What do you do with a potted hibiscus in the winter?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

During the winter, taking care of a potted hibiscus requires a few adjustments to ensure its health and growth. Here are some steps you can follow to properly care for your hibiscus during the winter months.

1. Find a suitable indoor location: Choose a spot for your hibiscus that receives bright light throughout the day. Ideally, it should have access to some direct sunlight as well. A south-facing window is usually a good choice. Make sure there are no drafts or cold air coming in from nearby doors or windows.

2. Adjust temperature: Hibiscus plants naturally experience a period of rest during the winter, so it’s important to provide cooler temperatures for optimal growth. Aim for a temperature around 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) during the winter months. This cooler temperature helps the plant conserve energy and promotes better blooming in the following seasons.

3. Reduce watering: Since the hibiscus is in its resting phase, it requires less water than during the active growing season. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Water the plant thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.

4. Limit fertilization: During the winter rest period, it’s best to avoid fertilizing your hibiscus. The plant is not actively growing, so it doesn’t require additional nutrients. Fertilizer can stimulate new growth, which is not ideal during the dormant period. Resume fertilizing in early spring when the plant starts showing signs of new growth.

5. Monitor humidity levels: Indoor environments tend to have lower humidity levels, especially during the winter when heating systems are in use. Hibiscus plants thrive in moderately humid conditions, so consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near the plant to increase humidity. Avoid placing the plant near heating vents or radiators, as this can cause excessive dryness.

6. Inspect for pests: Even though hibiscus plants are generally hardy, they can still be susceptible to pest infestations. Check your plant regularly for signs of pests like aphids, spider mites, or whiteflies. If you notice any pests, treat them immediately using organic or chemical insecticides, following the instructions on the product label.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your potted hibiscus survives the winter and remains healthy until the next blooming season. Remember, each plant is unique, so it’s essential to monitor its specific needs and adjust your care accordingly. Happy gardening!