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Double Rose of Sharon: "Sugar Tip"

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Photo: Sugar Tip double rose of sharon has pink flowers. Double rose of sharon white-edged leaves.

Photo: "Sugar Tip" is a double rose of sharon with pink flowers.

David Beaulieu

Plant Taxonomy of "Sugar Tip" Rose of Sharon:

Plant taxonomy classifies this double rose of sharon as Hibiscus syriacus 'America Irene Scott' Sugar Tip®. Sugar Tip is the brand name, while the rarely used 'America Irene Scott' is the cultivar name. Another common name for this species is "shrub althea."

Plant Type for Hibiscus Syriacus:

Hibiscus syriacus is a deciduous flowering shrub. Some people refer to it as "hibiscus tree" or "rose of sharon tree" because it can be pruned so as to have a single trunk.

Characteristics of Hibiscus Syriacus "Sugar Tip":

Sugar Tip is a double rose of sharon. Flower color is light pink. Bushes bloom from mid-summer into fall. The flower center is stained a burgundy color, but it is largely obscured by a cluster of smaller, inner petals (also pink in color) that gives this shrub's flowers a frilly appearance (i.e., a so-called "double flower"). The stamen is less prominent on this type of hibiscus than on many others.

The height of this multi-branched shrub althea is 8-12 feet at maturity, with a width not much more than half that. The leaves are variegated: green with a creamy white color part away around their edges.

Planting Zones for Hibiscus Syriacus "Sugar Tip":

This shrub althea is best grown in planting zones 5-8.

Sun and Soil Requirements for Hibiscus Syriacus "Sugar Tip":

Grow this double rose of sharon in full sun and in well-drained, loamy soil enriched with humus.

Uses for Hibiscus Syriacus "Sugar Tip":

Use this pink rose of sharon:

Care for Shrub Althea:

These double rose of sharon bushes tolerate dry soil reasonably well once established. Mulch shrub althea for weed control and to maintain moisture in the soil. Do not over-water: Yellow foliage on shrub althea can be an indication of too much, rather than too little water. Hibiscus syriacus shrubs are moderately deer-resistant (but very hungry deer will eat them). See below for information on how to prune Hibiscus syriacus.

Pruning Hibiscus Syriacus:

Rose of sharon flowers on new wood (new growth). Hence, Hibiscus syriacus is normally pruned in spring -- if, indeed, pruning is deemed necessary, at all. Some may choose to prune shrub althea to shape it or, in the case of old bushes that have lost their vitality, for rejuvenation.

Wildlife Attracted by Hibiscus Syriacus:

Rose of sharon is used in hummingbird gardens and is also a good butterfly plant.

Outstanding Characteristics of Hibiscus Syriacus "Sugar Tip":

This shrub althea's main selling points, visually, are its variegated foliage and its double pink flowers. The white-margined leaves give it the name, "Sugar Tip." Like other Hibiscus syriacus plants, it blooms during the second half of the summer (after many shrubs have stopped blooming for the year), meaning it's useful for filling up the late-season floral color void and for helping you achieve continuity in your attempts at four-season landscaping.

In addition to these aesthetic benefits, its developers claim that it does not produce seedlings like traditional shrub altheas (the seeds from rose of sharon being regarded as a major nuisance by many growers). Its developers also say that it is a slower-growing plant than older types of shrub althea (which can be a selling point if you landscape in a small space).

If you're interested in this variegated, pink rose of sharon, you may also be interested in the following resources:


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