Overwintering Hibiscus Plants | SavvyGardening.com

Overwintering hibiscus plants as houseplants

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Tropical hibiscus are one of my favorite plants to bring inside during the winter, and overwintering hibiscus plants is actually pretty easy. Full grown hibiscus plants are expensive to buy every year. So, for me it’s a no brainer to overwinter them in the house and move them outside every spring. It’s a huge money saver.

Overwintering Hibiscus Indoors | SavvyGardening.com

Overwintering Hibiscus Indoors

One of the other reasons I overwinter my hibiscus inside is because they will bloom all winter long in a sunny window. I have a few hibiscus plants that I overwinter every year, and the bright, cheery flowers are a welcome sight in the dead of winter. I keep one in my office so that I can enjoy it all day long (though some days I find myself distracted with taking pictures of those gorgeous blooms!).

Related post: Save money by overwintering your plants indoors

Tropical hibiscus plants can simply be grown as a houseplant during the winter. They aren’t too fussy, and don’t require any extra care than many of your other houseplants. The two biggest things to think about are adequate watering and houseplant pest control.

Tropical Hibiscus Blooming | SavvyGardening.com

Tropical Hibiscus Blooming

How to overwinter your favorite hibiscus

When a hibiscus is moved inside in the fall, it may go though a bit of shock. After a few days inside, some of the leaves will probably turn yellow and drop from the plant. Don’t worry, this is normal. Your hibiscus is just adjusting to this sudden change in environments. After a few weeks, your plant should pop back, though the foliage might be thinner through the winter than it is during the summer.

Related post: Overwintering plants that like to go dormant

Keep in mind that hibiscus plants like a humid environment and don’t like their soil to dry out completely. If the plant isn’t getting enough humidity, it will start to droop and might even drop some of its leaves. To avoid this, keep the soil evenly moist and don’t allow it to completely dry out. You could also mist the leaves with lukewarm water, or run a humidifier near the plant to keep the humidity level high if you want.

Tropical Hibiscus Flowering Indoors | SavvyGardening.com

Tropical Hibiscus Flowering Indoors

One of the biggest challenges of overwintering hibiscus plants indoors is controlling houseplant pests. One of my hibiscus plants is prone to being attacked by white flies (I’ve never had pest problems with my other hibiscus plants, just this one). So it’s a good idea to check your hibiscus regularly for signs of pest infestation. If you find bugs on your hibiscus plant, begin treatment immediately to avoid infesting your other houseplants.

If you find that your hibiscus becomes infested with white flies, you can hang a yellow sticky trap from one of the branches of your hibiscus to trap the adults. For pests like spider mites and aphids, I use 1 tsp of Dr. Bronner’s Organic Baby-mild Liquid Soap per 1 liter of water. Put it in a spray bottle and spray it directly on the pests to kill them. Neem oil is also very effective to control white flies (and other houseplant pests).

Have you ever tried overwintering hibiscus or any other plants? Share your tips in the comments section below.

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15 Responses to Overwintering hibiscus plants as houseplants

  1. Beverly A Christie says:

    I just brought my Hibiscus in for the winter. There many blooming buds on it. Should I spray the flowers the flowers with water to help to keep them moist of just the soil.

  2. Linda says:

    Brought mine in 2 weeks ago here on the east coast. Love it so much!

  3. Tim says:

    I have brought mine indoors, and it has been indoors for 2 years now. But, it has not bloomed in about a year. Does the plant need to spend some out doors time to bloom? When I did place it outside this past summer, the sun scorched the leaves. I live in NC.


    • Hi Tim. Hibiscus are tropical and they love high light levels. If they don’t get enough sun indoors, that can affect flowering. I suggest moving it outdoors during the summer months, if possible.

  4. JoAnne says:

    Do you think that this hibiscus is dead? Branches feel very brittle

  5. Polly says:

    I bought a braided hibiscus that put in a large container outside. Very pretty! I brought it in late fall and winter. It never bloomed all winter, even though I watered it and had it near a window, but new leaves continued to grow. I’ve put it out on front porch again now that it’s warm. Will it flower again? Leaves look very healthy. I even gave it a watering with flower booster product. What do you think?

    • I’m sure it will bloom again this summer. Just stay the course. It will develop flower blooms when the time is right. It sound like you’re caring for it correctly.

  6. Mary says:

    I live in WI and bring my 3 Hibs indoors every winter. They don’t bloom much, drop a lot of leaves but survive just fine. My problem is in returning them outdoors in the Spring. The leaves get sunburned, turn white and die so the plants basically have to start from scratch. By August they’ve regrown their foliage and bloom like crazy but I’d like to avoid the sunburn stage. I do leave them in shade for a few weeks but this still happens. Any solution suggestions?

    • You definitely need to acclimate them to full-sun, outdoor conditions slowly. Over the course of a few weeks, gradually increase the amount of time they spend in the full sun each day. However, even if you do that, many of the leaves will still drop. It’s tough for them to adjust, just as it is when you move them indoors at the end of the growing season. They’ll naturally shed leaves that were accustomed to a particular light level and then grow new leaves accustomed to the new light level. Not much you can do about it other than to slowly acclimate them as best as you can.

  7. Colleen says:

    Can I leave my hibiscus plant in the house in winter in 50* temp while we winter in AZ?

  8. Shirley says:

    I have a direct south facing glass enclosed porch. I brought my hibiscus in to winter over in the porch. I live in MA, so we get pretty cold temps. The plant survived and I trimmed it back in early spring. I brought it outside in late spring and it has grown enormously, however, it has only produced one bloom. I have fertilized it with Miracle-Gro. Is there anything I can do to force blooms before it comes back in for the winter? Thank you.

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