Can I Plant A Hibiscus Tree Outside? - Knowledgebase Question

Madison, WI
Question by profstudchew
June 2, 2001
I recently saw a "hibiscus Tree." I was wondering if these trees are a form of hearty hibiscus? Can they be planted outside in the ground and survive a Wisconsin winter?


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Answer from NGA
June 2, 2001

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There are both tropical and hardy hibiscus, but without seeing the plant or knowing the botanical name, I'm not sure whether it would survive outdoors all winter in your region. The plant should be labeled with the lowest temperature it will tolerate. If it is tropical, you can still grow it. In fact, lots of people grow tropical 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). Hope this helps!

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