Hibiscus, Winter Care

I have planted a 4 to 5 foot tall Hibiscus tree that has been flowering all summer long. I’ve followed your instructions on care and feeding and I can’t thank you enough. Now that the fall and winter is right around the corner I want to protect this tree. What is the best method? Thanks, your show is great!!

First we need to determine whether you have a tropical hibiscus or a perennial hibiscus. If your plant produces dinner plate sized blooms that are pink, white or red and has large, heart shaped leaves, you have a perennial hibiscus. Perennial hibiscus is cold hardy to zone 5, in Larchmont you are in zone 6.

A tropical hibiscus has small blooms in a wide range of colors and leaves that are dark green and somewhat leathery. These plants are not cold hardy so they need to be moved indoors for the winter. You can prune your plant if it is too large to fit in your home. Don’t worry about where you prune but do use nice, sharp pruners. If you do prune, remember that your plant is going into a dormant period at this time so new growth from the pruning may not occur until next spring. Although it may seem like a kind gesture, don’t repot you hibiscus at this time. Repotting may cause root rot. Position your plants indoors where they will receive three to four hours of direct sunlight. Don’t be discouraged if your plant looks less than happy during this time; you may experience leaf loss. However, next spring when you move the plant back outdoors it will spring back to life in no time, rewarding you with another season of beautiful blooms.