Asked on Aug 9, 2012

I have a Hibiscus question.

Frances Grant CampbellConni owensbyConnie


I have two beautiful Hibiscus plants in the ground. I live in zone 7b (W. GA) and the tags on the pot said they weren't tolerant for winter. I am really new to this whole gardening love affair but there has to be a better way than me moving them both inside. Any suggestions? ((excuse the metal heap behind the pic- I have a collection of stuff that I've found while digging for my garden! LOL))
One of my hibiscus
11 answers
  • Sherry L
    on Aug 9, 2012

    They will have to be covered when you expect a freeze. Go to the Gooodwill and get some light weight blankets or sheets. I have three and even tho' I live in zone 9 there is always a chance of needing to cover mine in winter frosts.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Aug 9, 2012

    The strategy Sherry describes, Kimberlee, will get a hibiscus through a light frost. It will not get them through the kind of winter temperatures I expect you get in Zone 7b. If you ever have temperatures below the mid-20s, you are likely to lose your plant if it is outside. If you want to take your chances, be prepared to run Christmas lights (not the new LEDs, but the old-fashioned bulb kind) around your plant, turn them on, then wrap the plant in several layers of heavy frost cloth. If you have young plants that have not been in the ground long, they are even more vulnerable to cold.

  • Kay R
    on Aug 9, 2012

    I have 8 large ones in pots and always bring them in during the winter. It's a lot of trouble but the beauty of it is that they bloom all winter and what a beautiful sight to see gorgeous hibiscus blooms in January!

  • Walter Reeves
    on Aug 9, 2012

    If you prune them back by 25% they might be small enough to make the move indoors without a big problem....but they DO need lots of light indoors in winter.

  • Patricia S
    on Aug 9, 2012

    I have the "tropical" ones huge pots and bring inside for winter. If left inside in warmth, they will bloom through Christmas...then I cut back. If inside in lower light..the garage..I cut back in Oct. ..but they're fine until spring. Spray well before bringing inside..they tend to magically produce aphids once inside.

  • Kimberlee
    on Aug 12, 2012

    Thank you all for your replies. Sorry for the not getting back sooner. Gearing up to start school and ending the summer has been a crazy week! Thanks for the help with my hibiscus. I will probably do as Walter suggested and just trim them up and bring them in. I don't have much room with good lights so I'm gonna have to do some seriously creative decorating! But I suppose that goes along with the wonderful love of all things growing. Douglas, I hope we do have a cold winter. The bugs have been horrible this year! <3 Again, thank you all!

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Aug 12, 2012

    Even adding a couple of lights to the room where you end up keeping your hibiscus will help, Kimberlee. Since it is the total amount of light the plants receive that counts, you can leave the lights on 24 hours a day if that doesn't drive you crazy.

  • Jeanette S
    on Aug 13, 2012

    We live in Dunwoody which is the same zone and we built a makeshift green house on the back screen porch last year using a metal shelving unit, wrapping it in sheets when it was cold and putting a spotlight inside at the bottom for heat. We would unwrap it when weather was warm and cover it when needed. Nothing of ours died. My son is a plant freak so he took the time to do this regularly!

  • Connie
    on Sep 4, 2014

    I live in Zone 7 and just cut mine down to the ground in late October and they have come up each each yr, with no covering. I believe they need to be "hardy" to live outside in the ground.

  • Conni owensby
    on Aug 12, 2015

    I live in temple so very close to you.Before the first frost cut it down to the grown,Leave only 2-3 inch stalks. Cover with leaves and pine straw. Beforethe grown freezes cover the area with a black trash bag and more leaves and straw. Leave covered until all frost has past.

  • Frances Grant Campbell
    on Aug 12, 2016

    My climate is most likely a lot different from yours (I'm at almost 5,000 feet and in Colorado. I am in zone 3-4. I have what my neighbors call "dinner plate hibiscus". Mine freeze back to the ground and even though they are late to come up (around the end of May or first part of June) I have not had any problems leaving them in the ground in the winter. The first year I had one I mulched it really well and it was fine. The last two years I was too ill to tend to them but they came up beautifully and are blooming now. Best of luck.

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