Hibiscus tree

Asked March 18, 2020, 10:04 AM EDT

Last fall I container planted an hibiscus tree for wintering indoors. Tree has been regularly watered but There has been no new growth, leaves are wilted but stems are green when scratched. Would removing wilted leaves help? Previous years there would be some flowers and new leaves. The tree has indoor souther exposure.

Can this tree be saved?

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response

Thanks for the question.

When bringing a hibiscus inside for the winter, it is quite natural for it to enter into some degree of dormancy. Often this is accompanied by a yellowing and dropping of leaves. This is merely the plant’s way of conserving energy during its dormancy. While inside, it should receive maximum light. With a southern exposure it would seem that you are accomplishing this. Only water when the soil feels dry to the touch down to a depth of an inch of two. Avoid over watering. During its dormancy, hibiscus does not like to have “wet feet”. Since green plant tissue is seen on the stem, it would suggest that the plant is still healthy. Once the daytime temperature allows you to bring the plant outside, at least during the day (outside temperature should be at least 50 degrees), avoid exposing it to direct sunlight for any long period. It will be necessary for you to slowly acclimate it to being outside. Do this gradually over a period of two weeks by slowly increasing its exposure to direct sunlight.

Here are some sites that will cover these and other points;

https://www.chicagobotanic.org/plantinfo/faq/overwintering_hibiscus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6PYSxriLds

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/keeping-hibiscus-dormant-over-winter-32842.html

https://www.gardenloversclub.com/ornamental/flowers/hibiscus/overwintering/

Good Luck!!