The Q&A Archives: Can I keep my Hibiscus topiaries over the winter?

Question: I have enojoyed two beautiful Hibiscus topiary trees on my front porch in pots all summer. Could I save these for next spring over the winter inside my house or heated basement and how? Donna O

Answer: You can bring them inside and try to keep them actively growing or you can bring them inside to rest. IF you have a greenhouse or very sunny indoor location you can try to keep the growing and blooming all winter. They need ample light, good air circulation, and high humidity. Bring them indoors before the temperatures fall below about 55 degrees. Water slightly less as they will be using less while indoors. They may yellow and drop a few leaves while they adjust to the change.

To keep them resting, leave them outside a little longer so their growth slows. Bring them into a cool location where it will be about 45 to 50 degrees. Water only enough to keep the soil from going bone dry, do not fertilize while they are inside. In the spring when they start to try to grow, set them in the brightest possible place and resume fertilizing and watering a bit more.

IF they need to be pruned you can do it all at once in fall or very early spring, or you can remove a portion of the longest branches periodically so it is pruned slowly over time. This plant blooms on old wood, so an all over pruning all at one time can prevent blooming for several months.

Take them back outside as soon as you can. This may mean setting them outside on nice days and bringing them in at night until the temperatures settle. Good luck!

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