Minerva Rose of Sharon Althea - This pinkish/lavender flower blooms, shrub, It is drought tolerant and deer resistant!
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I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; this is located in the ''Zone 5-B'', I believe. We have a cold winter with 3 to 4 major snowfalls, and a damp type of cold, being next to the north shore of Lake Ontario, in the Golden Horseshoe. The temperature will drop to an average of -25C to -35C (-13 to -31 F) between early January and late March. Should I pot the plant and bring it indoors? Or, is this tree accustomed to cold winter climates?
The way to protect your plant is by mulching it really well during the winter months. Because this plant is a late bloomer it is not necessary to dig it up and bring it in the home. Do not prune the plant before winter becuase this can damage the plant during the winter months. The leaves should fall off in winter but will grow back again in late sprint. Just keep in mind it is a late bloomer and normally will get new leaves and blooms around mid-spring. Just mulch it well in late fall to protect the roots from the winter. Normally 2 to 4 inches of mulch is a good amount to protect the plant during the winer months.
I believe Rose of Sharon and Hibiscus are generally considered to be in the same family but the Rose of Sharon is much more hardy than the Hibiscus and can be grown safely outdoors in Zone 5.
Sites from Agriculture Agencies all recommend adding mulch - 2-4 inches - before first frost. But they also recommend using mulch all year long and just adding a little more before cold sets in.
I'm not in favor of potting plants that grow this large as they do not seem to do as well and also appear to get root bound fairly fast. Also, if the potted plant is left outside the pot can freeze and kill the roots so the pot would need to be protected.
Time of Pruning is critical or you may not have good crop of blooms the following year.
Check out these sites for specific instructions:
I have noticed some white bugs or larvae under the leaves of my Rose of Sharon. They are powdery, and are not bothering the bush at this time. It is an established bush and this year is the first time I have ever seen these white larvae or bugs. We have had a rainy season for the last month. Could this have affected the growth of these things. Are they toxic?
By Nancy E. from Southbury, CT
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