save hibiscus with no leaves
I am completely new to the idea of gardening/tending to plants. Many of my students have started giving me plants as gifts and I really want to keep them alive but I am struggling.
A beautiful mandarin wind tropical hibiscus was given to me in late May. It did ok, but I went out of town for a planned day and got stuck (too ill to drive home) for several days. The plants were left to fend for themselves for days on my apt balcony/part sunny. When I returned the hibiscus leaves were turning yellow and falling off. I repotted it according to my FatherIL's directions in an 8 inch pot with miracle gro moisture control potting soil. I water nightly unless it is still wet. Now the plant is barren-not one leaf. I scratched the brown off and there is light green under the brown bark like stuff-so I think it is still alive. I did cut back a few wilted like branches. Today, my heart broke and I brought it inside thinking that maybe the sun is just too much for it--heat index in the 100s.
Is it hopeless? Any suggestions for this poor plant?