Virtues: Purple Pillar rose of Sharon stands apart from other varieties because of its shape. This is a very upright, narrow selection that grows 10 to 16 feet tall while naturally maintaining a width of no more than 3 feet. It also has a long bloom time.
Common name: Purple Pillar rose of Sharon
Botanical name:Hibiscus syriacus Purple Pillar (or ‘Gandini Santiago’)
Exposure: Full sun
Season: Summer, for flowers
Flowers: Dark purple buds at the branch tips open in summer to reveal ruffly, pink-purple petals with red splotches that surround prominent yellow stamens and pistil.
Foliage: Deep green with serrated edges
Habit: Purple Pillar rose of Sharon has a tight columnar habit, growing up to 16 feet tall with a width of 2 to 3 feet. It does not require pruning to retain this shape. This variety’s natural form recommends it for a tall, narrow screen or hedge; a place marker at an entry way or the end of a bed; or a tight spot among other shrubs and flowering perennials. It can also be grown in a large container, skirted with low-growing or trailing annuals.
How to grow Purple Pillar rose of Sharon: Site in full sun and average soil with good drainage. Once established it will tolerate some drought, but flowering will be best with moderate watering. Pruning is not necessary to maintain Purple Pillar’s shape, but should you wish to prune it do so in the early spring. USDA Zones 5–9.
Image courtesy of Proven Winners