The Q&A Archives: Hibiscus

Question: I wonder if the tropical hibiscus may be pruned back for the winter, and covered for next season? I planted it in the ground. I know that this is not recommended, but I did it anyway just to experiment.

Answer: Chinese Hibiscus is rarely hardy below 28F degrees, but there's a chance that it can live outdoors in your zone if you protect it during the worst of the winter weather. Try placing stakes on three sides of the plant so you can wrap burlap (or some other material) around the stakes when the weather gets really cold and windy. Leave the top open on clear days, but cover it over during freezing weather. Don't prune your plant, but allow the branches to remain through the winter. In the spring cut back any stems that have been killed, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. If you really want to grow hibiscus, place it in a container so you can keep it indoors over the winter and then move it out to deck or patio during the spring and summer months.

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