Hibiscus forum: Help! Hibiscus roots grew out of drain holes

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Name: Shannon
Chesapeake, VA (Zone 8a)
shandawn
Nov 18, 2018 3:01 PM CST
Hello everyone!

I'm in dire need of advice. When I attempted to move my large potted (midnight marvel) hibiscus into the garage for the winter (zone 8a) - we discovered that the roots grew straight through the drainage holes through the mulch, even through the weed barrier and has reached several inches into the ground. Obviously, in retrospect it was a terrible decision to place the pot in the flower bed BUT how can I best save my plant now?

The roots coming out of the bottom are relatively large. Can I cut them off and just keep the plant in the pot until next year? Or will I effectively be killing it? It is a painted clay pot so if I have to - I will break it though I'd prefer to not to if I can avoid that.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I've had this for about a year and a half but it was shipped to me as a bare root plant.
Thumb of 2018-11-18/shandawn/903356


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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals
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plantmanager
Nov 18, 2018 3:26 PM CST
I've had the same thing happen in the past. Some plants are just great at escaping their pots and rooting down. I just cut the roots, kept the plant inside during the winter, and then re-potted it in the Spring. The plant didn't show any problems from the cut roots.
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Nov 18, 2018 4:17 PM CST
I agree with Karen, just cut the roots and bring it in for the winter. I've done this with a lot of plants and never lost any. Some time they wilt, but always come back and since this one is going dormant now, it should have little impact.
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Name: Shannon
Chesapeake, VA (Zone 8a)
shandawn
Nov 18, 2018 8:15 PM CST
Thank you both so much! This is only my 2nd hibiscus. The first got to be 6ft and blew over in a storm where the top snapped in half. I didn't want to risk this one too. Thank You!
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals
Image
plantmanager
Nov 18, 2018 9:17 PM CST
If you ever have any accidents like that, just know that hibiscus and plumerias will root easily, so you have more plants. Good luck, Shannon! I forgot to say welcome to this wonderful site!
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Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
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Danita
Nov 19, 2018 4:15 AM CST
It looks like your plant is the Hardy Hibiscus called 'Midnight Marvel' (I don't know if there is also a tropical with that name). It is fully hardy in your zone so you could plant it in the ground. Unless you are renting or expecting to move soon, it could save you the trouble of moving it inside and make it easier to keep it watered in summer. I actually have one in a pot (that's rooted down like yours) and it's survived a couple winters outside with no issue. The clay pot, though, might not survive the freeze.

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