Over wintering

Worcester, MA

I have a blueberry thrill plant that is not cold hardy. it is enormous and I would like to cut it back. is that ok to do and if so, how far back and how cool can the room i put it in be? I really don't want to lose this plant.

Thanks

Isles Bay, Montserrat(Zone 11)

Maureen1952

You can cut back as far as you need to. I used to cut my tropicals back to about 6inches from the soil line and keep them cut back until about a month before I would put them back out. Water very little during the winter. In a room where temps stay 50 to 60 would be ideal. My GH did get in the lower 40's a few times but not for long and they did ok. Anything below that for extended periods I could not tell you what effect it has on hibs.

My routine; I would use a slow release general fertilizer (one that last 3 months is good), using half the recommended dose. Trimming it, Water really well once, then spraying it with Neem oil I would also spray the soil lightly with Neem then a fungicide, before bring in let it drain good, double check for pest. Do not water unless the soil gets really dry and do not fertilize again until right before you take it out.

Hope this helps
Tina

Worcester, MA

Thank you SO much! It did fine when you put it out again?

Isles Bay, Montserrat(Zone 11)

They always came back and they always came back "huge". They usually started to blossom a month after being put back out. Except for the year that I got bugs and a fungus really bad (due to me trying to treat them as I did when they were outside, watered way too much). They always did very well and
One thing to consider: Hibs like light. My GH was all glass so they got plenty of sun. If you are putting them in your house make sure they are near a window.
Also when you first bring them in they will lose their leaves and look pretty sad until they get used to their new environment. Like I said DO NOT water unless the soil gets dry. Even then do not give it a lot of water, just enough to moisten the soil. I would put water in the dish under the plant and let them absorb through the bottom then use a spray bottle to moisten the top of the soil. I did not spray the leaves, but that was just me.
I did spray all the plants in the GH about once a month with Neem oil, never got any bugs that way, just a light mist with Neem.

Tina

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

I have several hibiscus including one that is 25 years old and another that is trained as a standard. Don't worry much about the leaf drop. I have had them come back from almost total baldness. I put mine outside when you can plant tomatoes, about Memorial Day up here in MA. I prune them back when I bring them back in just before the first frost. If I didn't prune a lot, they wouldn't fit in the sunroom. They also can stand a bit of chill, but not for too long. Only thing seems to bother them is aphids that seem to blossom in late winter. i use warm soapy water on them. They seem happy. They were some of the few plants that thrived during this wet summer we had. there was enough wet and heat for them and they all bloomed like crazy. I did the time release fertilizer thing too which I do with all my indoor plants that go outside. The petunias liked it too. Here's a picture of my standard from this summer.
Martha

Thumbnail by gardenmart
Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Love your standard, Martha. What ever you are doing sure agrees with it. Just stunning to see all the blooms. Thanks for sharing with us.

Judy

Center, TX

Hi all, when you cut them back, can you root the cut pieces? If yes, how? alday

Isles Bay, Montserrat(Zone 11)

Alday

Yes, you can root the cut pieces. Here is a link to a thread tat tells you how to root cuttings. Make sure you keep the cuttings in a warm spot with bright light but not direct sunlight.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1052089/

Tina

Worcester, MA

Thanks again so much. I am nervous, but i know youknow what you're talking about.
Here's a picture of my Blueberry Thrill.

Thumbnail by maureen1952
Worcester, MA

An.d one more

Thumbnail by maureen1952
Isles Bay, Montserrat(Zone 11)

Maureen.. Those are sooooo gorgeous, thanks for sharing.

Tina

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

The sad thing about hibiscus is that I can't have them all!
Martha

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

I'm so jealous of you all.. All these beautiful hibiscus' and all i have are solid one color flower with a dark center (which until I seen yours i though they were nice lol) Now i wish i had all yours instead...

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

smurf428 one of these days I'll be doing some pruning (yeah, I know, I've been saying this for days) let me know if you want me to send you some cuttings that you can try and root. The same goes for anyone else who might be interesed...as long as you don't mind waiting for me to finally get to it.

d

cullman, AL(Zone 7b)

oh sure i would love too have any your willing to send.. I have rooted a tropical hib already so hopefully i can do it again lol...I have a peach NOID one and sunny wind(yellow) if you want to trade??

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

I have Sunny Wind and a few peach NOIDs too so I'll make sure I don't send you any cuttings of those. I'll dmail you when I get ready to do this...

Worcester, MA

I ma going to cut back my blueberry thrill if anyone wants a piece. Tell me again where to cut?

Maureen.

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

Here's that thread from above...

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1052089/

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Hi Maureen & Smurf, I will be glad to send y'all cuttings. Dmail me. Have a good week.

Judy

Worcester, MA

Thank you Judy, for your generous offe. I don't have a lot of room so probably couldn't handle another. If you 'd like a cutting of my Blueberry Thrill, Dmail me. i think I'm gonna have a lot of cuttings and it's such a beautiful plant.

Maureen

Whitby, ON(Zone 5b)

I read this thread with great interest. I have a red hot hibiscus ( http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/46827/ ) , which I've kept outside for three summers now and it behaves the same each summer: no flowers at all when its outside. I let it stay outside until it gets cold, and this year I brought it inside on a warmish day. Someone told me that it would be less of a shock going from warm outside to warm inside, and she was right; in previous years it would every single leaf; this year, ony about a quarter of its leaves fell off. They always grow back quickly though. But the flowering issue is what stumps me; about 2-3 weeks after I bring it inside it starts to flower. Not excessively, just two, three, sometimes as many as five at a time, but continuously until about February. I have another hibiscus, that has a yellow flower with a red centre, and it flowers all year round, inside or out. These plants are a true mystery to me. Does anyone else have this plant? What is your experience with it

Thanks!


Christine

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

Do you feed your hibiscus in the summer?
Martha

Whitby, ON(Zone 5b)

Yes, I do, about every 2-3 weeks I give my plants outdoors Miracle Grow. Once they come in, they get the same as my hoyas, a very watered down fertilizer (MSU) with every watering. Maybe it likes the MSU better; the yellow hibiscus doesn't skip a beat though - it never stops flowering.

I had one of these "red hots" before, and it bloomed its fool head off for the entire summer; it was covered with dozens of flowers every day. I unfortunately didn't have room for it inside then and had to give it away. Maybe I just got a bad one this time. Its leaves turn such fabulous colors-bright red and dark green-when it gets enough sun; even when it doesn't and they're just green, they're a really lovely green. But maybe I should just try and get another one in the spring and start over.

I was just hunting through old pictures for pictures of my old one, and while I couldn't find a picture that was very good, I did realize something: I had that old plant on a balcony that faced south-it got dreadfully hot and blazing sun every day. When I put this new one outside, the sun burnt its leaves, so I put it in semi shade - it did get sun every day, but nowhere near the amount of sun the old one did. Maybe that's the key that I'm missing here-it needs way more sun than its getting where I've been putting it. Once it got used to being outside, I probably should have moved it to full sun.

What do you think?




C.

Thumbnail by ceedub
Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

I put Colorburst timed release fertilizer on my hibiscus this summer and coupled with the rainy and hot weather we had, all of my hibiscus went crazy. This is the first year that I used it. I used to use the pink labeled Osmacote, but i like the colorburst results better. I like TR fertilizer for hibiscus because it works evenly and you only have to do it once for the summer. Once I bring them in, I prune them back and they get a half-dose of Miracle gro shake and feed. Mine also live in a sunroom over the winter so they get plenty of light.
This picture is one of my smaller hibiscus on Colorburst from this summer.
Martha

This message was edited Nov 22, 2009 6:18 AM

Thumbnail by gardenmart
Whitby, ON(Zone 5b)

Cutting back another thing I've been waffling about. I know I should cut them back, but is it okay to do it when they're actively flowering? They do get lots of bright light inside and are both putting out flowers every day now. I'd hate to stop that lovely treat.

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

nah. keep the flowers, but they will be done eventually and then you can snip them back.
Martha

Whitby, ON(Zone 5b)

Thanks very much for your help Martha.

Christine

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

I have to clip earlier as I bring them in for the winter because they won't fit in my sunroom if I don't. Also why I don't buy every wonderful hibiscus I see.
Martha

Whitby, ON(Zone 5b)

I can understand that! The red hot is so big that I've had to give it a special place for now until I can cut it back.

Worcester, MA

I read the tutorials but they didn't say if it's better to cut back to the woody or green stem for rooting. Does anyone know/

Whitby, ON(Zone 5b)

That's a good question Maureen. I know is that if it stays outside all year round, like a Rose of Sharon, the rule is to cut it back by one-third of its size. Would that apply to these as well?

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

My understanding: cut the woody stem but keep some green at the tips so that there are leaves on the cutting; they aid in the rooting process.

Grand Rapids, MI(Zone 5a)

this is an old thread, but here goes. I have a tropical hibiscus that is finishing its second season outdoors, I brought it in last winter and it came thru fine, though it took a long time to bloom this summer. Question: could i bring it in and keep it dormant, like in my garage, perhaps covered with a tarp to keep it dark.? Also is it possible to cut the woody plant back when it grows too big to handle easily, like divide it by chopping the plant in half?

Saint Peters, MO

Quote from JoniJumpUp :
this is an old thread, but here goes. I have a tropical hibiscus that is finishing its second season outdoors, I brought it in last winter and it came thru fine, though it took a long time to bloom this summer. Question: could i bring it in and keep it dormant, like in my garage, perhaps covered with a tarp to keep it dark.? Also is it possible to cut the woody plant back when it grows too big to handle easily, like divide it by chopping the plant in half?


You don't need to make it go dormant. Just bring it in, prune it back and put it outside when it's safe to put out tomatoes. I have several and one of them is always a late bloomer. It's January and it's blooming like crazy in the house (I haven't pruned it since it's still blooming), but it barely bloomed at all last summer. I think I set them out too late.

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