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Replanting Hibiscus Rose

Columbus, OH

My landlord asked me to get some information about his Hibiscus Rose. He would like to take it out of its current pot (shown in picture) and re-pot it in a smaller pot to keep in doors during the winter. In the spring he wants to then plant it into the ground. Would this put to much stress on the plant or will it be fine?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!



Thumbnail by CmhSquirrel
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I'd leave it in the pot it's in--it looks like a decent size plant so I wouldn't suggest putting it in a pot that's much smaller than the one it's in now. And come spring, I'd leave it in the pot vs planting it in the ground--it's a tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) so it's never going to survive a winter outdoors in OH, and it's less stressful on a plant to have its pot moved inside or outside depending on the season vs having to be dug up out of a garden bed and put in a pot for the winter, then replanted in the spring.

Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

I completely agree with ecrane3.

Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

My tropical are in pots and I bring them into my garage garden area in the winter. They lose all their leaves and only get watered about once a month. As soon as it warms up with no fear of frost, They go outside. This year they bloomed all summer. But we have no humidity and high heats and that is what I have to protect them from also, beside the cold winter. But my joy in life is pushing plant zones. My tropicals have been in the same pot for three years. The more root bound they get the better they grow and bloom. They get morning sun and afternoon shade and are watered by irrigation.

North Vancouver, Canada

I'm somewhat new to tropical hibiscus. I've got 5 so far. I've had this one for about a year now and it's literally crawling out of its pot. While I understand that rootbound is good for these plants, I felt I just had to transplant it as there was nothing but roots left in the pot. I transplanted another in the same situation earlier this year. The other 3 are coming up for transplant in the new year. All are doing very well, except for one. I was away for a while and the person taking care of my plants forgot to water it for a couple of days. It was pretty dry when I got home. It has lost most of its leaves. Only has a few in the crowns of its branches. What are the survival chances?

One thing I've noticed - a couple of them have masses of these tiny leaves growing with the normal sized leaves along the stems. What's up with that? I'm on the West Coast of Canada. Our year started out cold and wet, summer didn't start until August 1st and has hung on. Yesterday was still 23C and it's only drizzled a couple times since July. They've been on a south-facing deck since start of summer. When it started to get hot and dry I watered them every day, sometimes twice a day because it was so hot. I fertilized with a 1/4 strength feed every other feeding because they were getting so much water. They would literally wilt in their pots but I had no other place to put them. Now I'm bringing them in at night because it's starting to get too cold already and putting them out in the day. They are still flowering, but their leaves are starting to turn yellow, which of course is normal from the stress. But I don't know about those little leaves. Any ideas? And do you prune tropical hibiscus at all? And if so, when? And where?

Thumbnail by Saje Thumbnail by Saje Thumbnail by Saje Thumbnail by Saje Thumbnail by Saje
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I think there's a decent chance the plant that got too dry will come back--I've had that happen to some of mine here & there and most of the time they've come back. No guarantees of course, depends on how long it was dry, etc but there is hope so I wouldn't give up on it yet. Just be aware that a plant with hardly any leaves won't go through water nearly as fast as a plant with a lot of leaves, so you will probably find you need to water it less than your healthier plants.

They don't need to be rootbound--they do best if you keep a fairly consistent moisture level (vs alternating between very dry and drowning them) and that's hard to do if they're really rootbound. You don't want them to be at that point where they're always wilting (which will also happen when they're rootbound because there's not much soil to hold moisture), so I'd keep them in a little larger pot where there's a little more soil relative to the amount of roots (not a huge, huge pot--but something appropriate vs trying to keep it in a smaller pot so that it's rootbound).

As far as the leaves--yellowing leaves I've found is most often caused by inconsistent moisture (which is pretty much a guarantee when they're rootbound--they'll alternate between being too dry & then wet, etc). Other types of stress can do it too like temperature swings, recent repotting, etc. For the little leaves--could be it's new leaves that are just coming out, or else various things in the cultural conditions (light, etc) can cause variation in leaf size. As long as the little leaves all look healthy I wouldn't worry about it.

As far as pruning--you can prune them, yours don't necessarily look like they need it yet, but most people will prune them from time to time to keep them bushy/compact. I think a lot of people cut them back before they bring them in for the winter since they won't tend to bloom as much indoors, but I don't think time of year matters that much. I usually do it when the plants seem to be taking a bit of a break from blooming, but that's really because I don't want to miss flowers so if I see buds coming then I leave them alone. I just trim them to maintain shape/compactness and don't do a major whacking back.

Lastly on fertilizer--hibiscus won't bloom as well if you give them fertilizer with a lot of phosphorus in it (such as many "bloom booster" type of fertilizers). Since yours seem to be blooming well so far you're probably OK on this, but figured I'd mention it just in case.

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