Hibiscus winter care: how do I protect my tropical hibiscus in the winter, useful tips

Quite often, a beautiful hibiscus plant is found on window sills and in gardens. Despite being considered a perennial, many grow it as an annual crop. More about hibiscus winter care you can read in this article.

How does hibiscus hibernate?

When it comes to hibiscus winter care, it’s important to consider how the hibiscus plant survives the winter.

Wintering options

There are several options for wintering hardy hibiscus plants, including:

  1. You can bring hibiscus indoors and put it on the windowsill.
  2. Leave the hibiscus plant to rest outside.
  3. Root the hardy hibiscus cuttings in water, and transplant them in the spring.

Hibiscus winter care: how to store potted hibiscus indoors?

If the tropical hibiscus plant was planted in a pot, you can bring it indoors. Potted hibiscus looks beautiful as a houseplant. The peculiarity is that the hibiscus indoors does not need special care when compared with other plants. Flowers should be brought indoors when the air temperature is below 60℉.

You can prune the hibiscus plant first. However, you need to focus on the amount of free space in the house. If it is sufficient, pruning is optional. To prevent damage to the plant, pruning is carried out by ½.

You need to put a pot with a hibiscus plant in a warm place. It is better to choose a window sill on the sunny side of the house. At first, the tropical hibiscus plant may be under stress, however, after it returns to normal.

Some buds and leaf plates may fall off. This suggests that the potted hibiscus is adapting to new conditions. In a few weeks, the situation is restored.

Wintering hibiscus outdoors

If the hardy hibiscus is in a dormant state, it is quite easy for it to survive the winter outside.

You can wait for the moment when the plant itself goes into a state of rest, or you can force it. The main triggers for a flower to go into a dormant state are cold and drought.

Reduce watering in the fall, and leave the plant outside until temperatures drop to 50℉. After the onset of severe cold weather, the hardy hibiscus must be placed in a dark and cold place indoors.

Remember to check the bushes periodically. It is only important that the soil does not dry out.

Hibiscus winter care: transferring indoors

So, what do I do with my hibiscus in the winter? Regardless of the wintering method, the hibiscus plants must be brought into the room on time. Only in this way can it survive until the onset of spring.

Best time to plant hibiscus

Can you keep a hibiscus alive over the winter? It is important to skid before the temperature drops to 64℉. Often this is done a few weeks before the first frost occurs.

Do I need to somehow prepare the hibiscus plants in the garden for the winter period?

The name hibiscus is associated with the Chinese rose, which is successfully grown by lovers of indoor plants in houses and apartments.

However, there are garden varieties that winter well under cover, and even those that, with slight frosts, do not need warming at all.

Herbaceous and hybrid hibiscus tolerate frost well. You cannot cover them, but it is necessary to prune them before a cold snap. More delicate varieties, especially terry ones, tolerate low temperatures worse, so protection from the cold is mandatory for them.

Important! The frost resistance of the plant increases with age. If the seedling is very young and winter for the first time, it is better to cover it, no matter what variety it belongs to.

If the hibiscus is grown from cuttings that have given roots in water, it is better not to plant it outside at all for the first winter, but to leave it in a pot indoors.

When to start training and what exactly needs to be done?

To grow hibiscus plants outdoors, you need to immediately pay attention to frost-resistant varieties. It is known that terry varieties overwinter worse, so shelter is necessary for them to even in a fairly mild climate.

It is also imperative to monitor the condition of the planting material: the seedlings must be free of damage and signs of disease.

It is better to give preference to seedlings from famous nurseries that have managed to establish themselves as quality tropical hibiscus plants.

When planting a seedling in the garden soil, it is necessary to choose the right place and prepare the planting hole well.

It is better to choose a place on a hill or even create an artificial hill or alpine slide specifically for planting hibiscus. At the same time, hibiscus loves lit places. Near the hibiscus, you can plant low-growing shrubs with a developed root system.

They help retain the necessary moisture and protect the plant from the winds. If the hibiscus is already growing in the area, and it’s time to prepare it for another winter, you can start with abundant watering. This should not be delayed.

The temperature should not be below 0℉ so that the water does not remain a crust of ice over the roots.

Phosphorus and complex fertilizers can also be applied to the soil. Next, you need to trim. This can be done when the average temperature reaches 23℉.

All seed pods should be removed, shoots shortened by an average of 10 cm and side branches pinched so that new growths form in their place. Formative pruning is impossible – this weakens the plant. Hibiscus roots must be mulched before the cold temperatures become.

For this, garden perlite or dry straw is suitable. After the soil is well fertilized and moistened, the plant is cut off, and its roots are mulched, you can cover it.

How to cover: a step-by-step guide

When temperatures drop below 5℉, cover the hibiscus, but you can do it sooner.

The best material for this is spruce branches. Its effectiveness has been proven by research. The only negative when using it is the interest of rodents in it, although they can be quickly dealt with the help of mousetraps or special tools laid at the base of the shelter.

The usual covering garden materials may also be suitable. But in severe and prolonged frosts, they may be ineffective. In this case, you can make several layers. So, to shelter hibiscus for the winter, you need:

  1. Make a frame around the bush. It is better if it is in the form of a hut so that the snow does not linger on its roof and does not break the tree. If the plant is herbaceous, you can simply bend it to the ground.
  2. Wrap it with covering material or cover it with spruce branches. If necessary, make several layers.
  3. Secure the shelter. If the plant is tree-like and strong enough, you can do without a frame. Then just wrap the bush with covering material or sheaves of spruce branches and strengthen it.

Hibiscus winter care in cool weather

In winter, hibiscus does not need special care. The main thing is to check that the shelter is not damaged, and the bush is not left without protection. It is also worth paying attention to whether the layer of snow bends it too much to the ground. Otherwise, the tree may be damaged.


In winter, it is better to keep it on the southeast or southwest window sills, thereby providing the plant with a sufficient amount of sunlight.

When placed in the northern directions, you have to organize additional illumination with the help of phytolamps or fluorescent lamps. Daylight hours for hibiscus in winter should be at least 8 hours. Lighting devices are installed at a distance of about 40–50 cm from the plant.

It must be remembered that this culture does not tolerate direct sunlight, and because of this, ugly whitish spots from burns appear on the tender leaves. Tropical plants located on the southern windows need to be shaded. Hibiscus can’t stand drafts, so ventilate the room carefully.

Hibiscus winter care: temperature

During the winter dormancy, the potted plants need coolness, the optimum indoor temperature is about 59℉. It is under this condition that flower buds are laid. At higher rates, subsequent flowering is rather poor or not at all.

If there are cold climates (less than 50℉), the plant immediately sheds all foliage. The hot climate in the room (above 86℉) is detrimental to the hibiscus.


Like most tropical crops, hibiscus thrives in high humidity. In winter, the plant must be sprayed daily with a spray bottle. Experienced flower growers recommend putting a flower pot in a tray of water filled with river pebbles or expanded clay.

You cannot place a flower near working heating devices, as they dry the air.


The Chinese rose is very demanding of the watering regime. The flower hates dampness and swampiness, while its root system quickly rots. Water the plant only after the top layer of soil in the pot has dried (2-3 cm). But it is also impossible to allow the complete drying of the earthy coma because the leaves begin to fall off.

In winter, the culture is moistened as needed, usually no more than once every 5-7 days. For this, only well-settled water at room temperature is used.

Watering is the main difficulty since you have to constantly monitor the condition of the substrate in the pot to have time to respond in time and take timely watering measures.


Most often, hibiscus is not fertilized in winter because the root system, being in a dormant period, functions poorly, vegetative processes stop, and, therefore, nutrients are practically not consumed.

But to lay more flower buds, some experienced flower growers feed the culture with phosphorus-potassium complexes, which they take in a quarter dose (25%) of the recommended amount.

You can use (for 1 liter of water):

  • superphosphate (0.4–0.5 g) and potassium salt (0.25 g);
  • potassium monophosphate (0.25 g);
  • liquid universal fertilizer for all types of plants (5 ml).

Feeding is carried out at intervals of once a month. Nitrogen-containing fertilizers should not be used in winter because this causes unnecessary and premature growth of green mass.


Replanting in winter is highly discouraged. Transplantation is carried out only in case of emergency, which may occur when the plant is diseased or attacked by pests, as well as after purchase. They do this by transshipment, trying to keep the earth lump intact and not injure the root system.

Read more in the article – Hibiscus Winter Care.


To stimulate branching at the very end of winter or early spring, before active growth has begun, all the shoots of the Chinese rose are pruned. Each branch is shortened by about half and dried and bare shoots are removed completely.

Should I cut back my hibiscus for winter?

Hibiscus pruning should be done in summer or early fall. Winter pruning is prohibited. Indeed, by the onset of the new season, the bushes cannot recover, which has a bad effect on flowering.


As you can see, caring for hibiscus in winter is quite simple. If you carefully monitor all the indicators, the plant delights with beautiful flowering and durability.

It’s interesting to know – Repotting Monstera in winter: to make the plant feel good.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *