Every once in a while, a cultivar ends up making such a huge splash that people never forget the first time they saw one.
A perfect example of this is Hibiscus syriacus ‘Blue Chiffon’ (officially registered as Hibiscus syriacus’ Notwoodthree,’ USPP 20,574), a cultivar that blooms from late summer into autumn when many other plants have finished for the year.
Each flower has pale lavender-blue petals with a touch of burgundy at their base, all surrounding white stamens.
The appearance of these flowers is truly stunning, but the fact that this is a trademarked cultivar means that propagation is illegal without the consent of the trademark holder, meaning you’ll want to take good care of the ones you’ve got.
Blue Chiffon Rose Of Sharon
This cultivar can reach a mature size of 8 to 12’ feet tall and 4 to 6’ feet across, yet it is surprisingly easy to care for.
Even better, it’s a major draw for pollinators, giving the rest of your garden a boost.
Here are the important aspects of growing and caring for Blue Chiffon Rose Of Sharon.
You can grow Blue Chiffon Rose Of Sharon as a perennial in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9, although zones further south may be a bit too harsh during the summer.
It can also tolerate a wide humidity range and has been known to survive temperature dips below 0° degrees Fahrenheit.
You’ll also need to provide 6 to 8 hours of full sun daily.
While this plant can handle a little bit of excess heat, it’s best to give it full morning or evening exposure and a little afternoon shade if you’re in more southern climates.
The dappled afternoon sun will also work well in these regions, although you’ll want full afternoon exposure in the northern portion of this plant’s range.
Soil and Fertilizer
Well-drained, loamy soils are perfect for this plant, although you may find it will tolerate slightly less ideal conditions.
Be sure to add some perlite or coarse sand as needed to ensure good drainage.
You may also consider adding some organic compost to help further improve the soil quality if you want to get the most out of this plant.
It’s also very forgiving regarding soil pH, making it perfect for gardens with plants needing slightly acidic to neutral levels.
There are no hard and fast rules for how often to feed this plant. A good rule of thumb is to use a balanced liquid soluble fertilizer once per month in spring through mid-summer, following any instructions on the packaging.
Avoid feeding in late summer, as this could encourage new growth that won’t harden off in time for early frosts, making the plant more prone to cold damage.
It’s also suggested to mix some organic matter (such as fresh compost) into the soil when planting. And yes, Miracle-Gro works wonders with Blue Chiffon!
During the first two years, your Blue Chiffon may need a little extra water while it becomes fully established.
Watering when the ground is dry about ½” inch down (approximately halfway to your first knuckle) will keep the ground from being too wet or dry.
Once established, you can cut back to watering when the soil is dry 1” inch down.
Avoid overhead watering and use the soak and dry or a similar method to ensure you don’t overwater.
Also, once established, this plant can handle brief periods of drought, so don’t stress too much if you miss a watering here or there.
Remember to cut back on watering when winter approaches, as this is when the plant will begin to go dormant.
Try only to prune this plant in late winter or early spring unless necessary. This is because Blue Chiffon blooms on new growth, so pruning away said new growth too close to blooming would reduce how many flowers you get.
While pruning isn’t necessary, it can allow you to revitalize an older shrub, shape the plant, or get rid of dead branches.
You can also train this shrub into a small tree with a little patience. In early spring, remove any weaker branches on the lower half of the plant.
Next, trim up to ⅓ of the upper branches to create a rounded canopy shape.
Note that it will take a few years to achieve the final look.
In the most northern portions of its zone range, you will need to place a layer of mulch or straw over the plant’s roots to insulate it during the winter.
Pests and Diseases
Not only is this plant rather easy to care for, but it’s also rather resilient.
It’s resistant to drought and salt, attracting birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Deer generally show little interest in Blue Chiffon.
However, the plants are also known to attract aphids and Japanese beetles.
It’s not particularly prone to illness but may develop canker, leaf spot, or root rot if improperly watered.
Can You Grow Blue Chiffon in Containers?
Despite their large size, you can indeed grow this plant in a container.
It will need repotted every 2 to 3 years to replace the soil and prevent root binding.
Care is generally the same as when planting in the ground, although you may wish to bring it out to a patio or deck in warm weather and bring it back inside as the temperature begins to drop.