Is my hibiscus dead?

scorpiosteve(z7 NJ)May 11, 2005

I planted a hibiscus last summer(NJ z 7), and it bloomed beautifully until fall. We have had an unusually cold May so far in NJ, I did not cut the tree to the soli, it stayed planted outside all winter. I have no blooms or any signs of life yet!! Is it dead? Should I wait a couple more weeks? Thanks!

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birdinthepalm

I hate to say it , but it's very unlikely the hibiscus survived a winter outdoors in NJ. They're striclty tropical to subtropical plants and won't take any severe cold much below freezing for lenghthy periods. A short overnight freeze maybe , but no prolonged ones. They're usually considered hardy only to zone 9 at best and even there an occasional frost will do considerable damage sometimes.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 2:38PM
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rink_rat(z5/6 MI)

If it is the hardy kind, I read that they start growing back in the late spring so yours should be fine. I just noticed one of mine coming back this week. Wait a little while longer and see what happens.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 4:13PM
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birdinthepalm

I'm sorry with the last post , since I read the original post incorrectly. I meant to say tropical hibiscuses wouldn't be hardy outdoors all winter in New Jersey, but the "hardy ones" would be, and they're late to come up usually. If in doubt that it's alive , you could dig down carefully next to one of last years stems almost to the topmost roots that come off that stem near the base and you should see some small "eyes" that will sprout soon to produce the new flowering stems for this summer's flowers. Also if they're dead the roots will usually rot quite quickly and later on the whole plant will lift out of the ground with only a slight tug. Healthy ones will not pull out easily, since the healthy roots will have a good grip, but don't pull so hard you actually pull out some that may not have such developed roots. I use the "eye' check when dividing old clumps of hardy hibiscuses, so that I dont' include the occasional dead stem in there, and am sure to have at least one healthy stem with some healthy roots, in each division. There can be some old dead ones mixed in sometimes.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 1:00PM
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scorpiosteve(z7 NJ)

Thanks for the information - If I do not see any new growth in the next week or two I will give the "eye" test a shot.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 10:24AM
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sharonlacouture(Zone 8 NC)

My hibiscus hasn't come back yet. I wondered the same thing myself. I am in North Carolina and we did have some freezing temperatures over the winter...I am hoping to see signs of life in the next few weeks.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 8:46PM
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birdinthepalm

sharonlacouture, if you live in the warmer part of NC the hardy hibiscus should be up by now if your having highs in the consistent 70's. They'll take considerable cold , since we can have them survive our freezing ground in Michigan through the winter, but I do think they might hate the combintion of very cold soil with excess moisture through the winter, as that might cause some rot. Ours in the north don'make an appearance til late May usually, but your's should be up much earlier that far south, unless you live in the mountains.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 7:31AM
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flowerpower326(z6 nj)

I am in the same situation as you are. I planted Hardy hibs and Rose of Sharon last year- no sign of any new life yet. I took in my trops and they are coming back-one is doing well and I planted it today back outside, the other is reviving slowly. also, my friend has no sign ofhis hardy hibs yet either. Good luck. I'm praying for mine. Maria

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 7:27PM
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