Are you interested in pruning Rose of Sharon tree? Rose of Sharon is a shrub that can also be grown as a tree.
This plant, like many others, needs tending. Its lush white, pink, and purple blooms make it an ideal plant to have around if you wish to attract pollinators.
How To Prune Rose of Sharon
What’s more, it has several medicinal uses and as a perennial, you only need to plant it once. The focus of this article is to provide maintenance tips to homeowners growing this shrub plant around their homes.
It’s common knowledge that applying improper pruning techniques will only damage the plant, hence the need for proven techniques that help improve the plant’s health.
Why Pruning is Important
Pruning offers a wide range of benefits to plants.
This practice helps promote flowering and fruiting, improve sanitation and appearance of the plant, maintain the natural shape of the plant, and also help to control diseases and pest attacks.
What more? Certain diseases may affect parts of the shrub. To prevent further spread, all you have to do is prune out affected areas. This contains the problem and keeps the plant healthy.
Given these benefits, it’s obvious why you need to know how to prune your Rose of Sharon plant.
Crisscrossing Branches will have to be Kept to a Minimum
One of the most common occurrences affecting the proper development of Rose of Sharon plants is branches that crisscross. Crisscrossing growth simply means a lot of interior branches which affect air circulation and improved structural development.
By pruning out such interior growth, you’re setting the stage for enhanced air circulation and plant development.
A lush hedgerow also results from this action.
Pruning An Overgrown Rose of Sharon Plant
It’s quite common to find situations where these shrubs are overgrown. Such a condition could be due to negligence on your part or simply as a result of inheriting a property where the shrubs were left untended.
Whatever the situation, the state of disrepair could be salvaged by following simple steps.
First off, it’s important to look out for diseased or dead limbs as these should be gotten rid of. Next, the level of development will determine the rate of pruning to be done.
For young plants, hard pruning will serve to encourage further branching. However, overgrown plants will need to be pruned more systematically.
When to Prune Rose of Sharon?
Speaking of systematic pruning, only about a third of the branch length of such plants will need to be pruned. Such pruning should be done in late winter.
The next winter season provides another opportunity to further prune your Rose of Sharon plant.
Here, pruning action should target new growth from the previous year as well as a third of the old growth.
This practice is maintained to eventually get the overgrown shrub back to an ideal height of about 8 feet. However, pruning beyond this level is sometimes impractical.
You will have to change a plant by replacing the old shrub.
It is often recommended that pruning is done after leaves drop in winter or late fall. Also, trimming can be done before buds appear in early spring.
However, if done later, there is a high possibility of your plant losing blooms.
A Low Maintenance Shrub
Rose of Sharon is well known as a low-maintenance shrub. This means it doesn’t require constant pruning and other maintenance practice like other hedge shrubs.
While this is true, you still need to ensure that plant growth stays within range. In other words, it’s necessary to prevent overgrowth.
This calls for yearly pruning action to keep the plant in shape and also remove diseased and dead limbs. If pruning seems like a difficult task to you, there’s an option to call a professional.
Here, the service of an arborist is needed to take care of your pruning needs.
You may decide to ask for ongoing scheduled pruning to keep your shrub plant well-manicured. For DIY’ers, this won’t be much of an option as they prefer to take care of things themselves.
If you fall into this category (DIY’ers), then this article should serve your needs.
What Happens After a Pruning Action?
Having pruned back your Rose of Sharon the right way, what normally follows is vigorous growth around pruned areas of the plant.
You’re also likely to have larger flowers growing than the previous year. More importantly, the health of your plant is significantly improved.
To achieve the best results with your pruning action, it’s essential to follow simple tips. These include pruning back branches to the node.
Why is such pruning action important? It helps maintain the desired appearance. Only healthy branches should be pruned in such away.
If you want to achieve maximum flowering, then allow about 20 to 21 cm between inner branches. Doing such would help a great deal in creating enhanced blooming of the plant.
If you wish to have your Rose of Sharon plant grow into a tree, then a different type of pruning action will be necessary.
The side branches of small plants should be trimmed to about a foot from the ground to allow ample clearance. The top parts of the plant are further trimmed lightly.
The goal is to promote side branching. When pruning, it’s essential to do so above a leaf node. As always, all pruning action is best done in winter.
Can tree training be done on overgrown Rose of Sharon plants?
At this stage, any pruning action aimed at forming a tree will be considered too late. Only young Rose of Sharon plants should be considered for such.
Can Renewal Pruning be Performed on Young Shrubs?
Renewal pruning cannot be done on young shrubs. Only light trimming is necessary to create the desired shape.
Renewal pruning is mostly ideal for overgrown shrubs. As stated earlier, it involves cutting the oldest growth by about 2 thirds every winter until the shrub is brought back to shape.
How Does Hard Pruning Compare to Renewal Pruning?
Overgrown and mature Rose of Sharon Shrubs can be rejuvenated via hard pruning.
Here, the goal is to have the shrub rejuvenated while renewal pruning also seeks to restore the desired size while improving growth. About 1 third of the height of the oldest trunks is cut back only full bloom is achieved.
This is as far as we’ll go on Rose of Sharon pruning.
We’ve seen the different pruning techniques as well as the best times to prune back such shrubs.
Also, tips have been provided on the best ways to go about the whole process.