Winter Care For Indoor Hibiscus... - Knowledgebase Question

St. Louis, MO
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Question by DeltaRoo
December 30, 2001
How do I take care of Hibiscus plants during the wintertime? I brought these plants from outdoors, and now they are wilting inside my house. What do I do?

Answer from NGA
December 30, 2001
These plants prefer a very bright location with a high level of humidity and away from both hot and cold drafts. The soil should be kept evenly moist but not sopping wet as long as the plant is actively growing. Wilting can be a sign of shock due to an abrupt move or exposure to cold, or it can be a sign of over or underwatering. Sometimes these plants will simply drop some leaves (they may also yellow first) in response to being moved indoors, so be patient in allowing it some time to adjust to the new location. If you do not have a very bright room, you can allow the plant to rest a bit during the winter by keeping it as bright as ppossible and also at a slightly cooler temperature of about 55 to 60 degrees and watering it a bit less than usual. Keep the soil barely moist but do not allow it to dry out completely. In spring, gradually increase the watering, begin to fertilize with a water soluble fertilizer for blooming plants, and gradually move the plant back outside once temperatures are reliably above 55 degreees. In a good location, your plant should continue blooming all winter. In this case, you may want to prune it back a bit in the spring to help control and direct its growth. Good luck with your hibiscus.

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