The Q&A Archives: Winter And Hibiscus

Question: What can I do in order to winter over a tropical hibiscus in my yard? I can?t dig it up and bring it in. Our central Alabama winters are not usually very harsh, but we do have a few weeks of sub-freezing weather. I've been told to trim it back and mulch it deeply. Will it hurt it if I trim it now?

Answer: Trimming won't hurt it. The deep mulch will help protect the base of the plant so that even if the top freezes there is a chance the roots and lower trunk will survive to resprout.

A better insurance policy is to cover the plant and provide a source of heat on a cold winter night. A string of outdoor Christmas lights or a couple of indoor light bulbs is often enough heat to make the difference underneath the cover. Just take the necessary precautions to prevent a fire hazard or a short if the weather should turn wet.

Good luck with your hibiscus!

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