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Mr. Smarty Plants - Should I plant a potted Texas Star Hibiscus in August in Austin, TX?

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Thursday - August 12, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants
Title: Should I plant a potted Texas Star Hibiscus in August in Austin, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I bought a red Texas Star Hibiscus, in March, in a 6" pot and 2 ft tall. I repotted it to a 12" clay pot, put it under deck roof near edge, where it gets a bit of morning sun and filtered light rest of day. It's 95+ degrees on deck daily, so I water it daily. It's grown to 5' with 1-2 blooms daily. Should I put it in the ground in August, or wait till next spring? I don't want to shock or kill it. It's leggy, but otherwise fine. I am in zone 9, I believe. Thanks so much for all you do on your site!

ANSWER:

The Texas Star Hibiscus Hibiscus coccineus (scarlet rosemallow) has a spectacular flower which this article from Floridata says is one of the one of the largest and most beautiful of North American native flowers. The plant occurs naturally in swamps, marshes, and ditches from southern Georgia to central Florida, so keeping it well watered is a good idea; just don't overdo the watering.

I wouid not recommend putting your Hibiscus into the ground during August in Austin. This would stress the plant, and you would probably lose the blooms that you are now getting. The plant is a perennial and will go dormant over winter and resprout in the spring. By waiting till later in the fall when the plant begins to go dormant, you can minimize the transplant shock and allow the roots to become established and get ready for spring. It is hardy in USDA Zones 7-11 (Austin is in USDA Zone 8) so it should survive the winter just fine.

The plant is probably getting leggy because it isn't receiving enough sun.


Hibiscus coccineus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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