The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus

Question: I have a hibiscus plant that I have had indoors since it was a small plant. I have been taking it outdoors during the summer months. The plant is getting too large to keep inside (it is 3ft across and 2ft tall). I was wondering if I can plant the hibiscus outside. I was thinking about a west exposure area it gets full afternoon sun. The area is near my dryer vent so it would be fairly warm in the winter. There are ground cover succulents there now so there would be root base covering also.

Thanks for your consideration! Sue :-)

Answer: Let's hope you have the perennial hibiscus (Rose-Mallow), rather than the tropical (Chinese) hibiscus. The perennial hibiscus is a hardy deciduous shrub that dies back in the winter months but springs to life when the weather warms. Planted in a sunny spot it will produce new stems each spring, that will flower during the summer. Water moderately during the growing season and mulch the soil with organic matter to help conserve moisture and to suppress weeds. The tropical Chinese hibiscus is best kept as a houseplant that's taken outdoors during the spring and summer months. This plant thrives on bright light and humidity indoors and out but will be damaged by temperatures lower than 45 degrees. Try to find out which type of hibiscus you're growing so you know whether to plant it out in the garden, or in a container that you can move with the seasons.

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