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Whether or not hibiscus is hardy depends on which hibiscus species it is. The genus Hibiscus includes hundreds of different species that grow naturally in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. However, there are only a few species that are especially popular and therefore the most widespread: the garden or shrub marshmallow (Hibiscus syriacus), the rose marshmallow (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) and the perennial hibiscus (Hibiscus x moscheutos). To make sure that your plant survives the winter, you should therefore know exactly which hibiscus it is.
This hibiscus is not hardy
The non-hardy hibiscus species include the rose marshmallow. It exudes in the summer months with its lush flowers exotic flair in the garden on a balcony or terrace, but must already move to winter quarters when the outside temperature falls below twelve degrees Celsius. Before placing, you should carefully inspect your hibiscus for any pests, so as not to experience nasty surprises later, and remove any dead or withered parts of the plant. Then the rose marshmallow is wintered in a bright room at a temperature of 12 to 15 degrees Celsius. A cool winter garden or a heatable greenhouse is best suited. Pay attention to "warm feet", so put the hibiscus on a stone floor slightly elevated, for example on a polystyrene plate or small clay feet. A place near the window or close to the light is ideal, while a location next to a radiator can cause the hibiscus to discard its leaves. In addition, too dry air quickly leads to pest infestation and brown leaf margins. Therefore, ventilate regularly in good weather. In addition, water-filled trays and containers contribute to a higher air humidity, which is very beneficial for the hibiscus in winter quarters.
At the latest, when the temperatures fall below twelve degrees Celsius, the rose marshmallow must go to winter quarters
During the wintering phase, the hibiscus should be watered only moderately, so that the root ball does not completely dry out, and to dispense with fertilization completely. From the spring you can water more constantly and supply the rose marshmallow every two weeks with a container plant fertilizer. The hibiscus can be released outdoors from April / May, when no night frosts threaten.
Hardy hibiscus species
In contrast to the rose marshmallow, you can plant the garden marshmallow, also called shrub marshmallow, in the garden and leave it there in winter. For some varieties, the older specimens hardy to -20 degrees Celsius. Nevertheless, young plants must be protected from cold and frost for the first three to four years. Cover the root area of the hibiscus with a thick layer of bark mulch, leaves or fir branches.
The garden marshmallow (Hibiscus syriacus) is hardy in Central Europe and can therefore be planted in the garden
Garden marshmallows cultivated in the pot should be placed on a sheltered south wall of the house during the winter. The bucket or pot is to be covered with bubble wrap, jute or fleece, cover the root area with a layer of leaves or brushwood and put the pot on a base made of wood or polystyrene. This ensures the necessary insulation to the ground.
As an insider tip, the varieties of perennial hibiscus, whose flowers are almost even more magnificent than that of the rose or garden marshmallow - after all, they reach flower diameter of up to 30 centimeters! Anyone who chooses this herbaceous representative of the hibiscus genus, can look forward to the winter without worry: perennial hibiscus is completely hardy and can withstand temperatures down to -30 degrees Celsius, without any winter protection. In the fall, the perennials, which grow up to two meters high, are simply cut back close to the ground and then reliably drive out again next May.