Saturday, May 29, 2010
The Althea Trees are Blooming!
These photos are from one of my 3 Althea plants. They are known as Althea, Rose of Sharon or Hibiscus syriacus. The other 2 have buds but no blooms so I'll just wait...their colors are stunning! We'll catch them as soon as they bloom!
This is what the same bloom looked like yesterday! I am enthralled with the bloom process of this pretty plant! All three plants will be covered with blooms soon and they will bloom all Summer! The hummingbirds and bees love 'em and I can see why!
My gardening tips for this plant are based purely on 8 years of trial and error...sorry poor Althea. This tree is pruned annually to a height of 5 feet. Plant #2 is pruned back to a height of 3 feet and plant #4 is pruned to a 1 foot height. I usually prune them after all the leaves have fallen in late Fall. They all add on a minimum of 2 feet in branch length during the Spring and the branches are thick with leaves and flowers!I water them a little bit every other day during the heat of summer...not mushy wet but just enough to keep they lightly moist. My Altheas are totally non forgiving and their demise is imminent if left to dry out.
I've attempted to propagate these by air layering, soft wood cuttings, placing branches in water and from harvesting seed pods left by spent blooms and I have had absolutely no success! So ever the optimist...I'll keep trying.
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