December 2, 2023

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Q. I’m keen on the shrub generally generally known as Rose of Sharon, which I imagine is a hardy hibiscus. I’ve solely ever seen the vegetation grown as shrubs that bear stunning, tropical trying flowers all summer season. Not too long ago a pal dwelling close to London (England) despatched me a photograph of a plant with the identical flowers, however it was rising as a road tree planted by the native municipality. Are you able to clarify? It seemed like Rose of Sharon, however it was undoubtedly a tree.

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A. Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syuriacus) is grown nearly completely right here as a deciduous shrub, round three metres tall, with showy, hollyhock-like summer season and early autumn flowers. The plant’s naturally vigorous progress and vase-like form makes it simply grown as a multi-stemmed shrub; nonetheless, that progress will also be thinned to create a small, single-stemmed tree.

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Nurseries I’ve spoken with point out they haven’t seen this hibiscus out there in normal (tree) type and, if it had been out there, they may not be inclined to order it in as a result of the vegetation are troublesome to maintain trying good in nursery pots.

In case you are actually eager to attempt for a tree type Rose of Sharon, search for the youngest plant you’ll find within the spring, a small shrub with one clearly predominant, straight stem, and eradicate the opposite stems to create a tree. Because the small tree develops, maintain pruning away secondary stems as they come up.

Q. Fruit fly season has begun, simply as I’m processing backyard fruit. What trapping technique works for you?

A. I take advantage of apple cider vinegar, round three cm deep solely, with a drop or two of dish cleaning soap, in a shallow glass jar.

Or, use simply the vinegar and safe plastic wrap over high. Just a few holes poked within the plastic wrap permits the flies to enter, however they received’t be capable of discover their manner out. Utilizing a glass jar means that you can see the entice is working to draw flies.