The althea plant goes by many names. You can find it also being called the rose of Sharon or Hibiscus syriacus. When you encounter such names, just know it is the same plant.
As much as althea can be described as a shrub, the pruning can make it look like a tree. People love it because of its continual flowering that makes the landscape look great. When other shrubs no longer have flowers, althea would still make your garden look great.
Just like other shrubs, you have to take good care of the plant if you want it to look great over time. Also, proper planting is necessary by providing the plant with the right nutrients. That is what I look at in this guide to help you come up with the best althea plant garden.
There are a number of different althea varieties. This should help you pick the correct variety depending on their growing conditions and also how they look. Let us see some of the common varieties of the althea plant.
This one features violet to blue flowers that plant developers love. It is why you would get more plant developers putting in more effort to ensure that such a variety grows the best. The flowers are not completely blue as they have a violet hue that is inclined in the blue color direction.
This variety would bloom in mid-summer and into autumn. People love them for having beautiful inner petals which surround the plant stamen giving off a frilly look.
This one is loved for the attractive foliage that it offers once it matures. The plant will also have pink flowers compared to the violet hue you get with the blue chiffon mentioned above.
Most varieties are valued based on their flowers, but the attractive foliage would also make this one quite interesting to get. The foliage makes the plant stand out from the other plants in the garden even after its flowers have wilted.
Like many other althea plant varieties, this one also offers bicolored flowers. Most of the petals will be white, while the centers will have a reddish color. That is how it gets the name red heart. This type would bloom from July up to fall. In most cases, each blossom would last a single day.
If you want white blossoms, this is what you opt for right now to plant in your garden. As much as some might find that white flowers may be too plain, others love the clean look. Let us say you are a gardener coming up with moon gardens; then it would make sense to have such a plant. It would bring out the contrast better than some other color options.
If you are hoping to get some of the best-looking althea plants, consider this one. It comes with a striking color that many cultivators want. The flowers give off a blue-violet color and sometimes have a deep magenta throat complemented with yellow stamens.
You will also notice that this type is tolerant to drought, salty soils and can grow great in different conditions. It is why it is considered a top choice for most cultivators. I must point out that it is also the easiest to propagate too.
There can be many other varieties of the althea plant. You have to make sure that you get the right one, always depending on your needs and likes. If you can dedicate more time to research, you should easily find the best althea plant.
Althea Growing Conditions and Care
Now that you know more about it, you may be interested in growing the althea plant. You may want to take more time to learn about the proper growing conditions and how to care for it if that is the case.
You should know about the althea plant because it is tolerant to heat, humidity, air pollution, poor soil conditions, and drought. As such, it is easy to see how it would grow easily in different places.
As much as it can grow anywhere, there is a need for proper monitoring. This is to ensure that it can be controlled, or else it will become more invasive.
Here are some of the growing conditions you should keep in mind.
- The althea plant needs full sun conditions to ensure there is proper light for it to grow better. The older althea plants are likely to get infected by fungus if the area is shaded and moisture is too high.
- Like most plants, the althea plant would also thrive well in rich soils. However, it can still tolerate different soil types such as clay, sand, loam, and chalk. As for the soil pH, the plant would thrive over a wide range from 5.5 to 7.5.
- The althea plant is generally tolerant to drought. Sometimes you might notice that your plant has yellow leaves. This could be because of overwatering and not that the plant is lacking water.
- The plant also loves heat. It is why you are likely to find it thriving better in the summer heat without a problem. It can also tolerate other humidity conditions too.
- How about using fertilizer? Yes, you should use fertilizer whenever possible. Just make sure it is the slow-release fertilizer type. For those who want their plant to grow organically, consider applying compost around the plant roots then water it for it to get into the soil.
Still, as part of caring for your althea plant, you should consider pruning it too. The plant is multi-stemmed, thus the reason it needs pruning before it can easily get out of hand. It is advisable to prune the plant in winter or when it is early spring. If you want the plant to achieve a certain shape, consider pruning it early in its life.
You are likely to experience pests too infesting the althea plant. The most common pests are the Japanese beetles. However, it should not worry you too much since it is easy to control them. Make sure you always check out your althea plants for pests and take action to control them before they can do much damage.
You can shake them off and drop the pests into a container with soapy water. This should be good enough to kill the pests with ease due to suffocation.
The althea plant can easily stand out for its looks. You are likely to enjoy having them in your garden so that you can enjoy the overall look of the plant. Just make sure you also take good care of the plant if you want it to remain to look healthy. Also, pick the best variety that you like after doing a bit of research.