Frozen to death?

quesera(Zone 10, S. CA)January 15, 2007


We had sub-freezing temperatures last night, and even though I covered my hibiscus, in the morning the leaves were all withered, but still green. Do you think it will be okay? To the best of my knowledge, it was below freezing for 8-12 hours, and got as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It's below 32 again tonight, so I covered it again and threw some mini X-mas lights on for good measure, just in case there's a chance that it's going to recover.

I knew it was frost-sensitive when I planted it, but since it's rarely cold enough for a freeze, I thought I'd take my chances. Poor plant!



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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

That's pretty cold, but give it a lot of time, maybe it will bounce back. I've had shrubs that looked like complete sticks that started making new leaves two months later!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 10:43AM
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I have the same question. I am in SoCal and noticed yesterday that one of my Hibiscus has turned completely brown and dead looking. Can the frost totally kill them off? Is there hope they will come back? My other Hibiscus made it thru OK. I remember last year a Hibiscus dying and I think it may have been because of the frost. It never came back. I finally replaced it this weekend with something else after a year of hoping.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 11:52AM
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quesera(Zone 10, S. CA)

Thanks for the replies. The poor plant looked even worse today, and cold temperatures tonight probably won't help any. I'll keep my fingers crossed for new growth when spring comes.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 1:16AM
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My hibiscus leaves turned brown and limp as well. We had 2 nights of a hard freeze, getting down to 19 degrees and lasting for hours. It froze again last night but the temps were higher and it didn't last as long. I covered it all three nights. It is about 4 years old and has never turned brown like this before. Hopefully it will recover.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 6:12PM
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Mine had a layer of ice on them. Im expecting death. Any chance they can regrow from the roots?

Quesera, if it makes you feel any better, i had a tree form (5-6 years old) take 28 degrees last winter with a frost. It lost all its leaves, but they came back in the spring. Since yours were covered, they might have a chance...but 20 degrees is really cold!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 11:36AM
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alzypelican(z4/z5 MN)

Hi, sorry to hear about your freeze. I live in Minnesota and I let our hibiscus freeze to the point of dropping their leaves so I can store them in a dormant state. It takes a long (and I mean long) time for them to come back. Don't give up on yours too soon, even if they look REALLY dead.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 2:58PM
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beachbarbie(z9a/8b NC)

Your hibiscus should be fine.
They don't come back by the roots, but growth will show up father down the base as it recovers. Mine is in the ground, protected and mulched. We've had about 2 weeks of at or below freezing temps. The outer branches are dead (shrunken and not firm), but I'm pretty confident the plant is fine under the mulch.
I'll report in April (our last average freeze date) how it made it through. This is the first year I tried one in the ground.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 11:08AM
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Hope this helps.
I have a mini greenhouse full of exotic hibiscus'. Last year Wash D.C. had a bad windy night and I was away. For One week the side of the greenhouse were blew out and the temps were in the teens. I got back, thought the same as you all. The Oleander, and the Princess bush looked like they were going to survive. All the Hibiscus looked dead as a door nail. When early April hit, I pulled them all out, watered them with miracle grow and about 2 weeks later, they all came back. Have faith all.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 11:14AM
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