The Q&A Archives: Winterizing A Hibiscus

Question: My hibiscus has been in a container on my front patio in full sun all summer long. Now that it is getting colder out I have brought the plant indoors. Should the plant be left outside or placed by a window inside? I do not get full sun
in any room in my home. Also should I continue to fertilize?

Answer: Flowering hibiscus (Hibiscus chinensis) will not tolerate freezing temperatures and must be brought indoors. It shold be slowly acclimated to the lowered light levels indoors and will probably drop leaves and or buds while it adjusts. Place it in the brightest location you have and keep it away from drafts (either hot or cold); since it will receive less than ideal light a cooler location (say in the 60's) is also better. Try to maintain a high level of humidity around it. Reduce watering and fertilizing while the plant slows down for the winter, increase it again when it speeds up in response to increased light next spring. When the weather warms, gradually set it out in the sunlight again to avoid "sunburning" it.

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