Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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 Shrubs Questions

Survival of native yaupon in The Woodlands, TX after hurricane
September 25, 2008 - One of my large native yaupons trees (8ft) fell away from a group during the hurricane. I have uprighted and tied it off for stability. Now the leaves are all brown and falling. Is the tree dead or...
view the full question and answer

Vines and shrubs for Las Vegas, Nevada
November 17, 2010 - We live in Las Vegas and would like to put some vines up on the walls of our backyard. One wall is full sun, one is partial sun partial shade, and two are all shade. We want something that is non-in...
view the full question and answer

Rhododendrons Hydrangeas in Indiana
December 13, 2007 - I live in very southern Indiana. Our home faces west and at the front of our home I have planted three rhododendrons. The furthest south is growing well the two to the north not so well. All three h...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for a barrier in Ft. Worth TX
February 22, 2014 - Hello, I'm looking for a natural barrier as an alternative to a fence in my backyard. I see several other questions answered relating to this but I'm looking for something specifically as a nativ...
view the full question and answer

Weeds in Blue Rug juniper in Phoenix MD
September 28, 2009 - The landscaper planted Blue Rug Junipers around the Helleri Holly and Yews in front of my house ten years ago. The Blue Rug has done great and looks really nice. My problem is that weeds grow up in ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.