How to Overwinter Tropical Hibiscus

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A friend recently asked me on Facebook if she can take her tropical Hibiscus inside to go dormant over the winter, and it reminded me of a post about this many years ago – Here it is below.

I would like to add that basically the answer is yes. They may be moved inside as a houseplant by a sunny window, OR these plants may be stored in the basement (unheated) where it remains cool, dark, and not below freezing. You keep the soil on the dry side (limited watering over the winter months). Most tropical Hibiscus are hardy to at least 45 degrees F. Watch out for pests such as aphids or white fly. You may want to have an organic spray handy if you spot any on them after moving them in – look at the underside of the leaves to inspect.

Don’t confuse the tropical Hibiscus with those which look similar but are hardy. Some people get confused, as noted on this blog post from years prior.

For example, some types of Rose-of-Sharon shrubs have similar looking flowers which folks have confused with a tropical, non-hardy Hibiscus plant.

There are “perennial, hardy Hibiscus” plants too – which usually have dish plate size flowers. One example is Hibiscus ‘Kopper King’ hardy in zones 4-9. These may be left in the ground over the winter outdoors in Connecticut planting zones.

If you are not sure which type you have, and want me to take a look, text me a photo! Cathy T

Container Crazy CT

In late August, I took a photo of the blooms on a tropical Hibiscus growing as a standard in my brother’s backyard by his patio.  He and his girlfriend planted it this year.  It has been growing beautifully all season.

  • Standard:  For those of you who are not familiar with the term standard, it means a plant that has been trained into a tree-form shape.  I’m not sure why they call it a standard; seems like it should be called a tree-form plant.  A newbie would never use the word standard to search for information about how to grow a plant into a standard, which ends up looking like a topiary.  The plant sits as a beautiful round form on the top of a small tree.
Tropical Hibiscus

My brother’s Hibiscus has a twisted 3 branched trunk instead of a single trunk or stalk.  These are commonly found in nurseries and give…

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