Zone6Gardener
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Tropical or Hardy Hibiscus????

Hibiscus.jpg
I inherited a hibiscus approximately 5' tall and potted in a container.

I am having some difficulty caring for it / Identifying it.

I believe it to be tropical and bring it inside during the winter. I live in Northern Massachusetts, zone 6.

It does somethings that make me think it may not be tropical.

- Does not like full sunlight during the summer months
- Does not like it when I bring it inside around October/November. Leaves yellow and fall off
- Hasn't bloomed in a couple of years.

I understand that there may be some initial shock bringing it inside, but seems like I'm doing something wrong.

My questions are "is it tropical or hardy?" and "what is the best way to care for it year round?"

Thanks for your help

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applestar
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Re: Tropical or Hardy Hibiscus????

Even though it hasn't bloomed in a couple of years, you do know what the blossoms look like? Could you provide a description?
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Zone6Gardener
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Re: Tropical or Hardy Hibiscus????

I wish I could tell you what the blooms look like but I just don't remember other than to tell you they were pink.

Sorry I couldn't be more specific.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tropical or Hardy Hibiscus????

Tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) are evergreen, or shrubs that keep their leaves all year. On the other hand, hardy hibiscus, members of the genus Hibiscus with more than 200 species, are deciduous. Their leaves die off in winter. They have heights up to 15 feet and widths from 4 to 8 feet. A tropical hibiscus is shorter, with heights from 4 to 10 feet and a width of 5 to 8 feet. .... In general, tropical hibiscus leaves are dark green and glossy, and those on hardy hibiscus are medium green and heart-shaped. This isn't always the case, however. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/difference ... 26536.html

hibiscus syriacus/ rose of sharon/ hardy hibiscus

Image
http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/plantbiology/n ... 260844.jpg


hibiscus rosa-sinensis /tropical hibiscus
Image
http://www.hiddenvalleyhibiscus.com/ima ... avessm.jpg

I'm thinking you are right that yours is tropical, but I'm not for sure. When you say the leaves yellow and fall off, do you mean all of them or just some?
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imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Tropical or Hardy Hibiscus????

Hibiscus leaves come in two types. The modern hibrids, like yours are heart shaped and serrated. The ones that are closer relations to malvas are palmate and hairy. I think you have a modern one. Pink isn't enough to go on for variety and hibiscus hybrids abound.

The leaf you have is dark green, much darker than it should be so the hibiscus is not in very high light. Without good light it won't bloom.

It does like the sun, but it needs to be trained to go out in full sun. Yours probably has not bloomed because it was not getting enough light. Hibiscus in the shade really only bloom at the very top where the sun gets to it.

The leaves are falling off because the light is inadequate.

Indoors put the hibiscus in the most lighted place and provide additional artificial lights if you can.

Feed the hibiscus, 5 ft tall is not all that tall for a hibiscus, but it may be too large for a house plant so prune it , feed it repot it if it is pot bound.

As soon as it is warm enough harden it off to full sun. It will probably take a couple of weeks to do that. Once it is trained to the sun, it should not burn.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tropical or Hardy Hibiscus????

so you are talking about the tropicals, imafan, not the rose of sharon?
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
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Re: Tropical or Hardy Hibiscus????

Tropicals. The rose of sharon will also grow here. It prefers the higher elevations where it is cooler but still likes to be in the sun. Aden's blue and some of the singles are the ones we see the most. In the shade they only put out a few flowers but get really tall. Hibiscus syriacus comes in white, pink, and a lavender/blue an in single and double forms. Most hibiscus do not bloom year round and some of them will bloom for only 3 months of the year and others for up to 9 months in ideal conditions. Their peak bloom is in the summer.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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