Can they be left out all year if planted in the ground? I have a friend that has one and she leaves hers out. I just bought one and it said to bring in over winter. Are there different kinds of hibiscus?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Yes, there are different types, namely hardy or tropical varieties. Your friend likely has a hardy type, while yours is tropical since it says to bring it inside. Hardy hibiscus plants need little care over winter and are hardy to zone 5 with no protection outdoors, though you may add mulch if you like. The tropical varieties are the ones that require growth indoors over winter.
If it is a hardy hibiscus, then it can stay outside to Zone 5. If it is a tropical hibiscus, it must be brought in for the winter. 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, though wrapping or mulching of the plant in colder zones is fine. If you are unsure of what you have, I would grow it in a container indoors just to be safe.