En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - July 28, 2006

From: Benton City, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Shrubs
Title: Protecting hibiscus from cold in Eastern Washington State
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I recently purchased a Hibiscus Brilliant Red. I planted it in an area of my garden that will give it full sun for most of the day. In the Pacific Northwest where I live (Eastern Washington) it can get fairly cold in the winters. The summer's are in the high 80's to the low 100's from May until October. July and August the temps can get (and usually are) into the low 100's for several weeks at a time. I am concerned about our winters. Can I cover the Hibiscus during the coldest months? If so what woould I use to cover it? Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

Hibiscus 'Brilliant Red' (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is a tropical hibiscus and will have to be protected in cold weather. It is recommended for USDA Hardiness Zones 9 and 10 and it appears as if you are in Zone 5 or 6. Covering may save it on barely freezing nights, but any cold in the mid 20's and below will kill it. It looks as if the average winter low temperatures in Benton City, Washington fall around 25° F; consequently, I doubt if it would survive the winter even with covering. Perhaps you can grow it in a very large container so that you could move it inside to a warm area to protect it during the winter.

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Growing Texas mountain laurel in a pot
March 07, 2016 - I have a really good friend who Mom pass away just recently and they were the best of friends. She loved her mother dearly and did tons of stuff together. Recently I posted a picture of a Mountain L...
view the full question and answer

Chile pequin from Spring Plant Sale in Austin
June 08, 2011 - Re: chile pequin purchased at your Spring 2011 sale: it grows, seems to thrive, but sets no flowers and so bears no fruit. It's in terracotta in Ladybug potting soil, on a shady apartment patio. How ...
view the full question and answer

Plant to cover retaining wall in Carlisle PA
August 01, 2010 - I have a block retaining wall in my back yard. I need to find a quick growing plant that will grow through late summer into fall and cover the wall with limited sunlight.
view the full question and answer

Plants for pool area in Florida
May 09, 2008 - My husband and I have a pool with 4 planters and are looking for plants that we can put into our screened in pool area. We live in Central Florida and looking for ideas of plants that are slow growin...
view the full question and answer

Shady Container Plant for Austin
August 20, 2014 - I am looking for a tall plant/small shrub/ornamental grass for a very large pot that is placed against the north wall of our Austin home. That spot gets some morning sun in the summer, but virtually ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center