Plant or pot

fescuephil(PA)May 30, 2005

My wife bought hibiscus, she liked the flowers and we are trying to start a butterfly/hummingbird garden. Problem is she didn't read the label....zone 10-11, we are 6-7.

It says it can get up to 10 feet high (which is fine for outdoors) and 2-3 feet wide. Is there anyway I can plant it in the ground and cover it to protect it from cold, or am I forced to pot it and take it in and out each season.

I just really suck at potted plants, I can never get the watering down.

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fescuephil(PA)

If this helps...rosa-sinenus

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 8:24AM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Definitely pot it unless you want to grow it as an annual. ;-) These are tropical plants found in the far southern continental U.S., Hawaii, and tropical areas.

If you want to actually plant it out, you could leave in a nursery pot and sink it. Then dig up in the fall and bring inside. With alot of light and warm conditions, they can bloom on and off all winter. With less light, they will rest and start up growing sometime in February/March.

Watering is actually minimal in winter inside - I usually water mine once every couple weeks with a moderate ~70° F room temp where mine sits when inside. When outside and/or actively growing, they do want a bit more water. It's easy to tell when to water because the leaves will start to become a bit flaccid and will droop.

Just be aware that they are sensitive to major changes in their conditions - amount of light, temperature, water... and they will respond by yellowing and dropping leaves. However being evergreens, they will quickly regrow the appropriate type of leaves for those new conditions so putting up with their fickleness is required and patience is in order knowing that they will be just fine.

Alot of the fuss (which is mostly when you are moving in and out) is worth it because once the adjust, the blooms are worth it!

I just put mine outside Saturday for the first time since last October.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 9:36AM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

Here is a way that will help you learn how to water container plants. Take a wood skewer or chopstick and place it in the pot half way between the plant and edge of pot. Leave it in the container and check it everyday. If it comes out wet and with soil sticking to it, put it back and leave the plant alone. You want the wood to be dry to the point you have to touch it to your cheek to see if it is still damp. When it is like that, water thoroughly until water runs from the bottom of the pot.

As you do this over time you will learn by just looking at your plant whether it needs to be watered or not.

randy

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 4:17PM
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