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johnsaunt

Could this be Rose of Sharon?

last year

My friend lives in an English basement apartment in Washington, DC. This plant is in a pot and spends the winter in her apartment in front of a window that gets some direct light. It has never bloomed.


A related question is this: her sweet old dog uses her garden space as its rest stop, so the area has been pretty well soaked with urine. Can you think of any plants that would survive (thrive?) there? The bed never gets direct sunlight.



Comments (12)

  • last year

    Looks like tropical Hibiscus to me. Rose of Sharon is the deciduous cold hardy one.

  • last year

    I know that Hibiscus syriacus is deciduous, but if it got moved indoors in the fall, it might not drop its leaves, right? I wouldn't think a tropical Hibiscus would do very well with so little light, but maybe you're right.

  • last year

    Yes it could to be Hibiscus syriacus - Rose of Sharon. It is likely not getting enough sun to bloom. Does your friend fertilize?

    Cyrtomium falcatum, The Japanese Holly Fern & Osmanthus × burkwoodii are the only ones I found that are urine resistant and like partial shade. I did see mention of Alchemilla mollis, Ladies Mantle The fern could be used as a barrier for other plants behind. The Osmanthus could be too large.

  • last year

    Thank you, peren.all and 41 North! I'm feeling pretty good for having recognized it.. I don't know if my friend fertilizes it and she said it's never bloomed. She doesn't remember how or where she got it.


    Her garden is quite a bit below street level and adjacent buildings block the sun, so I doubt the RoS could ever bloom. However, the suggestions for in-ground plants sound great! I'll pass the suggestions on to her, and maybe the RoS could be planted there.


    Thanks again!



  • last year

    I think it is either a light starved tropical Hibiscus or an Abutilon. I do not believe it is R of S.

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    Abutilon was my first thought. However, the cane-like older stems and the leaf shapes may actually support it being in fact Hibiscus syriacus (the leaves do not look like H. rosa-sinensis). What is needed of course is to see it bloom.

  • last year

    Would it help to know that the plant is about six feet tall? And it's been in its pot for years.

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    I just don't believe a non-tropical and deciduous species would be able to survive in a pot, indoors, for some many years. But then again, Rose of Sharon is a true Hibiscus with tropical genes somewhere in the line.


    P.S., For the spot without any sun, maybe try a Aucuba japonica. They are evergreen and don't need any sun to thrive.

  • last year

    I think we have a winner! Mariesa says the Abutilon picturs look like her plant, so thank you for the identification. She's going to take better care of it. Y'all are always amazing!

    I'll pass the plant suggestions on to her, too.

  • last year

    "Rose of Sharon is a true Hibiscus with tropical genes somewhere in the line."

    Not necessarily. Various species of the same genus can have very different climatic origins and with correspondingly different attributes and characteristics. There are plenty of species of hibiscus that are neither tropical nor subtropical in origin.

    Virginia thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • 10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    Your friend might want to try keeping the plant indoors year-round, if there's some sun there in the summer too. This could encourage blooming and would presumably also keep it from being pee'd on,

    Note that urine is an excellent source of nitrogen, so if the dog has been frequently "watering" the soil in the pot, your friend needs to be careful NOT to add any fertilizer that contains nitrogen (which is pretty much all of them). A lot of plants don't flower well if they're getting loads of nitrogen, so the dog pee could be the reason why this plant doesn't bloom -- especially if she's adding any other fertilizer. If she does move it indoors, though, or if her elderly dog reaches the end of his days, the plant might eventually appreciate a little fertilizer.

  • 10 months ago

    Thank you, Carol. In the summer the sun is too high to get through her window, but I beleive that when its moved out in the summer it can get a bit of sun then.