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Confused about the temps and the growing stages

Posted by rjinga middle ga, zone 8 (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 14, 08 at 22:08

I have 4 hibiscus that I purchased at Lowe's (kind of the end of the season sale, but it was several months ago and these plants were thriving at that time). I have them all in 5 gallon buckets inside an outdoor planter with the intent to bring them into the GH when it got cold. So far I've been able to cover them when the temps dropped in the mid 30's. These temps are only lasting a few hours. then the sun comes out.

I asked this on another thread, but the tags on the plants said different things, one said cold hardy to 10 to 20 degrees, the other said 30-40 F. So what's the norm for them?

These plants are full of new growth and are flowering (sporadically) but there seems to be at least one or two flowers on the plants and buds too at any given time.

Will they go dormant? should they be in the GH now? Can they make it with a short bursts of cold? I could continue to cover them and as it gets colder, I could make their coverings more dense (bedspread vs sheet).

I'm not at all familiar with what to expect so any tips would be appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Confused about the temps and the growing stages

I don't do anything to my hibiscus unless we are going to have a freeze. The ones in pots come in the garage. The ones in the ground get leaves raked up on them. If we get a hard freeze the stems will die down to the leaves. I just leave them like that till spring. Then gently pull the leaves away so as not to break the new growth. And they take off growing and flowering again. I use fertilizer spikes around them and water if it gets to dry.

RE: Confused about the temps and the growing stages

Tropicals can handle pretty cold temps, but not 10-20F.
When the temps get below freezing and/or if there's going to be a frost, I cover my garden variety ones (the kind you can buy at box stores) with a sheet and put them up against the house, and the others (more exotic cultivars), I bring into the greenhouse or garage since they aren't as hardy.
Since you're in mid Georgia, zone 8, I'd bring all of them in for the Winter. Better safe than sorry!

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