UACES Facebook Althea

Althea

(May 2009)

QuestionI'd like to know how and when to transplant two Rose of Sharon bushes I have in my front yard. They are at least 5-7 years old. They are in a pretty shaded area and I have an area out in the back that gets more sun and I'd like to put them there. Can you tell me when is the best time to transplant, and are there any specifics I need to know about?

AnswerIf at all possible, try to transplant existing trees and shrubs during the dormant season—November through March. While it is possible to move plants during the growing season, it puts more stress on them and takes a bit longer to recover. I prefer to move hardy plants (such as the Rose of Sharon) in the fall, since this gives them all winter and spring to get their roots established before summer kicks in. For less winter hardy plants like gardenias, azaleas, camellias etc, get them through the bulk of winter and then transplant.


(June 2009)

QuestionI'd like to know how and when to transplant two Rose of Sharon bushes I have in my front yard. They are at least 5-7 years old. They are in a pretty shaded area and I have an area out in the back that gets more sun and I'd like to put them there. Can you tell me when is the best time to transplant, and are there any specifics I need to know about? They are in full leaf now and do bloom a little every season, but I think would be showier in more sun.

AnswerTransplant season is best done while the plants are dormant—between November and February. Althea or Rose of Sharon is a tough plant and probably would survive a summer move, but if you have the option, I would hold off until this fall. Spend some time now preparing the site, removing grass and weeds, amending the soil with some compost and mulch. Then in November, dig and replant. This way, they will have all fall, winter and spring to re-establish roots and should be ready to grow and bloom next season. You can prune them back as much as you want when transplanting, since these plants bloom on the new growth.


(March 2005)

QuestionI would like your advice on an althea bush I have. I moved it about two years ago and it has been so sick ever since. It is about 7 feet tall but has very few leaves that are yellow and brown and it has not bloomed much at all since it was moved. I know I don't fertilize like I should, but do you think that is what it needs. I have another one that is huge and healthy and full of blooms every year, and I don't know why this one is not doing well. It gets full sun.

AnswerI would look at the planting site. If the soil is excessively poor and rocky, or poorly drained, this could limit new growth, which in turn would limit foliage and blooms. Althea, or Rose-of-Sharon, tends to grow well in fairly ordinary soil, and even thrive in low fertility. So if it really unthrifty, I would say the site is the problem. If you really feel the site is ok, you could try pruning it hard and applying a general complete fertilizer this spring, and see if you can't generate new growth, and thus, more blooms. Sometimes too much care on altheas can result in flower buds not opening. I don't think that is the issue here, since the foliage is not thriving either. Have the soil tested for fertility levels.


(March 2005)

QuestionCan I cut back the forsythia after it blooms? And isn't it time to cut back the Rose of Sharon bushes, crepe myrtles and butterfly bushes?

AnswerForsythia should be pruned after bloom. Remove one third of the old canes down at the soil line to encourage new growth. There is still time to prune Rose-of-Sharon, crape myrtle and butterfly bush, as all of these plants bloom on the current season growth. Try to do it soon since new growth is beginning.


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