The Q&A Archives: Frozen Hibiscus

Question: I have a hibiscus house plant that loves to go out on the deck in the summer. I put it on an enclosed, unheated porch and it got a bit too cold for it this winter. All the leaves have dropped off. Is it possible to save this plant? It is now indoors and doing nothing. The soil has remained moist for about 2 weeks now. This plant was requiring water every 3 days before.

Answer: Unfortunately these plants are not terribly cold tolerant. I once had one experience temperatures into the twenties and although it did manage to survive it defoliated completely and died way back into hard wood. At this point, remove any truly dead wood starting at the tips and moving down the plant. Assuming it is not fully dead, place it in a bright sunny location, be careful not to overwater it (keep it barely moist but not soggy) and try to be patient. It may take a few weeks for it to show signs of growth, so give it time.

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