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 - 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 Shrubs Questions

Shade loving plants with color for Irving, Texas
July 01, 2010 - Looking for shade loving perennials or annuals with color - native and low water. Live in Irving, Texas.
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for a small tree for cemetery in NH.
August 30, 2012 - I would like suggestions for picking a SMALL tree for a rural cemetery in Winchester, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Would the delicate Japanese Elm be suitable for the weather, etc?
view the full question and answer

Small evergreen shrubs for part shade in Texas
January 31, 2015 - Mr. Smarty Pants, I'm, for some reason, at odds with myself about a shrub decision. I have need about 8 ft of hedge-like evergreen shrub(s) that I can maintain around 4ft to go under a window. It...
view the full question and answer

Using a brush hog on acreage on Bear Creek in Austin, TX.
July 25, 2012 - We have 8 acres off 1826 situated on Bear Creek. It has open areas with scattered large trees (cedar elm, live oak, white oak). Cedars or junipers only along the the lot lines. We've been told we...
view the full question and answer

Replacing yellow bells with hibiscus from San Antonio
July 03, 2012 - Help! Will the roots of the yellow bells keep sprouting if I've removed the shrub? I'm replacing it with a hibiscus shrub. Will it do well in the same spot where the yellow bells were?
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center