wintercare for tropical hibiscus

mantorvillain(z4bMN Dodge)October 3, 2009

I obtained a small dbl red tropical hibiscus in a trade this spring. Living in Zone 4 I know it won't make it over the winter outside so could use some input as to how I might carry it over the winter. I have a cool basement where I carry my brugmansias and colocasias over in dormancy. Can i just repot the hibiscus and put it down into the basement or does it need to be carried over in 'growth' mode? I do have a sunny south winter.

I'd appreciate your input so i can enjoy this plant again next summer outside.


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gonna try to make this easy cuz im lazy lol...if you check out all the postings in here u will see there is much said on addressing wintering over. Good luck

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 4:41AM
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Last winter I used Flourescent lights and 70 degrees inside the house for my 5 Tropical hibiscus.
Your southern sunny area would probably work better than the flourescent lights that I used.I also had to spray insect killer a few times because of the white flies.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 6:28AM
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Hi ~ I have wintered two braided tropical hibiscus trees twice here in the eastern panhandle of WV (got them both in the summer of 2007), and they are going strong. They are currently both blooming and look gorgeous, but I will soon be moving them inside once again. I winter them in the basement next to sliding glass doors where there's southern exposure so they can get as much sun as possible. I have never cut them back (although I will have to this time so one can fit through the door), and I water them sparingly through the winter. I sprayed some insect soap when they got white flies, and eventually, they dropped all their leaves, which is normal. When it starts to warm up during the day (March-April), I bring them outside and then bring them back in at night until the low temps are out of the 40's. This routine has worked well for me. Yours should do fine in the basement as long as it gets plenty of sun. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 1:39PM
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I keep mine facing a SW window and they do great. theya re near the heater so it never is cold, and the sun coming fromt he window usually keeps it blooming throught the winter. i find they dont do very well unless given lots of warmth and sun, but will come back once taken outside for the summer with a little pruning.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 9:38PM
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I was advised on another post (don't remember where) to cut them back within 4-5" from the main stem (to keep bugs at bay) and water sparingly until they start to leaf out again. Last year (I have 5) I kept them watered and fed and in a sunny window - they bloomed sporadically and I battled bugs all winter. Not this year! I cut them down and they'll come in a week or so - go in a bright garden room full of lights on timers and orchids and citrus, and we'll see....

One pot is full of ants - I'm mean completely saturated and I'm not sure what to do. I'll probably repot as I've tried everything I can think of. Good luck

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 5:13PM
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I usually spray the plants with a good insecticide before bringing them in, an about a week later I use the Bayer systemic granual insecticide for trees and shrubs, scratching it into the top layer of soil. Last year, no bugs all winter on the tropicals. It was great.
Don't know if this is the correct way, but it worked for me.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 4:58PM
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Shennandoahvalley, when you say they eventually dropped all their leaves, do you mean they go through the winter naked? Or did you mean they dropped leaves as a result of being sprayed? I just brought my hibiscus inside. It had flowers, then some leaves began to yellow, and today a huge pile of leaves was on the floor. It is near a heater vent, but it has moist soil and good light, I think. Not like the full sun it had been getting when it was on the deck, though. Do you think this is normal?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 6:52PM
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donaldb(5B Worcester, MA)

Here in Massachusetts I have had a tropical hibiscus for 5 years...NOID. It stays oudoors until mid October and is brought inside to a sunroom that has north,south and east exposure. It is never allowed to dry out and the fertilizer is cut back quite a bit. The tree is quite content. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 9:22AM
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Gee hi donaldb if u see this just south of worcester in sutton...good to know u do well with your hibiscus..but im not bringing mine in should be fine the way i have it all tucked in lol...and besides its one that should weather this winter fine.
Still nice and green and still budding up but not for long now in sure lol. It is snug as a bug in a rug tho im sure with what i did to bank it up and wrap it up and all. What kind do u have...and good luck this year with them

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 2:32AM
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donaldb(5B Worcester, MA)

Greetings summerbreezes. The tree was given to me by my neighbor with no info as to what type it is only that it was a tropical type. It's currently in bloom and is brought in at this time every year. What else do you grow?
My big thing is orchids. I also have some winter hardy cactus outdoors and a couple of banana trees and an orange tree, not to mention all sorts of other plants. I drive through Sutton on my way to Providence when I go for Italian groceries. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 8:50AM
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Wow im impressed u must have quiet a indoor aboretum..lucky you...never knew of such a thing as winter catcus...however how do u even know they are there under the snow...giggle. My plants are simply A-typical of what most have for outdoor areas absolutely nothing of a exotic nature just common plants for our area. Whaaaaat Shrewsbury St doesnt have enuf Italian grocercies now good grief, whats life coming to? Im sure there are areas a lot closer than Providence cuz all those Italianos dont do that "wink" not for groceries OTHER things mayyyybe,giggle uh huh Im sure. They call it grocercies now hmmmm. For hibiscus the only other i have is a double RS which toward end of summer for first time got chewed on a bit..japanese beetles are making a come back around here. Its a old established plant other than looking a bit top nakkid im sure it will be ok.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 12:20PM
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I bought a tropical hibiscus tree online I live in zone 6 the company said thus tree will be fine in zone 6 planted in the ground all year. I live in Michigan. I unfortunately won't find out. After receiving the bare root tree I planted in a pot immediately until I could put it in the ground. I fertilized it and treated it with tender loving care watching, with a water probe so I didn't over or under water it. It died, I cried. Can a tropical hibiscus tree really grow outside all year in zone 6. I just live them. Or was the plant company wrong

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 4:22PM
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Tropical Hibs can not survive freezing temps of northern states. 3+ year old plants can handle a light frost and survive, but sustained low temps will kill.

You can either bring the tropicals in for the winter, or choose hardy varieties. Good information is available for both.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 9:03PM
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