I have a perennial hibiscus that receives plenty of sun during the summer, but this winter there will be no sun in the area it is planted. I worry that it will rot and will not come back next year if left in this spot. Can you give me any advice about moving it or leaving it alone?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Kathy: Hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos) are show-stoppers with their large, dinner plate-size blooms. They can add a tropical feel to any sun-loving perennial garden. Light conditions are not going to be a factor during the winter months since the plant will go dormant. Light levels are much lower during the colder months and so when planting conditions are specified for individual plants this is taken into account. As long as your hibiscus will receive full sun (a minimum of six hours daily) during the growing season it will be perfectly happy growing just where it is. After the plant has dropped its foliage this fall go ahead and prune it back to about 6 inches. It will produce new growth next season and will eventually flower on this new growth. These plants are one of the last to break dormancy in the garden so do not be alarmed when they do not begin to put on new growth as everything else begins to do so. So, for now prune and mulch to help insulate the roots. Next spring you can apply your favorite fertilizer and once again enjoy the stunning blooms.