I bought a hibiscus plant at a garden shop and it did not have a tag on it. Is there a way to tell if it is hardy in Nebraska? I would like to plant it in the ground. Thank you.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
If the hibiscus has glossy, deep green leaves and 3-6" flowers of red, pink, orange, peach, yellow, or salmon, it is probably a Tropical hibiscus. Another way to check is if the blooms are double flowered, then you probably have a Tropical hibiscus. Hardy hibiscus do not come in these colors or in doubles. If the hibiscus has dull, medium green heart-shaped leaves, dinner plate sized white, pink or red flowers with huge, bomb shaped buds (2-4" in length), it is a perennial, hardy hibiscus.
The tropical varieties must be grown in containers and overwintered indoors. These plants will not tolerate more than a night or two of light freezes. Even one hard freeze (below 25) could kill the plant. The hardy varieties don't need any special treatment and are hardy to Zone 5. If you are still unsure, I would grow it in a container just to be safe. This article will help with its general care: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/hibiscus/how-to-care-for-hibiscus-plants.htm