How can I best care for herbs & hibiscus inside for winter?

Currently I have my herbs and hibiscus in my garage. I water them and try to keep them warm however they are not doing very well. I’ve thought about getting a grow light, feeding them with sea kelp, and possibly creating a “special“ greenhouse in my garage for them. I also wanted to start some seedlings so a garage project would work for both, I think. I’m fearful of bringing them inside do to past bad experiences with our cats, eating them, peeing on them, scratching the soil out, etc. Also I don’t want to ”shock” them with a new environment now or next spring! I love all my plants!! Help me please!
Then & now photos attached. :-(
q how can i best care for herbs hibiscus inside for winter
q how can i best care for herbs hibiscus inside for winter
  8 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 04, 2018
    it is obviously to cold in the garage.You will have to bring the hibiscus inside as well as staring the seeds.hibiscus should not be in temperatures lower then 55 degrees.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jan 04, 2018
    Any big change in location, temperature, light, anything, will affect your plants that you put in your garage. They still need what light they were used to when they were outside. Check them frequently for how dry they are, they will not get as much humidity in the garage as they did outside, so you may need to water them more frequently. I fertilized my hibiscus after I gave them a period of adjustment from bringing them in. I know everyone says to bring them in when the temps get to fifty, but they can handle lower, but they don't like it. They are a tropical plant and may not be able to handle the temps at night, even if the temp is good during the day. I would suggest getting more light on them for sure, and more water. The lower picture looks like the plant is too dry. Hopefully they will come back for you! Please make sure they stay warm and happy and you will have years of enjoyment. If you need to bring them in the house, shut the door to that room so the cats can't get to them or do something to deter them. They may like the warm house better than the garage, especially with all the cold that has been hitting everyone in the south.

    • Kim Hinkson-Lee Kim Hinkson-Lee on Jan 06, 2018
      It’s very cold in the garage right now because it‘s so cold outside right now of course. We don’t really have an extra room to put them in right now. I took your suggestion & put more light on them. I tried to do some quick thinking of what kind of light I could put on them immediately & decided on my light therapy lamp I use in the winter. It is act working! I think they just need to be a bit warmer & they will be fine!
      thanks so much!!

  • Guineagirl Guineagirl on Jan 05, 2018
    As for the cat issues, I have also experienced this. I took a small amount of chicken wire, placed it at the base of the plant and formed it to the edge of the pot to hold it in place. The cats could then not dig in the soil or use it for their potty and the wire is easily removed when the plants are moved outside in the spring.

    • See 2 previous
    • Kim Hinkson-Lee Kim Hinkson-Lee on Jan 06, 2018
      . I’ll be preemptive, use your suggestions & see how they do if I bring the plants inside.

  • Gail Gail on Jan 05, 2018
    To keep cats out, you can also fill the top of the soil with decorative rocks from the dollar store or just from the yard-maybe even painted. My hibiscus does fine by the patio sliding door-lots of light there-along with others I've brought in. You'll enjoy them more if you decorate your pots, like with little figurines, cute thrift store items, or put them in a cheap painted basket, etc. I make totems from small vases or shot glasses, a small plate, and a figurine topper - all glued together w/ E6000 or GE clear gutter silicone. And all collected from thrift stores or out of my cupboards and closets :) I even got the orange plant stand (table) from the thrift store for $3!!!

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Jan 05, 2018
    I gave up on them, always get aphids and white fly and never could control them.

  • J. J. on Jan 05, 2018
    I've been bringing my hibiscus trees in every year for about ten years now. They will go through a shock period, but they'll be fine. Place them in a sunny window and water them well at least once a week. I also used chicken wire around the base to prevent our cat from jumping in the pot, it does work, when they're no longer interested you can remove it. Blooms like crazy !!

  • J. J. on Jan 06, 2018
    Don't worry when it drops a ton of leaves, that's normal, it'll come back.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jan 06, 2018
    If you can, use drop cloths, plastic sheeting, anything, to keep them warm. If you feel warmth coming off the light you are using, build a little frame above the light to cover above the light, but not touching it, and drape it around the hibiscus, but not covering the leaves. You want it to go down to the floor and have air space for the warm air to circulate around the plants. Remember, they may need water a little more frequently this way, due to the added warm dry air. Good luck and stay warm! We have been in single digit down to minus double digit since Christmas, I am glad I had a room I could loose space in for my five big pots of hibiscus.