The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus dormant? ...and succulents dying...?

Question: I have two questions.
Question #1:
I bought a braided stem hibiscus last spring and fell in love with the beautiful blooms. I planted it in a large pot which stayed outside on my patio through the spring, summer, fall, and part of the winter. In Virginia Beach our winters are pretty mild; however, we did have at least 2-3 freezing temp nights, and the leaves seemed to turn brownish and eventually dried out, so I brought the plant indoors (January). I cut back what I believed to be the

Answer: It does sound as though your hibiscus was nipped by frost and that the top of the plant is dead. However, don't cut the branches off just yet. There still may be some life left. The sprouts at the base of the trunk indicate the roots are still alive. At this point I would encourage the new sprouts to grow. It may be that you'll need to use them to replace the original plant. If no new growth appears at the top of the plant, begin pruning the branches back a little at a time. Look for green tissue each time you cut and keep cutting back until you find some. If you do not find green tissue, that part of the plant is dead. If you end up cutting the hibiscus down to ground level because there is no green tissue, don't dispair. You can begin training the new shoots into a tree form by staking them upright and braiding them as they grow. Eventually you'll have a home-grown hibiscus tree.

Succulents can develop root rot if they are overwatered. You may be able to save what's left by repotting them in fresh cactus mix. When watering succulents, especially in winter, water sparingly (only a few teaspoons at a time) and water only every 25-30 days.

Best wishes with your plants!

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