White Pillar® Hardy Hibiscus

Hibiscus syriacus 'Gandini van Aart' (PP# 28,892)

White Pillar® Hardy Hibiscus

Hibiscus syriacus 'Gandini van Aart' (PP# 28,892)

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How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The White Pillar® Hardy Hibiscus is a unique variety of hardy hibiscus, or Rose of Sharon. It grows into a tall vertical plant, reaching 15 feet within a few years, and staying no more than 4 feet wide, with a slender pyramidal profile. From June to November in warm zones, and for a few weeks less in colder areas, it is covered with large, pure white blossoms. These are semi-double, with a cluster of small petals in the center of an open flower, and very beautiful. A tree makes an amazing lawn specimen and a row is a perfect hedge or screen for a narrow space.

  • Unique vertical column of upright branches
  • Amazing long-flowering accent tree to 15 feet tall
  • Pure-white semi-double flowers from mid-summer through fall
  • Excellent as a narrow hedge or screen
  • Very easy to grow, needing no special care

The White Pillar® Hardy Hibiscus should be planted in full sun for the best growth, development and flowering. It is hardy in zone 5, but it won’t grow as tall as it will in warmer zones. It grows well in any soil, as long as it is well-drained and not wet. It is normally free of pests and diseases and untouched by deer. A deep soak form time to time during long dry periods in summer is beneficial. Some trimming in spring is possible to keep it extra neat and tidy – otherwise no effort is needed to grow this remarkable plant.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-9
Mature Width 2-3
Mature Height 10-15
Sun Needs Full Sun
Zones 5-9

Vertical accents are valuable and striking garden features, and we are used to seeing evergreens grown that way. Flowering trees or bushes that grow like that are much rarer, and they mostly flower for just a couple of weeks of the year. If you like the idea of tall, elegant pillars of blooms in your garden, then the White Pillar® Hardy Hibiscus is going to win your heart. This gorgeous small tree is a radical departure for hardy hibiscus, which usually form rounded, bushy plants. Not this beauty. The vertical branches zoom up to around 15 feet if you let them, and yet by then it will be no more than 3 feet wide – amazing. Starting in mid-summer and blooming continuously well into fall, this tree is covered with large white blossoms from top to bottom. You can grow a striking flowering specimen on a lawn, or in your shrub beds, and the good news is that this plant is very easy to grow – needing no special care and thriving in the heat and sunshine of even the hottest zones.

Growing the White Pillar® Hardy Hibiscus

Size and Appearance

The White Pillar Hardy Hibiscus is a unique deciduous shrub that grows in a narrow vertical shape. It grows rapidly, and young plants will soon reach 6 feet tall, while staying only a foot or so wide. The branches grow straight up, not out, and it keeps this narrow profile, forming within a few years a slender pyramid, up to 16 feet tall. Even then it will only be 3 or 4 feet wide. The branches are densely packed together, making a full, bushy plant. The leaves are small, just under 3 inches long, with a slightly leathery texture, a smooth, glossy surface, and they are rich green.

The spectacular flowers begin to appear in mid-summer, and as early as June in warm zones. They last well into fall, and in warm zones it often takes a hard frost in November to finally stop them. Individual flowers last for up to 4 days, and more and more buds keep on coming, creating a spectacle of continuous blooming. Each bloom is a full 4 inches across, and they are pure, pure white. The large petals spread out wide, and in the early part of the season the center of the flower contains many small twisted petals making a unique and striking semi-double flower. Later in the season they will be single blooms, with a long white central column of stamens, and just as beautiful. This variety produces no seeds, so the flowers fall off cleanly, and no energy is wasted on seed production – it all goes into making more blooms.

Using the White Pillar® Hardy Hibiscus in Your Garden

This unique plant brings you the opportunity to quickly create a striking accent tree in your garden, one that will bloom for months of the year. Plant it out on a lawn, alone or in a cluster of three plants. Grow it in beds among other flowering shrubs – its white blooms won’t clash with any other colors you have growing there. Create a wonderful slim hedge or screen for a restricted space without having to trim constantly.


The White Pillar Hardy Hibiscus is hardy from zone 5 to zone 9. In zone 5 some winter damage can occur, so it may not reach it full height. It thrives well in hot zones.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Full sun is the best location for the White Pillar Hardy Hibiscus, but a couple of hours of shade each day will do no harm. Avoid shady spots, and wet spots too, because this plant loves well-drained soil. It grows in all soil-types, including poor soil in urban gardens, and it also tolerates urban air pollution and even a little salt spray.

Maintenance and Pruning

No special care is needed to grow the White Pillar Hardy Hibiscus well. Pests, diseases and deer are usually not a problem, and established plants are drought resistant. Some fertilizer in spring is useful, and a mulch of organic material over the roots will retain moisture. During the hottest and driest times of the year a deep soaking from time to time is valuable. No significant pruning is needed unless you want to control the height. Early spring, before the leaves appear, is the best time to prune, and you can shorten back the shoots from last year to keep it compact and very neat. Don’t trim in summer, as this can reduce flowering.

History and Origin of the White Pillar® Hardy Hibiscus

The hardy hibiscus, Hibiscus syriacus, is also known as Rose of Sharon or Althea. It is one of our oldest garden plants, and records show it was being grown in European gardens almost 500 years ago. It was very popular in the past, and it is having a big revival at the moment, with many new varieties coming into the market. Nothing, though, comes close to the variety called White Pillar®, which has an interesting origin.

In 2002 Andres Santiago was working at his nursery in Spain. Among a row of seedling hardy hibiscus growing there, he spotted one that was very different. It had a slender, upright form that he had never seen before, and purple flowers. The nursery went out of business, but he sent some of these unique plants to a friend in Italy, Francesco Gandini. A few years later Ad and Mario van Aart, who have a nursery in Oudenbosch, The Netherlands, were visiting that Italian nursery. Giandini was using this plant to create long, straight stems for grafting other hardy hibiscus as trees, but Mario saw things differently. He realized what a great plant this was for a specimen tree, and he brought it back to his nursery in The Netherlands. It became the Purple Pillar® Hibiscus, `Gandini Santiago`. In 2012 van Aart had a group of young plants of that variety growing in pots at his nursery in The Netherlands, and he spotted one with pure-white flowers, but the same narrow form. He named this plant ‘Gandini van Aart’, and in Europe it is sold as ‘Flower Tower White’. In America it has been patented. Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc. of Grand Haven Michigan has released it with the trademark name of White Pillar®, as part of their Proven Winners® selection of exciting new plant varieties.

Buying the White Pillar® Hardy Hibiscus at The Tree Center

This really is a unique and very special form of hardy hibiscus, and if you enjoy growing something that is different and beautiful, as well as easy to grow, then the White Pillar® Hardy Hibiscus is for you. Order now, as something this special will be gone very, very soon.

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White Pillar® Hardy Hibiscus

Hibiscus syriacus 'Gandini van Aart' (PP# 28,892)