It has been grown in Europe since 1600, arriving via Syria from China and India, along the ancient Silk Route. In previous centuries it was very popular, and grown in every garden. Last century it fell out of fashion, but it back again now, not just as an heirloom shrub, but a top-rated flowering beauty, with new varieties being created.
Plants are an important part of the economy of Belgium, and the government supports plant breeding at the Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in Melle. Johan Van Huylenbroeck is a breeder there, and in 1998 he crossed together a variety called ‘Floru’ with a very special plant called ‘Purple CV2’ he had brought from South Korea. In 2001 he picked out a striking seedling from that cross, and named it ‘ILVOPS’’. It was patented in 2018 by Spring Meadows Nurseries, of Grand Haven, Michigan. They released it as Purple in their trademarked range of Rose of Sharon bushes called Satin®. It is one of their Proven Winners®, their range of the latest exciting new shrubs.
It’s great to see these new varieties of the Rose of Sharon becoming available, especially ones like Purple Satin®, which don’t produce seeds. It makes growing them so much easier, and they produce so many more blooms over a longer period they really take center stage in your summer and fall garden. We know how popular they are, now that this plant is back in fashion again, so order your plants now, because demand really is exceeding supply, and they will soon all be gone.