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Will Hibiscus survive in the winter?

Patricia Asked

I think you better go do more research before saying that Hibiscus won’t last outside during the cold KY winters! I have 25 of them that are well over 25 yrs old, and they survive just fine! 20 of them are over 6-8 feet tall, so I can’t put anything over them to protect them from the cold, either. I’ve lived in Winchester and own the highest piece of property in Clark County for the last 29 years, the little town I live in is called Trapp, KY. I also lived in MI for 45 years, and had Hibiscus plants there that spent the whole year outside, and MI gets far colder than KY does. You should have said that the ‘Tropical’ hibiscus will die outside during KY winters, but the ‘hardy’ hibiscus will definitely survive! Go to the below site if you don’t believe me.

Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)

Hibiscus moscheutos, also known as hibiscus is a perennial wildflower “”native to Michigan””. Plant reaches 5 feet tall and flowers from July to September with a white blossom. It prefers full sun to partial shade, wet to medium soil and will grow in muck, clay or loam.

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Patricia: You are correct! Kentucky gardeners are lucky to be able to grow both tropical (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) and hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos). I am not sure which specific question/answer you were referencing, but it can be confusing, so I do try to make sure to decipher the difference when asked a question about hibiscus. It is always great to hear from our readers and I appreciate you taking the time to reach out. It sounds like you have a beautiful hibiscus garden.

Angie Oakley

Kentucky Living-Ask the Gardener

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