Rose of Sharon problem

I have a Rose of Sharon planted from a whip about 8 years ago. It has been a steady producer of blossoms. I have been pruning it down to keep it from covering a bedroom window on the South side of the house. The tree looks healthy except that none of the numerous buds ever opened this year. It receives almost full sun and is watered regularly. What would keep the flower buds from opening? We live in a north suburb of Chicago.
Sherwin D.
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Some possibilities:
1) A dry heatwave which even a hardy rose of sharon found offending & which baked the buds
2) An unseasonal freeze that stopped them in their development.
3) Being given nitrogen fertilizer (makes the leaves over-happy, stops the flowers).
4) Poor watering practices (they're easily overwatered, but they do also have limits of xeriscaping tolerance, so that both too wet or too dry is bad; it's especially harmful to water rose-of-sharon too regularly)
5) Getting too much shade, which you indicate ain't it.
6) Thrips ate into the buds
7) Root system is unrestricted & it expended energy that would otherwise have gone to flowering in preparing itself to sucker like the devil next year.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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You're only suppose to prune these in late fall. Other than that, Rose of Sharon usually grow like a weed. I've had them die suddenly when they are by themselves. They seem to thrive better in a cluster.
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You can prune them whenever you want, plants dont read newsgroups or books.
Toad
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I prune mine back when the seed pods are forming (September), and I cut the hedge back about 1/3. This encourages a thicker hedge the following year. I have another ROS hedge that hides the compost bins--I have not trimmed back this one and it is over 15 feet tall (it must be happy next to all that compost.) These grow like weeds and you can probably trim them at any time and often.
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