Hummingbirds Will Fall in Love With Rose of Sharon

A rose of Sharon shrub has large, gorgeous flowers that attract pollinators in droves, including bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

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Do Hummingbirds Like Rose of Sharon?

247260060 1 Carla Tarzia Bnbhc20Courtesy Carla Tarzia
Female ruby-throated hummingbird

On a recent trip to Michigan to visit family, I was captivated by the rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) bush in their front yard. It was a magnet for everything with wings! One afternoon, I dragged a lawn chair into the shade by the bush to watch for about an hour to see what visitors I could spot. I quickly learned that rose of Sharon attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and plenty more pollinators including bees, wasps, and flies.

252431552 1 Christina Cole Bnb Bypc2020Courtesy Christina Cole
Hummingbirds and other pollinators love these shrubs.

I also spotted many butterflies using the flowers for nectar, including a giant swallowtail, great spangled fritillary, and cabbage white. Dragonflies were using the branches to perch, and small songbirds flitted in and out of the shelter of the branches. It was simply amazing how this one small shrub was providing food and shelter for so many different backyard species all at once.

Check out the top 15 colorful hummingbird flowers to grow.

Rose of Sharon Care

rose of sharonCourtesy Peter Bidwell
Rose of Sharon bush filled with blooms

Native to Asia, rose of Sharon is usually grown in the U.S. in zones 5 to 8. It blooms from summer through fall and is easy to grow in most soils and conditions. You can prune it into a hedge or tree form, or let it ramble wild. Look for multiple cultivars at your local garden center, or ask a friend or neighbor for a stem cutting to root.

248039503 1 Paul Hersey Bnbhc20Courtesy Paul Hersey
Look for colorful flowers in late summer and fall
  • Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
  • Zones: 5 to 8
  • Size: 8 to 12 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide
  • Light needs: Full to partial sun
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining soil
  • Flower color: white, pink, red, purple, blue or violet flowers
  • Attracts: hummingbirds, bees, butterflies
  • Bloom time: Late summer to mid-autumn
diana rose of sharon, small plantsVia Merchant
The Diana cultivar has white blooms

This is the hibiscus to grow if others have failed you. In the right conditions, the upright shrub reaches 12 feet tall, creating an excellent privacy screen or focal point. Watch for Japanese beetles, which can cause serious foliage damage.

Choose pure white, 9-foot-tall Diana or one of the 6-foot Chateau varieties, whose multiple stems are lined completely with pink, white or rosy purple blossoms from summer to fall. Another cultivar we love, Blue Bird, has a contrasting deep burgundy center and bright white stamen.

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Is Rose of Sharon Invasive?

One word of caution: this non-native shrub is considered invasive in some areas. If you’re concerned, check with your local extension office to find out this flowering bush is right for your yard. Also look for seedless cultivars like Sugar Tip.

Jill Staake
Jill Staake's lifelong love of nature turned into a career during the years she spent working with native Florida butterflies, caterpillars, and other wildlife at the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa, Florida. During this time, she helped to maintain 30+ acres of gardens and backwoods, all carefully cultivated to support the more than 20 species of butterflies displayed indoors and out. She now writes for a variety of publications and sites on topics like gardening and birding, among others.