The Q&A Archives: Overwintering Hibiscus

Question: I have a new Hibiscus, about 14" high and I'm wondering if it will be O.K. for the winter in zone 5-Ohio. It is on my deck (10' off the ground). I'm not sure how to prepare these plants for the winter. Should I let the plant be touched by frost? I'm a newbie to perennials.This Hibiscus has had beautiful 6-8" red flowers. It's still blooming tho. I've heard the red plants can't take the snow and cold temps. Could I put the plant in my garage or in a downstairs
foyer to my garage? It stays kind-of chilly down there. I'm just so afraid of loosing the plant because we get a lot of snow.

Answer: Based on your description, it sounds like you have a lovely form of the tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus sinensis) and as such, it must not be allowed to freeze or it will die. When the weather turns cool you will need to bring it indoors and keep it in a very bright sunny area for the winter. The temperature should be at least 45 degrees, but normal household temperature would be better. Good luck with your hibiscus!

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