Is my Rose of Sharon dead from the harsh winter?

Asked May 28, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

My Rose of Sharon is struggling this year. It is about 25 years old and blooms from about July 15 to almost the end of September. I think it is nearly dead from the harsh winter. I would be grateful for any advice or insight.

St. Clair County Michigan rose of sharon lrk

1 Response

Rose of Sharon is always late to leaf out in the spring. Most are showing little or no growth now, which is normal. All you can do right now is wait. But do not fertilize the tree. It could kill or damage it. It won't make anything any better.

If it is the second week of June and there is nothing -- like buds -- on the tree, there may be winter damage. But you cannot repair exploded cell walls. It is up to the tree.

You are now sitting in the same giant rowboat with most gardeners in Michigan. We are all trying to see what has survived the worst winter of our lives and our plants' lives. There are no rules or past experiences to call upon. All any of us can do is be patient and wait to see if the plants can respond to warm weather and damp soils. If it is the end of June and there is no growth or regrowth, the plant is dead. If there is just a branch or scattered leaves, it is so weak that it will not make it over the next winter. Grimly, this is just a "landscaping opportunity."