Confederate Rose not growing - any ideas?

I purchased this confederate rose last year at a plant sale and it looked great last year but did not bloom. This year it barely has any leaves. Do I need to feed it or transplant it somewhere else in my yard? Right now it is planted in clay and I have been feeding it but it has not improved it yet. I love this plant and would be really upset if it does not make it. Thanks
  19 answers
  • Caley's Culinaries Caley's Culinaries on May 28, 2013
    Plants are like buildings - the foundation makes or breaks their success. If you didn't amend the clay with soil conditioner, compost, manure, topsoil...anything, you will need to dig it up and make a good, welcoming habitat in the ground where you plant it.. Lack of blooms can be caused by phosphorus deficiency. Phosphorus is the middle number on the fertilizer analysis.
  • Lori J Lori J on May 28, 2013
    Banana peels and egg shells in the newly prepared soil will help as well.
  • Vickie Foss Vickie Foss on May 29, 2013
    I sprinkle epson salt on the ground around mine.
  • Nest for All Seasons Nest for All Seasons on May 29, 2013
    if it has any leaves at all, I would try feeding it and pampering it a bit this season. Moving a sad looking rosé with summer temps around the corner will def. kill it :/
  • D Burton D Burton on May 29, 2013
    It looks like it has been severely pruned. If you want to prune your roses, one tip to remember is to prune on Valentine's Day or somewhere around there. Pruning incorrectly can immediately destroy any plant. Roses also need lots of water. Try epsom salt when planting any new addition and this helps prevent shock to the root system as well as fertilize and provide an organic insecticide.
  • Cindy Tucker Cindy Tucker on May 29, 2013
    Clay soil is not indicative to growing roses; they need a soft rich loam to thrive. This plant also looks like it has been over pruned. In the future only remove the outer third of the branches, after a hard frost of before February.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on May 29, 2013
    Did you cut it way back? Confederate rose is generally not particular about conditions, which is one of the things that makes it a classic southern passalong plant.
  • Jill Jill on May 29, 2013
    You can also use a little bone meal when planting roses. But in your case, I think you pruned it back way too much and might have done it in. Just let it go and see if it will come back down the line, If not start again.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on May 29, 2013
    To those offering rose tips, confederate rose is not really a rose. It's a hibiscus, Hibiscus mutabilis.
  • Nicole Bowen-Wiley Nicole Bowen-Wiley on May 29, 2013
    I did not cut it at all I purchased it from the plant sale the way it looks. I wish that they did not prune it that way. Douglas thank you for the tips on the Hibiscus Rose.
  • Diane B Diane B on May 30, 2013
    When we planted our Confederate Roses, one was planted in mostly sun and the other in mostly shade. One got lots of leaf-mold mulch the other didn't. Both were equally fertilized and watered. The result: the one in the shade with lot of mulch didn't do as well as the one in mostly sun with little mulch. In fact the one with little mulch has more than doubled in size. Just saying.
  • Caley's Culinaries Caley's Culinaries on May 30, 2013
    I cut my confederate rose like that sometimes. I'm not really picky about when - just when I have time and it is too big. It never had a problem. I did amend the clay a lot when I planted it.
  • Debby Boyle Debby Boyle on May 30, 2013
    I would dig it up & put new dirt in the hole before replanting & feed it will with rose food. Roses need feed every couple of weeks to keep them that their best!
  • Jill Jill on May 30, 2013
    Doug is right, it is more commonly know as a hibiscus. In the Northeast they refer to them as Rose of Sharon, in the south a Confederate Rose and they actually are not roses at all. And it's a true "bush". They like full sun and warmth, so I would make sure it's planted where it can get both. As I said give it some bone meal. They like that. And whatever you do, don't prune it at least for a very long time if ever. The terms Rose of Sharon and Confederate Rose were given to anything that bloomed a showy fragrant flower, and were from the stories in the bible about roses blooming in the desert. The one in the bible they think was actually from an onion.
  • Freida Freida on May 30, 2013
    I've had my Confederate Rosé for about 20 yrs and during the summer months it towers to at least 20-25' tall and its diameter easily measures to 10'. When I planted this pass-along, it was merely a rooted 10" stalk that I just put in our heavy clay soil without any amendments. It was planted in very early Spring, and throughout the summer, new shoots had formed in multiples. Come Oct, the most magnificent 6" pink blossoms were putting on quite a show! The entire bush gets cut back to the ground and covered with pine straw when the first frost is forecasted. The stalks I cut back are now re-cut for rooting to pass-along to continue its legacy!
  • Carol Lindahl Carol Lindahl on May 30, 2013
    I have the type of Rose of Sharon that produces seeds. They get trimmed the minute it gets cool in the fall so that the seeds don't have a chance to drop. I had spread them all around the yard before I knew better and really had a time killing off more than half of them. They are much more manageable now. I do love the constant flowering the minute it gets hot here in Kansas. The squirrels really talk to me when I start the pruning, as they love to eat the seed pods. I did buy one that does not produce seeds and it, of course, is my favorite. :))
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on May 31, 2013
    Confederate rose is not the same as Rose of Sharon. The are both in the hibiscus family, but Rose of Sharon is Hibiscus syriacus and confederate rose is Hibiscus mutabilis.
  • Diane B Diane B on Jun 01, 2013
    Here in GA. the Confederate Roses occasionally have die back in the winter due to freezing temps. They must be cut back (dead limbs) in the spring or you have a very unsightly bush. Just check the limb before you cut. And they bloom in late summer and early fall until the frost hits them.
  • Gar10068297 Gar10068297 on Jun 29, 2017

    Rabbit manure is great for roses you do not have to age it but make manure tea. It is the best for making lawns green without toxic run off and no burn. Water lawn with rabbit manure tea. Very little smell also. Great reason to raise rabbits.