Hibiscus - Knowledgebase Question

Chittenango, NY
Avatar for jibboscarol
Question by jibboscarol
October 6, 1999
I have containergrown hibiscus plants that I planned on overwintering inside. Last night frost threatened so I covered them. We didn't get any frost & when the temp. was about 50, I moved them into the sun as they were looking great. Later in the day, they are all wilted & they don't need water. Is there anything I can do to save them? I don't like anything to die needlessly & their blooms brought me so much pleasure. I appreciate whatever advice you can give me.

Answer from NGA
October 6, 1999
It may be that the temperature was simply too cold for their liking even though it didn't actually frost. They may go on to defoliate and otherwise protest the cold but it won't kill them outright. You might want to prepare them to come inside for the winter by bringing them indoors at night and moving them gradually to dimmer lighting so they will be acclimated to the lower lighting found indoors. Usually you would begin to do this earlier in the fall because they really shouldn't be exposed to temperatures lower than about fifty if you hope to have them continue blooming all winter indoors. When you bring them in, inspect them carefully for pests and then set them in the brightest location you have. Keep them away from drafts and water carefully. You may need to decrease the amount of water and fertilizer they receive as they slow down with the reduced light, then pick back up again in the spring when they begin to grow more. In spring, acclimate them gradually to the sunlight and return them to the outdoors.

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