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The hibiscus, also known as rose mallow, fascinates in particular with its wonderful blossoms. With us, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis must be cultivated in tubs because, unlike the garden marshmallow, it is not hardy. Since the plant is very sensitive to cold, the outdoor season ends in mid-October at the latest, when temperatures drop below 15 degrees Celsius. Finding the right winter quarters for the hibiscus is not easy, but the plant will thank you for the good winter care with lush flowers next year.

Correct location

The hibiscus, with its beautiful flowers, is not only the national plant of Hawaii, but also a highly specialized plant that is distributed throughout the world. The plant family originally came from the tropics. It is therefore not surprising that it is very sensitive to colder temperatures.

Also, the rose marshmallow does not particularly like changes of location, if at all. He shows us his "anger" about it by losing the leaves and then unfortunately also stopping flowering. In order for Hibiscus rosa-sinensis to be really happy with its winter quarters, the winter quarters should be warm.

  • Temperature: at least around 15 degrees Celsius
  • bright place
  • Conservatory is ideal

Since not everyone has a conservatory, of course, another place has to be found in your own four walls. Since the wonderfully flowering plant needs its hibernation, heated rooms such as the living room are not suitable as winter quarters. Cooler rooms in the apartment or a “warm” stairwell are alternatives.

Also pay attention to the location:

  • brightness
  • look for a window seat
  • avoid blazing sun
  • Avoid proximity to radiators

Tip: If possible, keep the window free of curtains, blinds or other blackout elements.

The right moment

Since the rose mallow unfortunately only tolerates a change of location very poorly, you should make the transition from outdoors to indoors as easy as possible. In order to avoid excessive temperature fluctuations, it is best to bring the plant and its tub to the warm winter quarters at the beginning of October. This also has the advantage that there are not too great differences in light between the balcony and winter quarters. Depending on the weather, you can start the outdoor season for Hibiscus rosa-sinensis earlier. The right time has come when the temperature outside is around 15 degrees Celsius.

Tip: If you are unsure about the development of the temperatures, it is better to bring the plant inside a little earlier.

Depending on the weather, the outdoor season begins in the second half of April or after the Ice Saints in mid-May. As in the winter quarters, the temperatures should be above 10 degrees Celsius, at least during the day. So that the plant gets used to the sun again, give it a shady spot for a few days to acclimatize. The best time to start the outdoor season is on a warm, overcast day. After a few days of acclimatization, the container plant can then move to its summer location outdoors.

care in winter

Care in winter quarters

Not only the right location is important for the cold-sensitive plant in winter. She also needs some maintenance during the hibernation period. Basically, the hibiscus plant is an evergreen plant, i.e. its leaves do not fall off and occasionally it also develops new leaves.

Therefore you should use the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis:

  • pour little
  • every two weeks or once a month
  • give small amounts of water
  • Plant must not dry out completely
  • do not fertilize
  • regularly check for pests

Please do not forget: Before the hibernation you should cut off withered and dead shoots.

Tip: The amount of watering depends not only on the size but also on the number of leaves. The following applies: the more leaves, the more water the plant needs.

pest infestation

Pests during hibernation

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is not only popular with humans, but unfortunately also with aphids. To prevent the annoying pests from spreading during the hibernation, check the rose mallow for infestation before you bring it inside. If aphids have nested, cut off the affected shoots.

Spider mites are another equally annoying pest. They like to nest during the winter and cover the rose mallow with a white web. If spider mites have infested the plant, take countermeasures immediately. It is best to drive away the annoying mites with moisture. To do this, spray the plant with water. Smaller specimens can also be "showered" in the bath or shower. Please clean the tub or shower afterwards.

As a preventive measure, you should ventilate the winter quarters on frost-free days. Make sure that the plant does not get drafts.

Tip: If the spider mite plague is already well advanced, only the chemical club usually helps. If the plant is large enough, spray the hibiscus and soil and cover the plant and tub with clear plastic for a day or two. In this way, the "poison cloud" lasts longer. In order to free large plants from the pests, you should generously cut off all infested parts of the plant. With a bit of luck, the hibiscus will sprout again in the spring.

Preventive measures against pest infestation during the winter are:

  • check twice a week
  • pay particular attention to the underside of the leaves
  • isolate affected plants
  • also ensure sufficient moisture during the winter, it keeps pests away
  • to do this, spray the hibiscus leaves regularly with water that is as lime-free as possible
  • hang humidifiers on the radiator
  • place a humidifier near the plant;

Cellar wintering

Hibernation in the basement

If there is no suitable place for the hibiscus plant in the living room, it can also overwinter in the basement. It's not ideal, but it's a reasonable solution. It depends on the basement. In order for it to survive the winter well there, too, the cellar should have the following properties.

  • The temperature must never fall below 10 degrees Celsius
  • 10 degrees Celsius is the lower temperature limit for the hibiscus
  • Basement window must be present

As with winter storage in the conservatory or in the apartment, the basement must be aired regularly. Also make sure there is enough humidity to avoid pest infestation.


Hibiscus as a houseplant

If the rose mallow is cultivated as a houseplant, you should also allow it a hibernation. Basically, the plant does not have to move for the winter, but care should be reduced a bit. To do this, increase the intervals between watering without the bale drying out completely. The hibiscus is only fertilized every four to six weeks to compensate for the increased need for nutrients during the warm winter.

Cultivated as a houseplant, hibiscus plants sometimes show very special characteristics. So it can happen that they already start to bloom during the actual hibernation. If this is the case, you do not have to change the right winter care. The hibiscus shows you care mistakes through yellow leaves that fall off.

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