Overwintering Tropical Hibiscus Indoors

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Earlier this week I got a message from Darren and Tiffini.  They were looking for tips on bringing their hibiscus inside for winter.  Nothing adds a lovely tropical flare quite like a tropical hibiscus. While hibiscus plants will do fine outdoors in the summer in most areas, they need to be protected in the winter. Wintering hibiscus is easy to do. Let’s look at the steps for hibiscus winter care.

If where you live gets more than a few days a year below freezing (32 F.), you should store your hibiscus indoors for the winter.  Hibiscus are not picky when it comes to indoor storage. Keep in mind, when you take care of a hibiscus indoors, their summer, flower covered glory will quickly fade. Unless you have an atrium or greenhouse, your hibiscus will most likely start to look less than stellar before spring returns. It is best to find a place to care for the hibiscus that will be out of the way as long as you are wintering hibiscus in a place that stays warmer than 50 F., gets some light and where you will remember to water it.

The first thing to remember about hibiscus winter care is that hibiscus in the winter will need less water than it does in the summer. While watering is essential to your year round care for hibiscus, in the winter, you should only water the plant when the soil is dry to the touch.  If you water more than this, you may damage the roots. This will cause a significant number of yellow leaves on your hibiscus.


You can expect to see a moderate amount of yellow leaves on your hibiscus when you take care of a hibiscus indoors over the winter. This is normal, and the plant is acting normally. If all the leaves have fallen off but the branches are still pliable, your hibiscus has just gone into full dormancy. At this time, you may want to place it in a cool dark place and allow it to stay dormant.

These yellow leaves are why you will want to find an out of the way place to care for hibiscus trees in the winter. But the benefit for taking the time to take care of a hibiscus over the winter is that you will have a larger and lovelier plant in the summer than you could ever buy in the store.