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Caring for A Braided Hibiscus in A Colder Climate

You can own a braided hibiscus tree, even if you live in a colder climate! Caring for hibiscus trees in zones lower than USDA 9 does require a little extra effort. But as long as you have a sunny, warm spot in your home, you can enjoy their beautiful tropical flowers year round.

Buying A Braided Hibiscus Tree At Walmart

As I mentioned on Facebook a few weeks ago, I had every intention on planting my Better Homes and Gardens Bombay Garden Vase using the 3-step how to plant flowers method I shared last year…

But as I was walking through the Walmart Garden Center earlier this week, the beautiful braided hibiscus plants started calling to me. I’m still planning to plant my smaller containers using that method, but I couldn’t resist taking home a new hibiscus tree to add some gorgeous, vibrant color to our front porch! Priced at just $26.98, it will provide color year round for a real steal.

Caring for Hibiscus Plants In A Colder Climate

How To Select A Braided Hibiscus Tree

A tropical plant best grown in USDA zone 10 and above, hibiscus are not well-suited to the colder climate here in zone 6 Ohio. However, with a little bit of care, colder zones, like mine, can enjoy the beauty of these flowers by growing them in a container that can be moved indoors.

My Walmart Garden Center carries several varieties of hibiscus, ranging from smaller shrubs to the larger braided tree-like specimen I selected. While many of the plants were in full bloom already, I opted for a Braided Hibiscus that only had small buds on it. The flowers are delicate and easily damaged during transport, and the buds are a little hardier. But it will be full of beautiful blooms very soon!

Caring for Hibiscus Plants

Caring For Hibiscus Plants

It’s a good idea to transplant your Braided Hibiscus Tree once you get it home. Planting Hibiscus in a large container allows them to be displayed outdoors on a porch or patio through the summer months and then enjoyed indoors during the winter.

This is especially important if you live in a colder climate and want to maintain your Hibiscus Tree over the winter.

I replanted my new braided hibiscus into my large Bombay Garden Vase. The Bombay Garden Vase is tall and heavy enough to keep the tree upright on my front porch in light winds, yet lightweight enough to be easily transported indoors to weather the colder months.

Whatever container you choose, you’ll also want to make sure that it allows for good drainage.

How To Care For Hibiscus Plants

Hibiscus Tree Care

Light Requirements
Hibiscus plants need a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight daily. Be sure to rotate your plant often for equal light distribution.

Watering
Plants grown in containers can dry out quickly, especially during the hot summer months. Watering frequently is essential. Stick your finger down into the soil, and if the top inch of soil is dry, it’s time to water. Water at soil level to avoid wetting the leaves.

Fertilizing
Feed your Hibiscus about every two weeks with an all-purpose liquid plant food to encourage blooming. Alternatively, if you prefer to feed it less often, you could choose a time-release fertilizer, such as Osmocote Plus. It will gradually release nutrients each time you water, so it only needs to be applied every month or so.

In either case, instructions will vary depending on the brand and variety you purchase. Be sure to read and follow them carefully.

Pruning
The Braided Hibiscus can grow as large as 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide, but it can be kept to a more manageable size with frequent pruning. For container-grown plants, it’s important to trim them frequently. This will encourage more side-shoots and flowers and limit the need for a larger root system.

Pruning cuts should be made just above a leaf bud and at a slight angle, using a sharp pair of pruning shears. The bud below the cut will be where the new growth sprouts. Remove dead flowers as they wilt to keep the Hibiscus looking healthy and beautiful. This will also prevent unnecessary seed production.

Overwintering
When the temperatures start to drop to 40°F at night, it’s time to move your Hibiscus indoors. Prior to moving them inside, spray them down several times to remove any unwanted pests, finishing with an application of horticultural oil.

Keep your Hibiscus in a warm, sunny spot. Follow the tips above for watering, fertilizing, and pruning until it can be moved back outdoors in late spring/early summer!

I can hardly wait for those big, gorgeous orange Hibiscus flowers to bloom on my plant…


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Karen

Wednesday 13th of March 2024

Hi there, was gifted an already 6-7 foot tall braided hibiscus I needed to overwinter (live in CT) and know nothing about them, ha! My main question right now as I am researching, is should I remove the extra shoots coming from the soil that at NOT part of the braid? The previous owner let them grow and they are a few feet long and look a bit odd. If so, can I do that any time or does that also have to wait for the spring?

Diane Loman

Friday 10th of November 2023

Can I continue to braid my hibiscus? If yes, how? How long should I continue to do this? Thanks.

Tara Kuczykowski

Friday 10th of November 2023

Hi Diane! If you purchased your tropical hibiscus already braided, you should just need to prune the top as needed going forward

Michelle

Wednesday 1st of November 2023

My poor Hybiscus is growing like crazy. I have brought inside for right now. Texas Temps 30 one day three days later 70. Anyway it is inside right now. It's green it's growing but I have only had two Blossoms on it. I don't know what to do. Help please

Tara Kuczykowski

Wednesday 1st of November 2023

Hi Michelle! If your hibiscus is healthy, green, and growing but isn't producing any flowers, it's very likely that it's not receiving enough direct sun. Hibiscus need at least a few hours of direct sun in order to bloom. Also, if you have not fertilized it lately, you might consider an application of a time-release fertilizer such as Osmocote Plus.

Lenzie

Saturday 28th of October 2023

Hello I live in Georgia and I need to get my braided hibiscus ready to bring inside the house. What do you use to spray the trees down with before you bring them in?

Tara Kuczykowski

Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Hi Lenzie! I'd recommend that you spray it down with water several times, and then apply a horticultural oil such as Natria Neem Oil

Chris

Tuesday 25th of July 2023

I recently received 2 braided hibiscus plants as a gift. So excited. ( I live in northwest oregon)recieved in mail, not much instruction. Finally looking better, but growing leaves on braided stalk. Should I be cutting these? Also trying to figure out how to winter over. Live in a small trailer. Not much inside light or porch light. Can put in a green house outside...or a garage, no windows. neither is heated.thought wrapping blankets around the pots to keep the roots warmer.....any help would be appreciated.