Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Keeping bonsai plants alive in Athol MA
September 21, 2009 - For the past 12 years I have raised bonsai plants in AL and FL, but recently moved back to central MA. My collections consists of Japanese maples, ginkos, bald cypress and ficus benjamina. I have a ...
view the full question and answer

Moving houseplants from New York to Florida
August 02, 2011 - We are relocating to Florida from New York and would like to bring our houseplants with us. Are there any laws forbidding indoor plant transport into Florida???
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets in pots in New Caney, TX
April 25, 2009 - My mother in New Caney (Texas), would like to plant Bluebonnets in some lovely terra cotta containers on her porch (and will hopefully mail me some dried pressings of my beloved state flower). Other t...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing fern houseplants from Lancaster PA
April 10, 2013 - I have fern houseplants about 9 to 12 months old and they are turning yellow. I don't overwater and they get good light. They are growing well but I don't understand the yellowing and falling off! ...
view the full question and answer

Care of Florida Blue or Lisiantus in Houston
October 24, 2005 - I'm in Houston, Texas and I'm growing, for the first time, Florida blues, Eustoma, purple. Since I am from California I'm not familiar with this plant. It's beautiful. How do I care for them i...
view the full question and answer

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