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  • Peter-
    I have a Rose of Sharon bush that has been quite prolific for many years. This year it appears that something has happened to the bush, my sister has one as well and something has affected hers.

    My bush has many flowers on the bottom level, nothing but dry bare branches in a large area of the middle section, and a small amount of greenery at the top. My sister’s bush has some bare branches and is not producing as many flowers.

    Is there something going around that might have affected these bushes. If not, what can I do? I can e=mail a picture of the bush to you if that will help with determination.

    Thanks for your help.


    • Joyce,
      Althea aren’t long-lived shrubs (15-30 years) so yours may be in decline. Check for aphids as well since they can cause buds that have formed to not open. Also, when aphids are on a plant, the ooze honeydew, a sweet substance that can promote fungal diseases…especially in a year that has been damp frequently. A spray with insecticidal soap can kill aphids abut you’ll need a fungicide to control fungal diseases. Naturally spraying the plants with water or if it gets hit but your sprinkler system makes these problems worse. It might be time to prune away some of the stems to allow better air circulation and let sunlight penetrate to keep the plant drier and healthier. You can prune away up to 1/3 of the branch structure without harming the plants and you can do that now if you wish. Althea need so pruning now and again since they from flowers best on younger growth.

  • Peter – I’m sorry I’m commenting on this, but I couldn’t find where to contact you. Is it too late to put down the Bonide Grub Beater this year? Thank you. Joe

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