The Q&A Archives: Indoor Outdoor Hibiscus

Question: Hi,I have a Hibiscus I purchased last summer in a clearance
sale. I live in Ohio,I believe zone 5. It bloomed beautifully over summer and I brought it indoors. I don't get a lot of sun so all of the leaves dropped off over a couple of months time. Is it going through it's normal cycle or did I kill it? The stems dried up a bit and I trimmed it back. It has a few new tiny leaves coming out of the stems. As it gets warmer should I start setting it outdoors? I'm using rain water for watering.

Answer: Move your hibiscus to a very sunny spot for now to encourage those leaves to grow, and follow these instructions:

Lots of people grow hibiscus as houseplants during the winter, putting them outdoors for the summer months. Ideally, plants should be allowed to gradually adjust to indoor conditions after growing outdoors all summer. They're more likely to retain their leaves, and less likely to attract pests. When the daytime temperatures reach a minimum of 60F this spring, gradually acclimate it back to the outdoors by exposing it to a little more sun each day over the course of a week. Reverse the process in fall when you bring it inside.

Hibiscus like average household temperatures and very
bright light. They also want moist, but not soggy soil. Mist the leaves regularly to add some moisture to the air. If the plant gets too leggy, you can pinch back some of the stems. Fertilize during the spring/summer months (March through August as a rule of thumb). Hope this helps!

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