The Q&A Archives: Keeping plantts alive through a cold winter

Question: Hello -- I planted two pony tail ferns beside my house this year and I want to know if there's anything I can do (besides moving them into containers and into the house) to keep them over the winter. I think maybe because they are so close to the house, they won't get quite as cold as other things in my yard will ... would covering them up keep them warmer? Any tips? I also have some brilliant hibiscus next to the house .. .any chance I can save those by taking winter precautions?

Answer: Tropical hibiscus or Hibiscus rosa-sinensis must be brought indoors before temperatures drop below about 45 degrees to avoid injury, earlier if you wish to keep them blooming as houseplants. The same would be true for the ferns. They are only hardy to zone 10, think the warmer parts of Florida. I'm sorry but it is just not realistic to think they could survive a winter outdoors in Wisconsin.

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