En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - April 24, 2009

From: Plainfield, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Twisted hibiscus tree in Plainfield, IN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have just bought 4 twisted hibiscus trees and repotted them immediately then brought them into my screened in porch until I was certain the weather would be safe to keep them outside (I live in Central Indiana). I watered them adequately upon transplanting and then 2 days after that our weather turned really cold and ugly, rainy with temps in the low 40's. I have since noticed my trees to be drooping badly, losing leaves and the yellowing of the leaves. Is there anything I can do to help save them and/or will they turn around on there own once our weather bounces back (it is supposed to turn sunny and get into the high 70's beginning tomorrow). Should I set them outside when this warm spell begins, will this help revive them? Any advice is appreciated as I don't want to lose them, I have always had good luck with Hibiscus in pots around our home in the summer. Thanks

ANSWER:

There are about 300 species of the genus Hibiscus, a few of them native to North America. However, the natives are all found in the South and Southwest portions of the United States. The hibiscus is considered a tropical plant, hardy in Zones 8 to 10. The "twisted hibiscus" had us puzzled for a while, as we thought this was perhaps a new species name, but apparently is just a trade name for a hibiscus that has been rather radically altered by pruning.

Plainfield Indiana, in Central Indiana, appears to be in USDA Hardiness zone 5a, with average annual minimum temperatures of -20 to -15 deg F. Apparently, what happened is that you bought some plants that had been grown in greenhouses, shipped in protected conditions, and then moved into the showroom of the store, which is usually also a greenhouse. Suddenly, you introduced it to the real world in Indiana, with a fast-dropping temperature. You would probably lose leaves, too, if that happened to you.

Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown, the tropical non-natives are out of our range of expertise, and we have no information on them in our Native Plant Database.  We think your plant is partly suffering from transplant shock and partly from the cold conditions it experienced rather abruptly. We found a website from Hidden Valley Hibiscus that might help-Tropical Hibiscus Care.

 

More Transplants Questions

Conditions for wisteria bloom on Ontario, Canada
November 05, 2005 - I live in Ontario Canada, and about 4 years ago I bought a shrub which was called wisteria. I loved this bush when I visited a cousin out in British Columbia. The problem is it has no trouble growing ...
view the full question and answer

Volunteer bluebonnets in Farmville VA
May 17, 2010 - I have two small Texas bluebonnet plants that came with no instructions as to how to plant them regarding soil or sun. Everything I read has to do with seeds, can you please help me? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Replacing mature Arizona Ash trees in Austin
August 26, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 2 very large, very old Arizona Ash trees in my yard. I want to remove them and replace them with something like Cedar Elm or Chinquapin Oak. The problem is that they are t...
view the full question and answer

Move Roses or Ornamental Grasses in Crown Point, Indiana
September 15, 2010 - I have two ornamental grasses that grew real wide this year. They are blocking three big knock out roses that are four foot tall and four foot wide. My question is which one would be easier to dig up ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting blue agave pups in Arizona
February 03, 2009 - I have a blue Agave with lots of pups, how do I transplant a few pups into planters. What kind of soil and how much water will they need?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center