How to Transplant Hardy Hibiscus

Transplant Hardy Hibiscus
Transplant Hardy Hibiscus (Image: S Sparrow/

Showy hibiscus shrubs brighten any corner of a yard with their impressive blooms that range in size from 2 inches to a massive dinner plate size. Unlike their more delicate cousins, hardy hibiscus shrubs are tolerant of temperatures as low as -30 degrees, making them ideal plants for northern climates. Transplanting can take place at any time of the year, but is best in the spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden tools
  • Compost
  • Water-soluble fertilizer

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Choose a location for your transplanted hibiscus that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Till the soil to a depth of 12 inches, removing any rocks, roots or other debris. Add generous amounts of compost and mix it in well with the existing soil.

Select the plant you wish to transplant to a new area. Dig around the base of the hibiscus plant with a spade. Slide the spade beneath the plant and lift the entire root ball from the soil.

Place the hibiscus at its original planting depth in the newly prepared soil. Firm the soil down with your hands and water thoroughly. Keep the soil evenly moist until you see new growth. Maintain a regular schedule of watering of at least once a week or whenever you observe signs of wilting.

Fertilize in early spring with 8-10-10 fertilizer that is high in acid, magnesium, and iron. This is often labeled as gardenia fertilizer and is available wherever fertilizer is sold.

Prune leggy or overgrown hardy hibiscus in the fall to maintain a compact and attractive shape. Clip the ends of branches back to where it joins the main stalk. Mulch with leaves or other organic material to provide protection from the effects of winter weather.

Cover with burlap or other protective covering if the hibiscus grows in an area subject to cold north winds during the winter. Uncover in early spring to allow the plant to receive plenty of sunshine to develop new leaves.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hibiscus can be propagated by stem cuttings. Place 6- to 8-inch cuttings in a jar of water. Plant in soil once adequate roots have formed.
  • Hardy hibiscus comes in a variety of colors, from pinks, yellows and reds. Choose varying shades of the same color for a dramatic display.
  • Do not plant hardy hibiscus in areas where the soil remains soggy in the spring.
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