Q. My tropical hibiscus lost its leaves when I brought it indoors for winter. What should I do?
Tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) often drop all or some of their leaves when first brought inside for winter. Do not worry, this is normal. The plant will undergo a rest period and then grow new leaves in late winter or early spring.
Tropical hibiscus, also called exotic or fancy hibiscus, do not survive outdoors in the Northeast and so must be brought indoors. Before moving them indoors, hose them down to remove pests and cut back the branches to within 4-5 inches of the main stem. Keep them in a cool (55-70°F) location and water them very sparingly when they get dry. Do not over-water. They do need lots of light--the closer to a window the better, or place them under fluorescent lights.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service