Wintering over Hibiscus

rocklingarJuly 25, 2007

Good Afternoon fellow Gardeners,

I have several Hibiscus Shrubs in Pots around our Swimming Pool. The first couple of years I wintered the plants over and kept them from year to year. I found that the Hibiscus were very slow to come out of dormancy, if indeed they did. If they did leaf out I would not get any blooms until late July or early August. As a result the last 3 years I have been just throwing the shrubs away in the late fall when they are no longer blooming and buying new plants in the Spring that are fully leafed out and with buds formed.

This year my Hibiscus are the best I have ever had. The color selection is great and the plants are full and blooming like crazy. I would like to have them next spring. Is there anything I can do to speed them up in leafing out and blooming earlier next Spring and Summer. We can get cold here so Frost is a possibility. I can put them in a sheltered area during the winter.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Gary in Rocklin, California

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Gary, do you know if the Hibs you had were hardy or tropical? Hardy Hibs usually pop up after a dormancy period between June and July, whereas tropicals are evergreen..Because of shorter daylight in winter, tropical hibs goes semi-dormant and either stops or slows down blooming and new growth.
Are your hibs grown in pots or ground?
I wouldn't toss out one, it's expensive buying new plants every spring.
If you're growing tropical hibiscus in containers, and it gets too cold in your area, bring them inside..
Keep outdoors until temps dip in the 40's/50's. Place trees/bushes in a sunny south or west window. Oh, before bringing indoors, hose off foliage/pot. I also use Fish Emulsion as a foliar spray insecticide to prevent/kill scale and a last feeding (though FE isn't what I normally feed hibs with) 1 capful of FE to 16oz mister of water.
I also make my own organic concoction to prevent other insects..2-4 drops dishsoap, ground citrus rind and garlic in a sprayer..spray plant thoroughly.
I also use artificial lights a few hours a night.
I hope this is what you meant by a sheltered area..LOl..Toni

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 8:06PM
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Hi Toni, Thanks for the note. My Hibiscus are in Pots. They lose their leaves durning winter and leaf out the next spring, but very late. By the time they start blooming it is almost "fall" again. :( I was hoping i could get them to come out of dormancy more quickly. I will try the Fish Emulsion, and move them in the Garage for the winter. Then give them a good shot of fertalizer in the early spring. I will keep you updated. Winter here does not arrive until almost Thanskgiving. Gary in Northern California,

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 7:38PM
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