Caring for A Braided Hibiscus in A Colder Climate

Caring for A Braided Hibiscus in A Colder Climate

You can have your very own braided hibiscus tree, even if you live in a colder climate! Taking care of hibiscus trees in zones lower than USDA 9 may require some extra effort, but with 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 of planting my Better Homes and Gardens Bombay Garden Vase using the 3-step method I shared last year. However, while walking through the Walmart Garden Center earlier this week, I couldn’t resist the allure of the beautiful braided hibiscus plants. So, I decided to bring home a new hibiscus tree to add gorgeous, vibrant color to our front porch! And at just $26.98, it’s a steal for year-round color.

How to Select A Braided Hibiscus Tree

A tropical plant best suited for USDA zone 10 and above, hibiscus is not well-suited to colder climates like zone 6 Ohio. However, with a little bit of care, colder zones can still enjoy the beauty of these flowers by growing them in a container that can be moved indoors. At my local Walmart Garden Center, they carry several varieties of hibiscus, including smaller shrubs and larger braided tree-like specimens. I opted for a Braided Hibiscus with small buds, as the delicate flowers can be easily damaged during transport. But soon enough, it will be bursting with beautiful blooms!

Caring for A Braided Hibiscus in A Colder Climate

Caring for Hibiscus Plants

Once you bring your Braided Hibiscus Tree home, it’s a good idea to transplant it into a large container. Planting hibiscus in a large container allows for outdoor display during the summer months and indoor enjoyment during the winter, especially in colder climates.

I replanted my braided hibiscus into my large Bombay Garden Vase. This tall and sturdy vase keeps the tree upright on my front porch in light winds, yet it’s lightweight enough to be easily transported indoors to weather the colder months. Whatever container you choose, make sure it allows for good drainage.

Caring for A Braided Hibiscus in A Colder Climate

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 hot summer months. It’s essential to water them frequently. Check the soil by sticking your finger down into it. If the top inch of soil is dry, it’s time to water. To avoid wetting the leaves, water at soil level.

Fertilizing: To encourage blooming, feed your hibiscus every two weeks with an all-purpose liquid plant food. Alternatively, you can opt for a time-release fertilizer like Osmocote Plus, which gradually releases nutrients each time you water. Follow the instructions provided by the brand and variety you choose.

Pruning: The Braided Hibiscus can grow up to 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide, but regular pruning can help keep it at a more manageable size. For container-grown plants, frequent trimming is important as it encourages more side-shoots and flowers, limiting the need for a larger root system. Make pruning cuts just above a leaf bud and at a slight angle using sharp pruning shears. Removing dead flowers as they wilt will keep the hibiscus looking healthy and prevent unnecessary seed production.

Overwintering: When nighttime temperatures start dropping to 40°F, it’s time to move your hibiscus indoors. Before bringing them inside, spray the plants multiple times to remove any pests, and finish with an application of horticultural oil. Keep the hibiscus in a warm, sunny spot and continue with the watering, fertilizing, and pruning tips until you can move it back outdoors in late spring or early summer.

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

For more tips on tree planting and gardening, visit Tips Tree Planting.