Bringing Hibiscus Indoors - Knowledgebase Question

Sparta, WI
Question by badgerfans9
September 29, 2000
In spring I purchased a hibiscus tree (approx. 5'tall) that I kept on my deck all summer, it bloomed profusely. I would like to bring it indoors for the winter, before it freezes (live in west-central Wisconsin, killing frost will occur any day now)and put it outside again next spring. Right now there are several inches of fresh green growth on the tips of most branches. NEED ADVICE . . .
Do I need to re-pot in fresh soil or can I do something to the soil so I don't bring in unwanted eggs, bugs, etc.?
Do I continue to fertilize(did so every 2 weeks all summer)decrease concentration/frequency or give it a rest?
Once inside, what are the light requirements during the winter months? (bright light, half day sun or full day sun)
Do I continue to water as I did during the summer? (I never let the soil dry out)
Thanks for your help!!!
I really want to make this work!

Answer from NGA
September 29, 2000


Lots of people grow hibiscus as houseplants during the winter, putting them outdoors for the summer months. Ideally, plants should be allowed to gradually adjust to indoor conditions after growing outdoors all summer. They're more likely to retain their leaves, and less likely to attract pests. When the daytime temperatures reach a minimum of 60F this spring, gradually acclimate it back to the outdoors by exposing it to a little more sun each day over the course of a week. Reverse the process in fall when you bring it inside.

Hibiscus like average household temperatures and very
bright light. They also want moist, but not soggy soil. Mist the leaves regularly to add some moisture to the air. If the plant gets too leggy, you can pinch back some of the stems. Fertilize during the spring/summer months (March through August as a rule of thumb).

Once you bring your plant indoors you can scout for insects and insect eggs, but it shouldn't be necessary to repot the plant. In fact, repotting may retard the growth.
Hope this helps!

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