firsts: rose-of-sharon


Have you ever been tempted by those catalogs printed on flimsy, glossy stock and offering standard and not-so-standard plant material on the cheap? We have been working on a hedgerow of mixed plantings out by the entry fence, so what the heck…it was worth a try. Six bare root Hibiscus syriacus for $3.95 plus shipping arrived in ’05. Three survive, and two bloomed for the first time in mid-September. They both produced these double, pinkish-mauvish blossoms (no promises were made about what to expect in that department). The survival rate might have something to do with being stuck out there beyond where anything gets much attention. Anyway, here’s my take on the cheap stuff. The more ordinary the plant, the better its chances (a plain old barberry is going great guns, while paw paws faded away immediately). Given the death rate, shipping costs, etc., it is probably economically more feasible to just hop on down to the nearest nursery or big box store. That is, unless a mission of mercy has some appeal. R has been babying a Ginko biloba for several years, and after the initial dieback, it is almost 10″ tall.

3 thoughts on “firsts: rose-of-sharon

  1. I would guess it’s worth experimenting, if you kiss a few toads, you might find a really fantastic source. I’ve never mail ordered any plants before, but I’m working up to it. Alas, the catalog I’m currently eyeing is a far cry from a bargain.

  2. Loree: no, it wouldn’t be a color choice for me either, but stuck out there on the fenceline, I consider it a successful experiment. You can see from the photo why we might be interested in creating a screen.
    Wendy: Yep…10″, no typo there. It was just a twig to start. We planted it in the ground, and it leafed out beautifully, then seemed to die. When R saw some signs of life around the base, he dug it, potted it and put it in a sheltered area to see what would happen. Two years later: those 10″. I don’t think we need to worry about it taking over in our lifetimes.
    Megan: You seem to be going in the opposite direction. I just love getting stuff in the mail, but with the great resources we have locally, I have just about decided to forego that pleasure. Full disclosure: I just ordered a bunch of bulbs…may be incurable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *